[Infographic] How to Mow Like A Pro
You’re fighting tooth and nail to take care of your lawn, but somehow, it is still brown and dry. You’ve got the most expensive mower on the market, hoping it could reverse the situation. However, nothing works and your grass is dying.
Your grass doesn’t need a fancy lawn mower to be healthy. In fact if you have a small yard, a small lawn mower under 100 dollars will work just fine. What matters here is how you mow your grass.
If you still have no idea how to mow your lawn properly, then we’ll help you. Here are some rules of thumb that need remembering whenever you take out the mower.
When Is The Best Time For Lawn Mowing?
The best time for mowing is in the mid-morning from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. This is when the grass has dried out from the morning dew and moisture. The sun is high in the sky, yet the heat hasn’t built up so it is still comfortable and safe for you to work outside your garden.
Another good time for gardening is the time around the sunset, between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. . The temperature has cooled down, which is convenient for you and less stressful on your grass. Cutting grass at dawn can reduce the risk of fungi and diseases that can affect your lawn too.
When Is The Worst Time For Lawn Mowing?
If you absolutely cannot trim your grass at those best times, at least avoid these worst hours of the day.
First, early birds shouldn’t mow the lawn right after waking up, especially from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. This is because the grass is still wet from the morning dew, and there is a rule of thumb that goes: Never mow wet grass unless you live in a rainy area or you are expecting some guests to your home.
Wet grass tends to bend over, leaving the dry blades standing straight up alone and being cut by the lawn mowers. Those wet blades then get up after that, resulting in a “bad-hair-day” kind of lawn.
Moreover, wet grass makes the cut less clean and the mower has an inclination of tearing the grass rather than cutting it. This not only makes the grass brown and yellowish but also opens the door to diseases and fungi to nest inside your grass.
Also, wet soil poses a risk of you stripping and injuring yourself while the wet grass tends to leave permanent green marks on your clothes, your boots and your mower, adding more cleaning work for you after mowing.
Another bad time to mow is around 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. During these hours, the heat peaks, you may get sunburns and fatigues easily. Moreover, the heat can cause more stress to your turfgrass.
What Is The Best Height To Cut Grass?
It is a tricky question since each kind of grass has different needs to grow healthily and greenly. If your grass is too long, the sun is blocked from entering the roots, which results in the lack of nutrients in your grass. Overgrown grass may also leave behind a lot of cleaning work after being mowed.
If you cut the grass too short, the roots are exposed to too much sunlight, making it brown and dry. So it is essential to know when to cut.
Basically, an ideal height for a cool-season grass is 2.5 inches. If you apply the rule of thumb which is to cut the top 1/3 of the grass blade , you should cut your grass when it is 3.75-inch high.
However, this is not always true. The ideal cutting height depends heavily on the kind of grass you are dealing with. Check the exact numbers of some common grass below.
Why Is It Essential to Change Lawn Mowing Patterns Every Time You Mow?
There are many reasons why you should change mowing patterns whenever you step on your lawn. To those who own a push reel mower, it is at utmost important to avoid mowing habits.
Reel mowers push the grass in the same direction every time you pass the same area of lawn, making grass lean toward one direction. Over time, your grass will look lifeless and worn-out.
Moreover, as you always walk the same path, you will compact the soil where you set your feet on and the wheels of the mower will form ruts on turfgrass. Soil compaction will lead to poor water infiltration and drainage.
Therefore, changing the mowing pattern is meat and potatoes in the mowing checklist of all homeowners who are fans of reel push mowers. Go east-west one mowing then north-south the next one.
However, rotary mowers involve much more “randomness” in the movement of the blades, so there is less chance that grass will be trained to grow in one direction. Yet, the rule is worth considering when the wheel ruts and soil compaction can happen.
How Can You Keep The Lawn Mower Blade Working Its Best?
A dull blade can be a nightmare to you and lawn. While a mower with a blunt blade won’t get you far in your mowing work, it will tear the grass instead of giving the grass clean cut, making your lawn more susceptible to diseases and pests.
So make sure that your blade is sharp enough before you start the engine and step out there to fight the overgrowth.
- How often should you sharpen the lawn mower blade?
The frequency depends on how often you use your mower. A residential mower needs sharpening only once a year. If you are a landscaping pro, you need to sharpen the blades more often. Whenever you see that your blades are tearing the grass, it’s time to renew them.
- How sharp should lawn mower blades be?
Contrary to popular belief, a mower blade should not be razor-edge sharp. It should be sharpened to the point that you won’t cut yourself when touching it. A blade that is as sharp as a razor edge won’t be better for your lawn since its edge tends to roll over, causing it to become clipped and nicked. And a blade that is too sharp will get dull more quickly, resulting in more sharpening and shorter lifespan.
- How do you sharpen your mower blade?
There are a lot of options to sharpen a mower blade. If you choose to do it at home, you will need a bench grinder, angle grinder, or a drill and sharpening stone.
Remember that before removing the blade from your lawn mower, disconnect the mower’s ignition wire from the spark plug or remove the battery to avoid possible injuries.
However, to cut off all the hassle, you can always have the blades sharpened at a local garden shop. It will cost you more but you will save time and save yourself from the risk of being hurt.
What Should You Do With The Grass Clippings?
Grass clippings are too valuable to be thrown away in the trash bin. Since grass clippings are an excellent source of nitrogen and can break down easily, they can be added to compost when mixed with straw, shredded paper.
Grass clippings are also great mulch for raised beds, containers, and even grass. Opt for a mower with mulching capacities that can cut grass clippings into finer pieces. This helps them to break down easily and feed the yard. You don’t need to carry around and empty a bag of cut whenever you mow.
You can also use grass clippings to feed your cattle and poultry, but remember not to use wet grass sinc"e it spoils quickly and makes your animals sick.
No matter how well you maintain your mower and how sharp its blade is, mowing won’t be easy if you are not protecting yourself. Wear a hat, good-quality boots, gloves and bring a bottle of water with you to keep yourself hydrated.
We hope you enjoy the article and happy mowing!