We’d all like to assume we know exactly how to mow a lawn. It’s not that difficult, right? But you might be making some rookie mistakes that prevent your grass from thriving. From when you mow to how you mow, it all makes a huge difference to whether your lawn sucks or not.
Let’s take a look at some of these subtle lawn mowing tips that will help your lawn grow healthily and strong and look pretty darn beautiful too.
First things first…
How often should you mow your lawn?
You might be happy to know that your lawn doesn’t really need to be mown on a schedule. How often you mow will depend on several factors, including climate, the type of grass you have, the season, and whether you’re using fertilizer.
The one rule is that once the grass has grown 50% of its height, it’s time to mow. Overmowing leaves your soil open to damage from the sun and makes your lawn look sparse and sad. Point is, you don’t need to mow every Sunday at 11 AM on the dot.
Grass growth rate depends on species and weather. However, the ideal temperature for most grasses is between 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. You’ll see the most rapid growth when your state experiences these temperatures towards the end of spring and into summer.
How often should you mow the lawn in spring?
If the average temperature is around 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you might need to mow every week. Don’t forget to check grass growth, though, if it’s warmer than typical spring temps, you might need to mow more frequently.
How often should you mow the lawn in summer?
During the summer months, you may need to mow every 4-6 days depending on the amount of rain and how extreme your fertilizing is.
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When is the right time to mow the lawn in spring?
For the first mow of the year, wait until the temperature has reached at least 40 degrees Fahrenheit and the grass has thawed completely. Also, make sure that the grass is at the right height to cut, depending on its type.
If you’ve planted new grass seedlings, wait for them to grow a few inches before mowing them for the first time.
Get rid of lawn waste …but leave short grass clippings
While leaving short clippings on the lawn is excellent for grass health, large quantities will start to damage the grass.
If there’s a build-up of dead material that can’t compost fast enough, it attaches to the roots of the grass, creating thatch. A thin layer of thatch can be good for the grass, protecting the soil’s moisture and avoiding temperature fluctuations. Too much will inevitably take over your lawn, killing the grass. Anything over 1 inch is a problem. It blocks water and fertilizer while also becoming a breeding ground for disease and pests. Essentially, it can suffocate your grass, which is bad news.
If you’ve just given your lawn a quick trim, leave it, but to prevent thatch, remove large quantities of grass and other compostables such as leaves.
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Vary lawn mowing patterns
If you mow in exactly the same pattern every time, your grass will begin to lean in one direction. Mowing the same route can also affect your soil by creating ruts and compacting it down, making it more difficult for water and air to reach the grass’s roots.
Set a high mowing height
Not everyone gets a buzz cut when they go to a barber, and your lawn doesn’t need one, either. Giving your yard a quick trim can stimulate growth as well as shading the soil.
Mowing at a height of 3 inches can help prevent disease, promote deep roots of up to 9 inches, turf density and color, as well as assist the grass in holding more water.
While many people may think a shorter lawn looks better and means it won’t need cutting again as soon, cutting off more than one-third of your lawn’s height could actually harm your grass. They use more water, have shorter roots, and look more sparse and less green.
You can adjust your lawn mower height settings by checking your user manual.
Trim the edge of the lawn
Before getting started, trim around the edge of your lawn to avoid getting too close to trees and plants with the mower. It’ll also make the mowing process faster, as you won’t have to keep going around everything.
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Make sure the blades are sharp
Cutting grass with dull blades can tear the grass instead of slicing through it, making it longer for the grass to recover and weaken it over time. If you’re mowing regularly, you should sharpen mower blades twice a season. Once at the beginning of spring and the other in mid-summer. To avoid any accidents, have your local hardware store do the sharpening for you. Keep a spare blade handy if you need to have the other one sharpened.
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- No more mowing or raking debris. BLADE mows and collects lawn waste simultaneously.
- Tell BLADE exactly where to mow once by setting virtual boundaries using the EcoFlow app.
- BLADE uses AI and sensors to avoid obstacles and quickly re-route, so it never misses a cut.
- Create a mowing schedule using the app, so you can set it and forget it.
- Save your fingers. Set mowing height using the app.
- Rain sensors send BLADE back to its Charging Station, protecting your lawn from ruts and squashed turf.
- Free replacement blades and essential parts with a warranty of up to 4 years.
A typical gas-powered lawn mower can reach levels of around 95 dB, loud enough to damage your hearing. Electric lawnmowers, string trimmers, and other garden equipment can hit 75 dB. About the same volume as an open office. Robotic lawnmowers are much quieter, ranging from 50-70 dB.
You should wait for the grass to completely dry after it rains before mowing. Cutting a wet lawn can damage your grass, soil, and your mower.
Most states don’t have a legal mowing time, although if you’re using a gas mower or a loud electric mower, you could be disturbing the peace if you mow outside what’s considered acceptable. You should check the time, specific to your state, but generally, 10 PM – 7 AM are out of hours*. Mowing between these hours could result in a visit from the police, a fine, or worse.
*Check your own state laws for these times.