One of the secrets to having a beautiful lawn is knowing how to mow it properly. Simply turning the mower on and pushing it through the lawn is enough to get the grass short, but it takes more than that to keep the grass looking good. Getting it right is more a matter of skill than effort, so there are a few simple tricks that anyone can do to make sure they are mowing their lawn properly.
Choose the Right Mower
There are a few different types of mowers. While all of them will do the job, some are better than others. In general, a manual mower will be the best choice for small lawns because they are quiet and cut neatly, but it is too much work to use them on bigger lawns. People with bigger lawns will want a powered mower. A riding mower is a particularly good choice for large lawns, but they are more expensive and take up more storage space, so a motorized walking mower is a good compromise for medium lawns.
Wear Hearing Protection
Safety always needs to come first, and that means wearing ear protection while mowing. Motorized lawn mowers are very loud, and loud noises tend to cause hearing damage over time. Repeated exposure is particularly bad, but even a little bit of noise can cause damage. Hearing loss does not heal over time, so it is vital to wear protection to reduce the risk whenever you mow the lawn, even if you don’t think that you will be doing it for a long time. Ear protection is cheap and generally comfortable, so it is just a matter of remembering to put it on before you head out to mow.
Mow While Dry
It is important to be sure to mow your lawn while it is dry, and to avoid cutting the grass when it is even a little bit wet. Mowing a wet lawn tends to lead to unevenness. Wet clippings will also tend to stick to the blade as it cuts, which causes it to dull and tear the grass instead of neatly slicing through it. Most people will find that it is best to mow in the early evening, since the sun will have had time to dry the grass, but it won’t be quite as hot as doing it in the middle of the day.
Change Your Direction
Mowing the lawn in the same direction every time is one of the most common errors. It is a problem because the grass will adapt to the pattern over time and start leaning in the direction of the mowing. The best way to make the adjustment is to change the entire mowing pattern each time, so that the mower does not start to form ruts in the lawn. Simply alternating between rowing in rows and columns through the lawn will usually be good enough to solve the problem.
Leave Your Clippings
Grass is a living thing, so it needs lots of nutrients in order to grow and stay healthy. Steady growth and good health make for an attractive lawn, so it is best to make sure that the grass gets those nutrients. They will leave the system whenever you remove clippings from the lawn, so it is best to leave the cut grass in place after mowing as a type of fertilizer. It will simply rot over time, which returns nutrients to the soil so that the grass can use them again. it happens fairly quickly, so you don’t need to worry about piles of clippings making the lawn look cluttered.
Maintain Your Tools
Good tools lead to good work, so it is vital to maintain them. The most important step is making sure that the lawn mower has sharp blades, since dull ones will tear grass out of the lawn or crush through it instead of cutting it. Most people can get away with sharpening or replacing the blades once per year. It is also important to wash the mower after every use, since it is fairly easy for debris to get inside them and clog their inner workings if they get too dirty.