Summer is just around the corner and you’re wondering about the best way to keep your lawn looking thick and fresh.
The definitive way is to stick to a regular routine of mowing, whilst not being too harsh with how close you cut your grass.
Regular mowing helps not only to keep your grass looking great, but it also keeps it healthy. Mowing often (but not too close) can reduce the build-up of weeds and worms as well as reduce the growth of leaves, which will help keep the grass thicker when Summer hits. Mowing too close will weaken the grass, allowing the lawn to become overrun with moss, weeds and pearlwort.
There are a lot of different tips that can help with your mowing success which you may not know about. They can help make your grass-cutting more efficient and will help keep your mower in good condition as well.
So let’s get into it!
Best Time To Cut Your Lawn
This will vary depending on your climate and what kind of lawn you have (which variety of grasses etc.).
Generally the best time to start your routine is between March and October, as this will allow you to maintain your lawn through the last of Spring, the full Summer and the first part of Autumn.
A good rule of thumb is to follow the height of your grass. You want to keep your grass from getting longer than about half an inch above the recommended height.
Mowing Frequency: During Summer, mowing twice a week is optimal for getting that pristine lawn look and feel. You can slow this down to once a week during the Spring and Autumn months.
Before You Mow
There is a whole host of things to do before you even get the mower to the grass to make sure that you mow in a healthy way for your lawn.
Blade Height: The blade height is the first thing you want to look at before you start mowing (and definitely before you turn the mower on!).
The user manual of your mower will have a rough guide of which height is best for the look you want and it will show you how to change it.
Make sure you adjust the height on both sides, otherwise you’ll end up with a slanted cut!
Check if the Grass is Dry: I wrote a piece on mowing wet grass and why it’s generally a terrible and potentially dangerous idea.
Long story short, trying to mow wet grass will probably clog your mower with wet clumps of grass and even if you do manage to finish it, it won’t feel as though it’s been worth it.
Not to mention, if you’re using an electric mower, then wet mowing is out of the question due to safety risks.
Basically, if it’s not dry, wait until it is!
Clear and Brush the Area: If you have children then best to give the lawn a quick once over, in case there are any toys left out which could damage the mower (and enrage your child).
Once you’ve removed any objects from the grass, then you should give it a brush or a rake as well. This will make sure that the grass and weeds are standing more upright, ensuring that the blades reach them.
Check the Blades: The biggest factor to your cut is going to be the sharpness of the blades. If they’re blunt, you’ll end up ripping the grass (or not cutting it at all if they’re really really blunt).
This will mean that the cut isn’t very even and the grass won’t look great in the end.
Ensuring that your blades are sharp will give you an even cut.
Once you’ve checked off everything here, it’s time to get to the mowing!
During the Mow
There are a few tips for getting a good cut whilst mowing that we’ll look at here.
Wear the Right Clothing: Like pretty much any task involving machinery, it’s in your best interest to wear close-toed footwear.
Long trousers are a good idea as well, to protect your legs from any flying debris picked up by the blades, such as small pebbles or gravel you may not have seen in your check of the grass.
Gloves can be a good investment too if you’re worried about the excessive vibration on your hands.
Push Rather Than Pull: It’s always best to use a constant pushing motion when mowing your lawn.
It can seem tempting to push and pull a mower over an awkward patch of grass, but this can be dangerous as pulling will obstruct your vision of the grass. This means that you could run over some debris that you hadn’t seen before, or if you’re using an electric mower, you could run over the cord!
Pulling also means you could move backwards, where you can’t see, which can increase the risk of tripping or falling.
Regularly Empty the Clippings Compartment: As you mow, you’ll be hoovering up the grass clippings that you cut. This can add weight to the mower, which will make it harder to push around and can put strain on the engine.
Whilst emptying you may also unblock clogs that have built up, which will increase the efficiency of your mower during the cut.
Always stop the mower when emptying or checking for blockages!
Now that you’ve finished the cut and the lawn is looking fresh, you can put the mower away for another few days. There are a few tips for once you’ve finished as well that will make your life easier.
After the Mowing
Empty the Clippings: One final empty of the clippings will mean your mower is empty and ready to go the next time you need it. This makes it lighter as well!
Clean the Underside of the Mower: This is particularly important if the clippings you collected were slightly damp.
This can introduce moisture to the underside of the mower, which can cause rust and corrosion, significantly reducing the lifetime of your machine.
Rake up any Leftover Clippings: Unless you’re using a mulching mower, you’ll want to go over the grass with a rake to make sure the clippings don’t sit on the grass for a long time, as this can restrict airflow.
Clean the Blades: Keeping the blades clean with a little bit of water and oil will keep them in good working condition, making future cuts easier and quicker.
Good maintenance of your mower will increase the lifespan of your mower and make each cut easier.
And that’s the full list! As you can see there’s a lot a of little things you can do in each stage of the mowing session to make life easier for you.
The ones you’ll see the most benefit from are the maintenance ones, as this will keep your mower in good condition, which makes it more efficient and saves you time and money!
If you have any other tips you think are good, then share them below!