Mowing the lawn can be such a relaxing experience.
And it doesn’t take much to keep your lawn looking nice and healthy.
Some of the tips for taking care of your lawn include mowing your lawn at the right height, getting your mower blade sharpened, recycling your clippings back into the lawn, compost grass clippings that are too long, mowing when the grass is dry and much more.
Continue reading to find some very useful tips for mowing your lawn and keeping it looking nice.
Why mowing at the right time and in the right way is so important
Having a nicely manicured lawn does so much for the look of your house.
It makes the yard and house look so much more beautiful, that it is worth putting a little more work and effort into taking care of it.
And taking care of your lawn really doesn’t take that much.
But doing it all in the right way and at the right time is so very important to the look of the grass.
For example, if you cut the grass too short, it could kill off the grass very easily.
If you cut the grass too early in the season, it might not grow for you when it is supposed to.
If you cut at the right time, you will have full turf grass that keeps the weeds out.
But if you cut too much, weeds will grow everywhere.
So it’s important that you pay attention when you should mow and do it correctly.
Don’t scalp the lawn
This is just what it sounds like.
Scalping the lawn means you are cutting it way too short each time.
First, when you are mowing your lawn, you shouldn’t be cutting more than one third of the blade length each time.
But you also shouldn’t be cutting it too short.
Cutting it too short will expose the soil.
And not only will it expose the soil, but it will also make it easier for any weeds to take root and grow.
You see, when the grass is cut so short that you are exposing the soil, the grass isn’t long enough to protect against weeds growing.
Long grass shades the soil and keeps anything from taking root besides the grass.
Also, grass that is always cut too short has issue growing deep root systems.
So make sure you aren’t cutting the grass too low, which includes not setting your lawn mower to the lowest setting.
Sharpen your mower blade
I know from my own experience that a sharpened mower blade does a lot towards giving you a more pleasant mowing experience.
Imagine if you will for a second that you tried to cut a steak with a butter knife.
It isn’t a pleasant experience because it feels like you are fighting the whole time you are eating to get that steak cut up just right.
The same thing goes with mowing your lawn.
You wouldn’t want to mow your lawn with something that isn’t very sharp.
It will mean you are stopping more from your lawn mower getting clogged from cutting the grass.
You see, when the blade isn’t as sharp, it has a harder time throwing the grass away from the lawn mower.
And then it gets stuck in the base of the lawn mower.
You will find yourself having a more enjoyable experience if you have a sharp mower blade.
Otherwise, you might find yourself stopping every few feet to restart the mower or mow over some grass you just can’t quite cut well enough.
A sharpened mower blade allows you a more smooth cut and you get to spend less time cutting your grass.
You can take your blade to the nearest hardware store, or you can purchase a sharpener from Amazon.
It is recommended that you sharpen the blades at least 2 to 3 times during the mowing season.
You might find that all areas of your lawn might not need to be mowed at the same height. Below are a few suggestions on how to determine the height of your grass.
For the summer
During the summer, you are going to want your grass to grow a little bit longer than usual.
As mentioned earlier, longer grass protects the soil from being scorched and it also helps to keep the weeds down in the area.
During the summer, the sun is going to be hot (well, depending on where you live), and allowing your grass to grow long will help protect the soil from the summer scorch.
For the shade
Again, another situation where you probably want to let the grass grow a little bit longer than normal.
The longer grass is greater for photosynthesis, which is the process that plants go through to convert the sun into energy for the plants.
So the longer the grass, the greater the photosynthesis, and the better your grass is going to grow.
Mow when the sun is low
Mowing when the sun is low not only helps the grass, but also works well for you.
Depending on the size of the yard, you could find yourself spending quite a bit of time mowing the yard.
For us, we are almost on an acre yard and all we have is a single, battery powered lawn mower.
If I decide to mow the backyard, it can take me up to 2 hours of walking back and forth with that small mower to get the whole lawn mowed.
And if we are doing it in the heat of the day, I will struggle to get it done without being exhausted or on the verge of heatstroke.
So do it at a point of the day when the sun is low, either early in the morning or later in the afternoon/evening.
There is also some benefit for the grass if you mow when the sun is low.
When you cut the grass, the grass blades lose some of the moisture that is inside of it.
If you do this in the heat of the day, the grass blades are going to lose more moisture and it is going to be more difficult for them to recover.
But if you do it while the sun it low, the recovery is quicker.
Mow dry grass
Mowing the grass when it is dry is much better for the lawn mower.
If you are mowing when the grass is wet, the grass is more likely to gather in clumps.
And first, those clumps are not going to be fun to clean up if you are mulching your grass and leaving it.
Second, those clumps could clog up your lawn mower if you are bagging the grass.
Wet grass will get stuck to the sides of the mowing base and even in the hole in between the mowing base and the grass clippings bag.
So while mowing wet grass isn’t as bad for the grass, in the long run it will be better for you if the grass is dry.
Mow with wheels off the edge of the lawn
To get a nice, even mowing, make sure at the edge of your lawn you have the wheels a little off the edge.
That way, you are clipping away at all the grass and in a way that makes all the mowing even.
Doing this gives you a nice even mow to the lawn.
Options for the grass clippings
You really have two options when it comes to what to do with the grass clippings.
Recycling the grass
This is sometimes called “grasscycling”.
Instead of bagging the grass, you are letting the lawn mower mulch the grass and then the mower throws the grass back onto the lawn.
The benefit of this is that the grass clippings are then used as fertilizer for the grass that is still alive.
This is a nice and easy option because you won’t have to take the bag off of the mower and placing the clippings somewhere.
You just let them fall back onto the lawn.
Make sure your grass isn’t too long, though.
Because if your grass is too long, you may end up putting clumps of grass on your lawn, which is harder to decompose.
This is the option that causes more work for you.
But that composting grass can be used for so many things, including as fertilizer for your garden or other areas of your yard.
And this is a much better option if you let your grass grow TOO long.
Simply let the lawnmower put the grass in the mower bag and then once it gets full, take your grass to your composting pile or place where it can be used as fertilizer.
Throw it out
If you don’t want to do either of the above options, you can always throw out the grass clippings.
This seems like a wasteful option, but if you don’t have any other use for your grass clippings, simply throw them out.
Make sure to follow local laws on what to do with the clippings.
Some areas will just let you throw them directly into your garbage.
Other areas will make you place them in specific garbage bags and leave them out for a special garbage truck to get them.
Either way, make sure to figure out what your area does and follow the law.
The pattern in which you mow
Make sure to change up the pattern in which you mow your lawn.
Changing the mowing pattern each time will give your lawn a nice “checker board” type of look.
It is also healthy for the lawn to switch up the pattern.
That way, you aren’t compacting the soil beneath the grass by going the same pattern each time.
There are many things to consider when mowing your lawn, including the pattern in which you mow, what time of day to mow, what to do with the clippings, etc.
But don’t let all of these things take away from the experience of mowing.
It can be a very enjoyable experience and allow you to get out in the fresh air, which sometimes we forget to do.
So take the time a few times a month to get out and enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass.