Basic Tips to Properly Mow Your Lawn

Basic Tips to Properly Mow Your Lawn

A beautiful lawn starts with regular mowing.  Most homeowners know this and they either mow the lawn themselves or they have someone come in once a week or so and take care of the job for them.  Even if you have a lawn mowing service to regularly look after your lawn you should know how to do it yourself as well.  Here are some basic tips to properly mow your lawn, straight from the experts.

Make a Schedule

Grass grows quickly especially if you have a great deal of rain.  Create a schedule to mow your lawn regularly to keep it healthy.  Not only will your lawn look much better but freshly cut grass helps keep critters like mice and rats away from your home.  Letting the grass grow wildly not only makes your lawn look bad, it can get you in trouble with the municipality or your homeowner’s association.

Don’t Cut Your Grass too Short

When you mow your lawn don’t cut your grass shorter than two inches, the ideal height is somewhere between two and three inches in height.  You want it short enough to look good and keep the rodents away yet long enough to provide some shade to the roots underneath.  If it is too short and the roots get exposed to sunlight you can damage your lawn.

Get a Good Lawnmower

A good lawnmower is everything so invest in a quality product.  Yes, lawnmowers can get pricey but if you buy a good quality mower then you will be able to use it for years to come.  Not only that, but a good lawnmower won’t need to be repaired all the time, saving you money.  Even a lawn care company will tell you to get your own mower even if you are have your yard looked after by a lawn service company.  A good lawnmower is a long term investment, if you have a large yard that needs mowing then invest in a sit down mower, it will save you time and a lot of work trying to mow with a traditional mower.

Lawn mowing is just one component of keeping a green healthy lawn.  You will still need to do things like fertilize, water and add seed in the spring to have that perfectly manicured lawn that you want.  You may want to get an expert lawn care company that can help you with all of it.  They can take over tasks like weeding, watering and mowing so that you can spend your time enjoying your yard rather than looking after it.

Cutting an Overgrown Lawn

Cutting an Overgrown Lawn

You have just been asked to cut great aunt Helen’s yard and when you get there with your lawnmower the grass is nearly a foot long.  You are faced with the task of getting the lawn under control and get rid of all that overgrown grass.  Cutting an overgrown lawn is a lot more work than your regular Saturday afternoon mow on your own lawn.  You can damage your lawn if you aren’t careful about cutting overgrown grass so here are some tips to keep it healthy.

Mowing the Lawn Safely

One of the things you will have to do is to keep the lawn mowed regularly from this point but to get started you need to slowly trim the height of the grass.  With the first mow start by setting the lawn mower at the maximum height for a cut.  This is the safest way to start cutting the overgrowth and bringing your lawn back to a healthy condition. You don’t want to damage the turf below or you will damage the “crown”.

Being Careful not to Damage the Lawn

Grass grows from the part of your lawn called the crown.  When you mow an overgrown lawn you run the risk of damaging the crown then you can damage future growth.  When the crown is damage you may ultimately end up have to re-sod your lawn.  When you leave your lawn to grow wildly without cutting the grass regularly, the crown above the topsoil making your lawn easy to damage.

Getting it Done All at Once

If you want to cut the grass in one shot it is far easier to do when the weather is cooler than on a very hot day.  When you have long grass it is dry at the top and there is more moisture underneath.  Take off the top layer of grass first where it is dry, ideally you want to let the grass underneath dry out so that is stands up and you can get a proper cut.  Start earlier in the day and take off the top most layer, wait until later in the day to take off the next layer.  Depending on the size of the lawn this could take the entire day.

Beware of Hidden Rocks

When you mow long grass there could be any number of things hidden underneath from rocks to kid’s toys or anything else.  That can pose a danger to you and your lawnmower blades.  Be sure to walk around first and check the long grass for any obstacles that can get in the way.

When you cut back the grass for the first time after it has gotten so long you can expect it the grass to be brown for a couple of days.  Just make sure that it stays watered and it should return to normal in about a week or so.

Taking Care of Your Lawnmower

Taking Care of Your Lawnmower

If you want a vibrant and healthy looking lawn then you need a good lawn mower to keep your grass looking good.  A poorly running lawnmower doesn’t just leave you with a poorly cut lawn it can actually damage the sod underneath.  Like anything else to get the job done you need the proper tools, so let’s look at how to keep your lawnmower in good working order.

Check the Oil

Just like your car the lawnmower’s engine uses oil, and you need to check and change that oil from time to time.  If you check the manual for your lawnmower they will recommend check it after roughly eight hours of use.  Fresh oil looks gold and as it gets old it will get dirty.  At least once a year it should be completely changed, again check the manual and use the oil that the manufacturer recommends. Here’s how to change the oil in your lawnmower.

Clean the Air Filter

The purpose of the air filter is to keep dust and other debris from getting into your engine.  As you can imagine there is plenty of dust and debris in a lawn, so at least once a year you’re going to have to clean the filter.  There are paper filters that will need to be replaced and you can probably find those at any home improvement store like Lowes or Home Depot.  The foam filters can just be washed out in some warm soapy water.  Make sure your foam filters are dry before putting them back.

Check the Sharpness of Your Blades

Turn your lawnmower over every once in a while and check the blades on your lawnmower.  Not only do you need to check the blade for sharpness but you need to make sure it isn’t bent, chipped or cracked.  A good cut needs a sharp blade and dull blades tears the grass rather than cutting it.  You need to get your blade sharpened every year and with regular use it needs to be changed every two or three years.  However if you have hit a rock and gotten a chip then you need to change the blade right away.

Check the Tire Pressure

If you have a sit down mower then you will want to check the tire pressure and make sure you have enough air in the tires.  You do this the exact same way that you check the tires on your car.  Low pressure can give you an uneven lawn or even tear up your lawn.

Tips for Prepping Your Lawn Before You Mow

Tips for Prepping Your Lawn Before You Mow

There is nothing wrong with wanting the nicest lawn on the block, but in order to have that you’re going to have to make sure that it is kept mowed.  Before you break out the mower you’re going to need to get your lawn ready to be mowed, here are some tips for prepping your lawn before you mow the grass.

Clean up the Debris from the Yard

Before you power up the lawnmower and start cutting the grass you have to get rid of any debris that is in the yard.  You need to move bigger rocks, branches and twigs first.  You need to do this for safety, lawn mower blades spin very fast and can send debris flying in every direction which could hurt someone.  At the same time you can damage your lawn mower blades if they hit something they aren’t supposed to.

Don’t Cut Wet Grass

If it has just rained or you regularly water your lawn, don’t do so before you start mowing.  Wet grass means wet soil, wet soil is soft and the weight of the lawn mower will leave dents in your sod.  Wet grass is also slippery so instead of cutting your grass the lawn mower blades just end up sliding over them instead of cutting the grass.

Don’t Let the Grass get too Long

Ideally when you mow your lawn you want the grass standing tall, so you want to mow when the grass is dry and not too long.  When grass gets too long it falls over and the blades won’t cut properly.  If you have long grass you can use a broom to pull the grass upright before you start cutting it. This will make it easier to cut and you won’t have mow several times just to get an even cut.

Make Sure Your Lawn Mower is Working Properly

So now that your lawn is ready to be cut you need to make sure that your lawn mower is ready to go.  Check and make sure that nothing is lost, the engine starts properly.  If it is a gas powered mower then make sure that you have enough gas to finish the entire lawn.  You also need to make sure that your lawn mower blades are sharp enough to cut the grass.

Lastly, if all of this seems like more work than you want to do then you can get Charlotte Lawn Mowing Service to take care of keeping your lawn pristine for you.