Like most things in life, there is a right way to mow your yard… and several wrong ways to do it. Which category do you fall into? Check out these lawn care tips from the pros at Lawn Pride and master your mowing skills in no time at all.
When to Mow Your Lawn
If you’re like a lot of folks we know, it’s time to mow your lawn when your spouse yells at you for not mowing the lawn. We can’t argue with that, but it’s probably not the best schedule to follow. Instead get into a habit, repeat throughout the season, and tweak those times when necessary. For most types of grasses in Indiana, once a week will do. Some people like to stretch it out to once every 10 days or even two weeks, and that is generally fine as well, as long as your grass stays healthy. The Rule of Thumb: Mow less often and mow tall, rather than more often and short–your grass will thank you and it will show.
When the weather goes for long stretches without rain, it is okay to lengthen the time between mows. Likewise, if it is raining a lot, your grass will grow faster and you’ll want to mow more frequently. Just remember to mow only when your grass is dry, and follow the One-Third Rule. Remove only the top third of your grass blades’ height at a time. Cut much shorter than that, and you risk damaging, weakening, or even killing your grass.
How to Mow Your Lawn
Are you a straight line, spiral, or criss-cross kind of mower? Whichever pattern you choose, remember to alternate your direction with each new mow. Always mowing the same pattern encourages your grass to grow in the direction you mow, and this is not a good thing. Varying the direction promotes straighter blade growth, which makes your grass stronger and more resilient at the same time.
Do you like to bag your grass? Well, cut it out! Grass clippings are one of the easiest and most effective ways to feed your lawn. They break down quickly and return those great natural nutrients back into your soil. Again, only do this when the grass is dry, as wet grass clumps together and can kill the growing blades beneath it. If you must mow when your lawn is still moist, bag the clippings and add them to your compost bin or garden.
- Mid-morning is an optimal time to mow. It is usually late enough to allow dew to evaporate, and still early enough to avoid the hottest time of day. Early evenings are also acceptable, as long as you give your grass enough sunlight and recovery time before nightfall (when fungal problems and other diseases can take hold).
- Keep your mower blade sharpened – at least once a season – and replace when it develops any nicks, bends, or other damage.
- Mowers hate ethanol, so if you are using gasoline from stations that add it to their fuel, be sure to use a lawn equipment-specific fuel additive to help protect engine components.
- If you have slopes or hills on your property, mow at a safe side-to-side angle to prevent slips and falls from mowing up and down.
- Ear, eye, and skin protection are essential when mowing. And never wear flip flops when mowing the yard!
- Contact your local lawn pros at Lawn Pride for more summer turf tips!