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If you are wondering how to cut grass properly, you are not alone. As simple as the task may seem, most have trouble getting it right. After years of research and experience, I can safely say I have mastered the art, and so can you. To simplify the task for you, I have compiled a list of aspects you should consider when you cut your grass.
You will notice that maintaining a lush green lawn that looks healthy and thick is not only a possibility and it’s t’s not that hard too. Just by going through this article, you will learn how to cut lawn professionally. Never again will you need to spend money on someone to care for your lawn. You can get it right yourself!
Mow the edges first.
If you are still learning how to cut grass properly, the edges are the right place to start. If you mow the edges first, this will help you finish faster. Simply make two passes around the outer edges of your lawn then mow the rest. If your lawn is fenced, make three passes. This will give you enough room to turn your mower, making your mow trouble-free.
Avoid cutting at the same direction every time.
The grass always looks better and is easy to mow when it is vertical and healthy. When the grass blades are vertical, they make space for new blades to grow to make the grass thicker. However, if you use the same mowing direction every time, your lawn will lean one way. This is because your mower knocks the grass down a little during a mow. Whether you mow back and forth or use the circular pattern, change direction each time, you mow.
The back and forth or stripe pattern is most common and usually used on rectangular lawns. When using this pattern, you go one way, and in the end, you turn 180 degrees and continue. Make sure you slightly overlap your previous pass. To alternate, if you went from left to right one week, go directly to the left next week.
For a more irregularly shaped lawn, you may opt for the circular pattern. This method also helps you make less sharp turns than you make with the stripe method. To alternate, if you start on the inner circle in one mow, begin on the outer circle on the next one.
Don’t cut your grass too short
Short grass is very weak and can be crowded out by weeds. Longer grass is strong and thick, so it prevents weeds from growing. Research on the ideal mowing height of your lawn and make sure you never go below it. You can either take a sample to a professional that can help or search ‘identify grass’ online.
Perfect mowing height is 2 ½ inches for most cold climate types of grass. Warm climate species can be cut to 1 ½ or 2 inches. Be sure to adjust your mowing blade to the correct height before you start mowing.
Keep your grass height on the upper limit when the lawn is exposed to heat or when water is scarce. This keeps the soil cool and reduces evaporation. It will maintain your soil moisture, thus keeping the grass wetter for longer. During winter, you can cut it to its lower limit but not below.
Never cut more than 1/3 of your grass
This point cannot be overemphasized. Try cutting off as little grass as you can. This minimizes the stress on your lawn, making it healthier and greener. You may need to mow a bit more often than you may like (probably weekly), but you will love the results. Your grass will develop a more in-depth root system, which will keep it well-nourished and looking great.
Even if the grass is very tall, avoid chopping it off at once. Rather, mow it frequently, and it will reach your desired height over time. At first, set your mower to its highest possible cutting height. On your next mow, go lower until it gets to the perfect height. To do a better job, you can check the ideal mowing height for your type of lawn
Do not cut wet grass
Wet grass is difficult to cut. If you try, you will probably clump it up, and it may not cut evenly. It can also leave a ‘chopped’ look, which is unattractive. Mowing wet grass can also cause ruts, which you may not even see. Some lawn professionals may mow damp grass well, but it is best to avoid this.
Try to mow sometime during the day when the grass has no morning dew and is completely dry. The best time would be early evening. At this time, the grass is dry and less subjected to heat. Also, it can recover from the mow overnight before the sun comes up the following day. You can even mow mid to late morning if you prefer to get the job done early. A new lawn should especially never be cut wet. It has a weaker root system, so mowing it wet may eradicate it.
Use an appropriate lawnmower from a reputable brand.
You may need to invest more to get a decent mower, but it is worth it. You can never cut your lawn correctly without it. A sub-standard mower will likely give you bad results, which get worse as it ages. It will also make mowing your lawn a tedious and time-consuming task. Over time, a bad mower may need a lot of expensive repairs and maintenance too. Remember, if the grass had cut incorrectly, it is exposed to many pests and diseases, and it may eventually die.
Cut your grass with sharp blades.
Never cut your grass with dull blades. Unsharpened blades do not cut grass, and they tear it. This damages the health of your lawn as roots are sometimes slightly uprooted. To avoid unnecessarily ruining your lawn, make sure your blade is sharp before mowing. If it is blunt, sharpen it using a metal file or bench grinder. You can also get a professional to do it for you.
Don’t clean your grass clippings and opt for a mulching blade.
No one enjoys cleaning up grass clippings. The good news is, you don’t have to! You are doing your grass more harm than good by removing them. This is because grass clippings decompose and become an excellent fertilizer for your lawn. This will improve its health.
It is wise to use a special mower blade called the mulching blade to mow. It cuts the clippings into tiny pieces that fall into the lawn and decomposes faster. As long as your grass is not tall or wet, they won’t show much on the surface or cause thatch.
Always mow over clippings from your previous mow.
Pick a direction that allows you to mow over your clippings. They will be cut into smaller pieces, which are more likely to be invisible. It also prevents you from having a build-up of clippings, which will make your lawn unattractive. Make sure you alternate directions to avoid fertilizing one side of the lawn more.
Do not rush
If you rush through your mow, you may leave patches of uncut grass. Your mow job will look unsightly and uneven. Go at medium speed when in broad areas and slow down when at a turn or when cutting boarders.
Do not wait too long in between mows and never let the grass grow too long. Frequent mows make the grass thicker, and it helps it grows sideways more. Also, mowing often allows the sun’s rays to infiltrate the grass, promoting its growth and health.
Edge or trim your grass after mowing
When you are done mowing, it is good to edge or trim it. These are just final touches that make your mowing job look professional. You can invest in edgers and trimmers. Edgers trim lawns along your driveway or any other hard surface at the end of your lawn. Trimmers are more versatile. They can trim grass along hard surfaces, in tight spaces, next to a flower or plant beds. This will give your lawn a neat and clean look.
Bonus Tip: Always put your safety first!
A mower is dangerous and can cause serious injury when misused. Take heed of the pointer below to avoid unnecessary mishaps.
- Familiarise yourself with the owner’s manual and refer back to it whenever you are in doubt.
- Check your lawn for heavy stones and debris before mowing.
- Wear protective clothing and ear protection.
- Only refuel a mower when it has been off for at least 10 minutes and off the lawn.
- Turn off the mower when not in use or when in areas where there is no grass.
Now that you know how to mow a lawn professionally, you are probably eager to apply and see if it works. If you do everything pointed outright, you can never go wrong. Experience, though, is the best teacher, so if at first, you get a few aspects wrong, do not despair. You will master the art with time. Be sure to maintain your mower well, too, and you will have the healthiest lawn in town!