Cultivating Good Mowing Habits

Mowing is not a sport, a hobby, or an art, but we do spend a lot of time doing it.  Most Americans like to have a well-kept lawn.  Our lawns are a source of pride for many of us, and we work hard to make sure that the grass is always an acceptable height.  Since we spend so much time mowing, we should at least make sure we are doing it right.  By following these principles for good mowing habits, you can get the most out of your mowing investment.

Keep Equipment in Good Condition

Good mowing starts with having the right equipment.  Regular maintenance will keep your mower running and ready to go when you are.  At the end of each mowing season, any remaining gas should be drained from your mower before you put it away for the winter.  When you get your mower out at the beginning of the season, it is helpful to have it tuned up and looked over by a lawn-mower mechanic.  This will hopefully prevent you from running into problems and having to take your mower in for repair when you need it most.

In particular, it is important to make sure that the blades on your mower are sharp.  Dull blades can be damaging to your lawn.  A dull blade will essentially tear your grass rather than making a clean cut.  An uneven cut will cause grass to be more vulnerable to attacks from disease and pests.  Mower blades should be sharpened at least twice per mowing season, more if your mower gets heavy use.

Choose the Right Time to Mow

Some tasks on your to-do list can be done anytime, while others have less flexibility.  There are no hard and fast rules about when mowing should be done, but there are definitely some guidelines.  First of all, you need to know the ideal height for your grass, which varies depending on grass type.  This helpful article from DIY Network can help you figure out what’s best for your particular variety.  In general, you don’t want to cut more than 1/3 of the height of the grass at each mowing.  Following this recommendation will help the grass to thoroughly recover from the stress of mowing.

Additionally, you will want to make sure that the grass is dry when you mow.  Wet grass can clump and accumulate on your lawn.  As it decays there, these clumps can be a breeding ground for microscopic pests.  They can also prevent your lawn from receiving adequate sunlight in the affected areas.

Prepare Before You Mow

You might be ready to just jump in and start mowing right away, but some preparation is best.  Trimming and edging before you mow will give you the best results.  Doing this prep work will benefit your grass and your mower as well as trees, plants, and other landscape elements in your yard.  And best of all, it also makes actual mowing time quicker and more enjoyable for you.

Resist a Mowing Rut

Finally, mowing can be a repetitive task, and you may be tempted to do it the same each time.  Maybe you feel like you’ve found a pattern that works and you’re going to stick to it.  However, it is better for your lawn if you change things up from mowing to mowing.  Following the same pattern can contribute to the problems of turf wear and soil compaction.  To prevent this, change the direction in which you mow. Go one direction this week and the opposite direction the next.  You can even challenge yourself to mow diagonally across your yard from time to time.  It doesn’t really matter how you do it as long as you don’t always do it the same way.

We are in the middle of mowing season.  Right now, you’ve got plenty of opportunities to hone your mowing skills.  But if excelling at mowing is not your dream, maybe you’d like to delegate your mowing duties to the experts at Ping’s.  We’ve got an experienced crew that is ready and willing to take this never-ending task off your hands.  Visit our Landscape page to learn more or call us at 317-298-8482 to learn more.