Mowing the lawn is a chore that most homeowners in the suburbs need to do, but usually dread. But if you want a neat and healthy landscape, it’s important. When it comes to lawn care, there are right and wrong ways to mow the grass, so make sure you do the right thing to keep your lawn green. And whether you’ve got a large or a small yard, there’s always a way to reduce your mowing to make the task a bit more pleasant. Check out these tips for fast and efficient lawn care.
Sharpen lawnmower blade.
Always keep your mower blade sharp to get the best results each time you mow. A sharp blade ensures a clean cut of each blade of grass, while dull blades have the tendency to create jagged, uneven edges. These tears create openings that leave the grass susceptible to diseases. Investing some time for maintenance on the lawnmower blades before summer is a good practice.
Start with areas with obstacles.
If your lawn has features that will serve as obstacles to moving in a uniform pattern, you can save time by getting them out of the way first. For instance, if you have trees, flower beds, or fixtures like fountains. Statues and birdbaths in the center of your lawn – mow around them first before moving to your chosen pattern. You may also want to tackle first the grassy parts that include landscaping rocks, walkways, buildings, and gardens.
Conquer the edges first.
The outside edges of the lawn must be mowed first so you can have room to turn the mower around, making the job go faster with less hassle. Try to make two passes around the outside edges, and three if a fence surrounds your yard.
Create a flat edging along with the lawn besides walks, driveways, and plant boxes. As you mow, roll the wheel of the mower on these edges, so you don’t have to string trim them.
Pick your pattern.
There are different patterns to mow the grass efficiently. As a responsible lawn owner must not mow the lawn, starting in random areas as if doodling on the grass. To be efficient, stick to a pattern, but make sure to change your pattern each week or every time you need to mow. This is to prevent the grass from growing in one direction, which does not only make the lawn less effective, but it also makes mowing more difficult. Here are the common and easiest patterns for mowing the grass:
Stripes or rows
You will do one pass, then make a 180-degree turn to make the next pass while slightly overlapping the first pass to cover all in case you miss a spot on your first one. Repeat until the whole lawn is mowed. This is the fastest, more efficient way to cut the lawn. Experts recommend alternating directions each time you mow. So if you mow horizontally one week, go in a vertical pattern the next to let the grass grow beautifully.
If you find that working in rows doesn’t reduce as much time off your mowing as you’d like, consider working on a concentric circle pattern. Concentric circles follow the same principle as working in stripes, but it limits the number of times that you have to turn your mower. Mow the edges first, and go on a circle until you make your way to the middle of the yard. If you have to mow around a tree or a flower bed, the concentric circle pattern makes it easier since you’re already moving in circles.
While the concentric circle is a fast and efficient way to mow the lawn, ending up in the center means you’ll have to roll the mower off the lawn, and this may cause unsightly tracks. To avoid this, you can try a double spiral pattern instead. It’s nearly as efficient as concentric circles since you follow the same route, but leave every other row unmowed. Once you reach the middle, move your mower in an S-shape so you can go back in the direction where you came from, and so you can mow over the rows you skipped. This way, you will finish in the opposite corner of the lawn from where you started.
Remember the best time to mow.
The best time of the day to do some lawn mowing is in the early evening when the lawn is dry, and the sun isn’t as intense, giving your lawn some time to recover before facing the heat the next day.
If you mow during the heat of the day, not only will it be uncomfortable for you, but it also causes grass plants to lose more water and recover slowly than if you mow during a cooler time of the day.
Adjust mower height.
Adjust the mower height during the growing season to give your grass a chance to develop long and healthy roots for the summer. For instance, you can shift the cutting deck higher in the summer to allow them to grow longer. Taller grass helps shade the soil during summer months, slowing evaporation and prevents weed growth. Taller grass also develops deeper roots, creating a lawn that can withstand drought better.
As a general rule, healthier roots mean greener grass and greater resistance to environmental stressors. For a healthy lawn, set mower height around 2.5 and 3.5 inches for cool-season grasses, and around 1-3 inches if you have warm-season grass. During peak growth time, mow every 5-7 days to keep your yard looking its best.
Avoid mowing wet grass.
Ideally, always mow when the grass is dry. Mowing wet lawn makes it harder to get a clean and even cut, and it makes your lawn susceptible to fungal diseases. Wet grass can also fill and clog a mower deck. Always avoid mowing in soggy soil as it can cause wheel ruts and tearing up of grass. If you need to mow while the lawn is damp, treat the underside of the mower with silicone spray or oil to help prevent grass from sticking to it.