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Lawn Mowing Best Practices

Best Mowing Practices

If you’re wondering how to make your grass thicker and fuller, you’ve come to the right place! The experts at Ecolawn have put together a guide for best lawn mowing practices and how to make your lawn so soft, you’ll wiggle your toes in it.

There are two very important tips for mowing your lawn: use a sharp blade, and don't cut off any more than one-third of the grass blade.

Lawn Mowing Tip #1: Make Sure Your Blades are Sharp

Using a dull lawn mower blade rips at the blades of turf grass, leaving a ragged edge that turns brown. That ragged-cut grass is an open wound where lawn diseases can enter the plant and cause serious damage to the individual turf plant, which in turn can spread from your lawn to trees or shrubs.

How to Tell if Your Blades Need Replacing

4 cut blades of green grass

A day or so after mowing, take a close look at an individual grass blade. The cut edge should be a straight line. If the cut edge is ragged with what looks like tiny strings sticking out, your blade needs to be sharpened.

  • Leaf blade A demonstrates what a leaf blade should look like after mowing with a sharp blade.
  • Leaf blade B demonstrates a leaf blade that was injured by a dull mower blade.
  • Leaf blade C was cut by the mower but indicates that the mower blade is not sharp enough.
  • Leaf blade D has been mown for quite some time with a dull mower blade.

Lawn Mowing Tip #2: Don’t Mow Too Much Off!

Mow at 4” or whichever is the tallest setting on your mower—but never cut off more than one-third of the grass blade at a time! When you mow more than you should, this stresses the grass, which results in becoming more susceptible to weeds, insects, and lawn diseases. For best practices, do not mow grass any shorter than 3.5-4". The only time you can go lower is the last cut of the seasonally, usually at the end of November or early December as this helps prevent snow mold.

Best Lawn Edging Practices

Except for the first and last edging of the season, set your edge trimmer to the highest setting and edge with a vertical edger and not a string trimmer. This protects the vulnerable “crown” of the plant, which is the part of the grass that emerges from the soil. When the crown is stressed from the heat, insufficient water, or mowing too short, your lawn turns brown. By properly edging your lawn on top of having a perfectly mowed yard, your turf will be further protected from damage.

General DIY Lawn Care Tips for Safe Mowing

While Ecolawn does not provide a lawn mowing or landscaping service, that doesn’t mean our lawn care experts don’t know a thing or two about safe mowing practices!

  • Keep children and pets out of the yard while mowing.
  • Do a walk-through of the area before you begin mowing. Clear the area of large sticks or other debris.
  • Wear clothing that offers some protection, like sturdy shoes with non-slip soles to provide good traction. Wear eye protection, like glasses, sunglasses, or goggles, while mowing.
  • Read the operating guide for your mower. Make sure you understand all of its safety features prior to use. Make sure your new power mower has a "deadman" control that stops the mower if you let go of the handle. Do not disable this or other safety features of your mower.
  • Do not cut the lawn when it's raining, lightning, or when the grass is slippery.
  • Adolescents should be at least 12 years of age before they operate lawn-mowing equipment. Discuss lawn mower safety with all of your children.
  • Never allow young children to ride alone on a riding mower.
  • Caution adolescents who are operating lawn-mowing equipment to avoid carelessly placing hands near power blades. Do not clean the grass exit with your hands.
  • Do not push a lawn mower onto the pavement. The lawn keeps objects from being hurled at a high speed. On the pavement, there is no such protection.
  • Make sure your mower is in good working condition at all times.
  • Do not operate a mower when under the influence of alcohol or other drugs that impair judgment.

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