You might be amazed that by simply avoiding a few common mowing mistakes, you can have your yard looking beautiful in just a few weeks.
Believe it or not, how you mow has a huge impact on the overall health of your lawn. In a time when billions are spent on a myriad of lawn care products designed to produce brighter, greener, and more weed-free yards, it is ironic that by simply employing a few sound mowing techniques, you can be on your way to a better looking landscape without spending a dime.
Here’s a look at four of the most common mowing mistakes made by homeowners, and how to avoid them for a healthier, more beautiful lawn.
4 Simple Mowing Mistakes To Avoid
#1 Mowing With Dull Blades
First among the mowing mistakes – mowing with dull blades! The easiest way to damage a lawn is to mow it with dull blades. If your lawn mower blades haven’t been sharpened in years, it’s time to sharpen them now!
Dull blades tear grass instead of slicing it off clean. In the process of tearing, the tips of the grass become damaged and turn brown.
Think of it as using a dull razor when shaving. Instead of cutting smooth, it pulls and hurts. You know how that feels to your skin, so imagine the damage it’s doing to your lawn.
The brown tips of damaged grass can make an entire lawn look like it is dry and starving for water. In reality, it is simply the tips of the grass browned and damaged from dull blades.
Blades should be sharpened on a regular basis. How often? Once a month is a great schedule for those with a sizable yard of 1/4 acre or more.
A great idea is to keep an extra set of blades on hand, and change out once a month in season. While one set is on, you can sharpen or have the other set sharpened. Product Link : Lawn Mower Blade Sharpener Kit
Walk through your lawn a day or two after mowing, if the tips of the blades are all torn and brown, its time to sharpen! Good sharp blades not only cause less stress on your lawn, but also your lawn mower.
#2 Cutting The Grass Too Low
Cutting the grass too low is another of the top mowing mistakes that can quickly damage your lawn. It can have all kinds of long-lasting negative effects as well.
For starters, it allows the hot summer sun to dry out the turf quickly. And without adequate cover, the bare soil is an open invitation to allow weed seeds a place to settle and sprout.
The remedy is to mow higher, and mow more often, Cutting the grass at a higher setting puts much less stress on your lawn. The additional height and thickness of the grass blades help to shade the soil below, and keep weeds out.
A good height for a traditional lawn is somewhere between 3.25 and 4 inches.
Mow higher and mow more often. When mowing a lawn, never take more than one-quarter off in a single cutting. Removing too much grass at once puts a lot of stress on the lawn, not to mention it creates a mess of clumped dead grass that can kill the lawn below.
If your yard does happen to get ahead of you, raise your mower deck up as far as it will go, and mow it high. In a day, go back and mow down again at the regular lower height.
This helps to avoid clumps. You can also run back over a clumped yard at the highest setting in the opposite direction to slice up clumps from a heavy mowing. It is a great way to keep the yard looking fresh and clean.
#3 Bagging The Lawn
Put those clipping back into the yard and not into a bag! Grass clippings contain valuable nutrients that feed your lawn. When a lawn is bagged during each mowing, you are in essence starving the lawn.
Grass clippings are the most natural way to fertilize a lawn. In every single cut green blade, there are trace amounts of nitrogen and additional important minerals. Nitrogen is what gives a lawn a healthy green hue.
As clippings break down over time, the nitrogen and trace minerals are slowly released back into the soil. As they do so, they re-feed the roots of the grass, helping to keep it green, healthy and strong.
#4 Mowing Wet Grass
Mowing when your yard is wet causes damage to your lawn, blades and even the mower!. Wet grass dulls blades quickly. In addition, it make the mower work twice as hard as grass becomes bogged down and clogged underneath.
Wet grass also tears when cut as opposed to being cut clean. It can create that same brown-tip issue as dull blades. In addition, clumping from a wet mowing can snuff out the good grass as it lays in the yard and dries out – creating unwanted bare spots and thatch. Whenever possible, let your lawn dry out before mowing!
For more great garden and landscape tips, be sure to check out all of our category pages, like our Flower Garden Tips.
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