10 Lawn Mowing Tips

Make it Easier on You & Your Lawn


Now that it’s the middle of summer, you may have mowed your lawn a few times already. How’s it holding up? How you mow can affect overall grass health. Here are some lawn mowing tips to carry you and your yard through the rest of the season.

Lawn Mowing Tips

There’s a lot to consider before starting up your mower and cutting the grass. From the best time of day to the right height, how you mow affects how the grass grows. Mowing is supposed to trigger the grass to grow more, but certain circumstances can impede growth and even do more damage to your lawn.

One of the first things to focus on is evaluating how your lawn looks. Go ahead, look around, we’ll wait. Do you notice any:

  • Bare spots
  • Brown spots
  • Weeds
  • Uneven patches
  • Hills
  • Morning dew
  • Rain in the forecast

Consider all of these conditions before you mow. Your grass may be telling you it’s stressed, dry, diseased, or ready to be mowed. How you respond to these signs can make or break the mowing process and the health of your lawn. Let’s point you in the right direction.

First Things First. Sharpen Those Blades

When you properly maintain your lawn and garden tools, they tend to work more efficiently. Cutting the grass with a dull blade leads to tearing, which leads to ragged, brown edges. This weakens the grass over time, making it less resistant to heat and drought and more susceptible to disease and damage.

Sharpen mower blades once a year for cleaner cuts. Also, remove any buildup of grass blades to help prevent blockages. All of this helps to make the job easier on you, your mower, and your lawn.

Mow High

The blades aren’t the only part of the mower to check. Adjust the height setting so you’re only trimming the top third of the grass. Longer grass blades provide many benefits for your lawn. Not only does it shade the soil and prevent weeds, but it develops a deeper root system for sourcing water and nutrients.

Cutting too short scalps the lawn and forces it to focus energy on regrowing blades instead of deepening roots. This also gives weeds a chance to take over.

Don’t Mow if You Don’t Have to

Yes, we’re permitting you to skip a day or a week or two if your lawn doesn’t need cutting. Wait until the grass is tall enough to cut before you cut it. This may mean you’re mowing twice a week in the spring when the grass is in the full growing season. But then every other week in the height of summer or late fall when growth slows down. There’s no need to spend time stressing your lawn out more because it’s the day you usually mow.

You also want to wait to mow a new lawn. If you’ve just seeded or laid sod, wait until it’s established and reached the right height. Cutting a new lawn too soon or too short will shock it. This means you may have to reseed again later.

Timing Matters

So now that your mower blades are sharp and set high and those grass blades are tall enough for trimming, there are still other conditions to consider.

Check the time. The best time of day to mow the lawn is early in the evening when any morning dew has fully dried and temperatures are starting to cool down.

You don’t want to cut wet grass for several reasons. It’s a slipping hazard, it’s more likely to tear the blades, and those wet blades can clog your mower. You also don’t want to cut the grass during the hottest part of the day. It’s no fun for you or the already stressed grass.

Check the weather. Even if morning dew has dried, you’ll want to wait to cut the grass after any rain has dried as well. And no one wants to mow the lawn during a thunderstorm anyway, right?

Lawn Mowing Patterns Matter

Do you have a go-to mowing pattern? Switch it up! Next time, instead of those straight, vertical lines, try horizontal or get really crazy with a diagonal. Grass starts to learn the same old pattern and will literally get in a rut and lean in that direction. When you mix things up, the grass gives you more of a standing ovation.

Something you always want to try to do is mow in a forward direction. And if you have a hilly yard, move side to side across the slope to keep from slipping.

Leave the Clippings

Since you’re only trimming a small amount off the top of your lawn, you can leave the clippings and let them break down to provide your grass with nutrients. Not only does it save you time bagging and disposing, but it also saves you from having to fertilize! Win-win! If you do end up bagging, you can use the clipping for compost or fertilizer in your garden—but only if you haven’t treated the grass with chemicals.

Other Helpful Lawn Mowing Tips

Now that you know what to do for your mower and yard, what about yourself? There are a few wardrobe choices to keep in mind for mowing:

  1. Closed-toe shoes. Skip the flip-flops even in the summer heat and protect your toes in sneakers, clogs, or any other garden shoe that you don’t mind turning green.
  2. Eyewear. Sunglasses help to keep the glare down so you can see what you’re doing. Plus it helps protect your peepers from any flying debris.
  3. Pants. You may want to consider covering your legs in case you run over ground wasps, small stones, or other particles that could kick up. In fact, you may want to check your yard for any such obstacles before you mow and try to avoid these areas.
  4. Sun protection. Sunscreen, hat, cooling bandana, anything to help keep you comfy and covered from damaging rays.

Do yourself a favor and remove lawn furniture, toys, and other things that will make mowing more complicated.

If you have a loud mower, make sure you’re aware of any pets or people that may be in the way.

If you get tired of mowing or feel it could be done more efficiently, contact a local landscaper to take on the responsibility. Companies like Cardinal Lawns can also help you improve your lawn maintenance practices to prevent any issues that could come from dull mower blades, cutting the grass too short, and preventing lawn weeds.

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