Your mowing habits can make the difference between a picture-perfect lawn and one that is susceptible to weeds, diseases, clumping and other lawn problems.

Did you know that there are do’s and don’ts for mowing?

You can improve the quality and appearance of your lawn by following these mowing best practices:

1. Don’t mow using dull blades. This rips and shreds blades of grass instead of cutting the blades cleanly. When blades are ripped, they are more susceptible to disease. Make sure to sharpen the blades every four to six weeks in sunny times of the year when you mow more frequently.

2. Don’t mow under bushes, if you have grass under low lying trees or shrubs use a line trimmer to get these areas this will avoid damaging any exposed roots and potentially your mower.

3. Don’t mow freshly-fertilized lawn. If you have applied fertilizer or any other chemical to your lawn, hold off on mowing for at least 24 hours.

4. Don’t lower your mower too far. The higher mowing height helps your grass develop a deeper root system cut at 2.5 to 3 inches.

5. Don’t mow your lawn too short: only cut 1/3 of the blade at a time. The more the light each blade of grass can absorb, the better! When grass is too short, it is vulnerable to disease and weed infestation. A healthy lawn needs deep roots and it also needs to preserve moisture. If you let your lawn grow too high, when on vacation, mow at a higher level and then lower the blade the next time you cut.

6. Don’t bag your clippings during dry weather. The clippings you produce by mowing can benefit the lawn if you leave them to mulch.

7. Don’t force your mower when you hear the motor slowing. You can burn out an electric mower’s motor as well as damage lawn if you push on instead of pausing. Along with pausing, you can mow backward (over lawn already cut) or lift up the mower to allow the motor and your grass time to recover.

8. Don’t make sharp turns on your lawn. You can scalp your lawn and damage the crown of grass by turning your lawn mower too sharply. Instead of turning on the lawn, turn on a driveway or sidewalk.

9. Don’t mow in the same direction each time. This can create ruts in the soil, and compacts the soil making growth difficult and preventing moisture from being retained. Rotate mowing patterns by mowing north to south on one cut, and then east to west the next, finally going diagonally on the third cut. On a hill, mow across and mow diagonally rather than directly up and down.

After a month of rotated mowing patterns, your lawn will have a plaid appearance used by professional mowers on greens used in stadium ballparks and golf courses.

10. Mow your lawn while on vacation.  A lawn that is not mowed is a clear sign that someone is not taking care of a lawn and can cause criminals to investigate.  If a family member cannot take over your chores when you go on vactaion call a professional.  They will make sure that your lawn is cut on a schedual.  Remember when you were a kid and your parents went away did you cut the lawn and clean the house on a schedual?

11. Don’t forget to clean your mower. After you finish mowing and turnoff the motor, make sure to scrape any build-up of clippings underneath the mower.

12. Don’t wait too long to mow again. The rule of thumb is to mow more frequently rather than waiting for a few weeks.

I hope this helps, if you have any more questions about lawn mowing please feel free to contact us.