Lawn Mowing Tricks No One Ever Told You

The Grounds Guys landscaper mowing a lawn

Last Updated July 12, 2023

Mowing your lawn seems like a pretty straightforward task, but are you unintentionally making the chore harder than it needs to be? Our lawn care experts have some lawn mowing tips that will make mowing your lawn easier and help your lawn grow healthier too!

How to Choose the Right Mower

Push lawn mower on grass

This lawn mowing tip should not be underestimated. Having the right equipment makes any job easier, especially when it comes to mowing your lawn. Using the right mower will make cutting the grass easier and more manageable, and you won’t harm the grass in the process. There are many different types of mowers to consider, so choose one that best suits your needs.

Here are some of the different types of lawnmowers to consider:

  • Riding Mower: If you have a large area to mow — more than a ¼ acre of grass — consider investing in a rider mower.
  • Walk Behind Front-Wheel Drive Mower: This mower is ideal for areas that have level ground because it allows you to pivot in and out of corners easily.
  • Walk Behind Rear-wheel Drive Mower: An ideal option for lawns that require uphill or angled mowing.
  • Walk Behind All-Wheel Drive Mower: This mower is ideal for a wide range of surfaces, including rough ground.

As mentioned, choosing the right mower for your lawn can make all the difference when it comes to cutting it efficiently. Mowing a large area with a push mower or trying to mow sloped areas of your property with a mower that’s not built for the job makes it a lot tougher. And when mowing becomes a chore, you probably won’t do it as often, which can affect the health of your lawn.

In addition to choosing the right equipment, there are other things that will make your mowing job easier, and keep your lawn healthy.

Mow at the Right Time

Lawn mower on grass in the morning

This may seem obvious, but the best time of day to mow is when it’s cool outside, usually morning or early evening. Mowing when it’s cool helps keep moisture in the roots where it’s needed. It also reduces the risk of heat exhaustion.

Mowing in the evening is preferable to the morning because the grass gets additional hours of darkness to heal before the sun comes up. The grass also tends to be dewy or wet, especially if it was watered overnight. As a general rule, you shouldn’t mow when the grass is wet for your own safety and the health of your grass. Cutting grass when it’s wet may leave piles of grass on your lawn that could eventually kill that area of grass. In addition, if the grass is too wet, it may clog your mower and result in a less precise cut. Finally, if you do cut your grass in the early evening, make sure you leave yourself enough time to complete the job so you’re not mowing in the dark.

It’s easy to cut the grass on a set weekly schedule but keep in mind that hot, dry weather slows the growth of cool-season grass. In these conditions, you’ll be happy to hear you can mow less frequently without harming the grass.

Set the Blade Height Properly

Landscaper measuring blade height on lawn mower

One of the most essential tips for mowing lawns is setting the mower’s blade to the right height. Setting your mower to the appropriate height depends on your grass type and the season. For most mowers, adjusting the height is a matter of raising or lowering the wheels. Other mowers have a lever that you can push and release to adjust the height. When adjusting the height of your mower, make sure to place the lawn mower on a flat surface, and never adjust the blade height while the engine is running. For warm-season grasses raise the height of your mower in the fall to avoid cutting the grass too short. Adjust the blade height of your mower in the summer for cool-season grasses. For most grasses, cutting at a height of 3 to 3.5 inches will prevent browning, and dehydration, and keep your cool-season grass healthy during the hotter months.

Sharpen Your Mower Blade

Landscaper sharpening lawn mower blade

At first, you may think this lawn mower tip simply lengthens your to-do list, but it will actually save you time in the long run. A sharp mower blade makes cutting more efficient and prevents you from having to make multiple passes over the same section of grass. This quick investment of your time at the start of summer can make mowing the lawn easier all season long

Use Different Mowing Patterns

Lawn with vertical mowing pattern

It’s easy to fall into the habit of mowing along the same route, but since grass tends to lean in the direction you mow, you’ll encourage more upward growth and it will help you avoid falling into a rut, literally. So, switch up the way you mow each time with different mowing patterns and enjoy the change of pace.

Remove Any Debris

Rake collecting leaves on lawn

The last thing you or your lawn mower needs is a rock, stick, or baseball to dull its freshly sharpened blades. To prevent frustration and potential injury, clear these items from the grass before you start mowing. A quick survey of the area before you begin mowing is time well spent, as it can help you avoid a damaged mower and downtime.

Don’t Bag the Clippings

Rake in grass clippings on lawn

While leaving grass clippings behind may look a little messy, these clippings are beneficial to your lawn. This organic fertilizing technique returns nitrogen and other valuable nutrients to the soil. Make sure you direct grass clippings onto areas you’ve already mowed as a free way to promote a healthier lawn.

Water Properly

Automatic sprinkler system watering grass

How much and how often you water your lawn will help keep it looking great and healthy throughout the year. If the soil feels dry and the grass looks dehydrated, water your lawn immediately after mowing it. Watering dry grass after cutting it helps it bounce back quicker. However, if your lawn is hydrated and healthy-looking, continue watering it on the same schedule. If your area has received a lot of rain, allow the wet soil to dry to a depth of about one or two inches before watering again. It’s important to remember that a lawn can receive too much water. Overwatering your lawn makes it more susceptible to fungal or bacterial infections, which could eventually kill your entire lawn.

Don’t Scalp Your Lawn

Partially mowed lawn

While cutting your lawn regularly is important to maintain its good health, you don’t want to cut it too short or too often. Scalping or mowing your grass too short can weaken it, create brown spots, and potentially cause it to die. Cutting your lawn too low limits the nutrient supply your grass needs and makes it more vulnerable to weeds, pests, and infections. Remember our mowing tip about your lawn mower blade? Keeping the blade on your mower sharp will result in a cleaner, more precise cut. A dull blade is a significant contributor to scalping because it pulls the blade up as it cuts rather than cutting it clean.

Maintain Your Mower

Landscaper doing maintenance on lawn mower

Keeping your lawn mower in top working condition is one of the most important lawn mower tips. Performing regular maintenance will ensure it’s ready to do a great job whenever you need it. It’s good practice to perform mower maintenance before each growing season and to check your mower periodically throughout the season.

Here’s a maintenance checklist that will help you keep your lawn mower working its best year-round:

  • Replace the lawn mower oil (always check it prior to the first cut of the season).
  • Treat the fuel with a fluid stabilizer (gas can go stale in less than 30 days). Change the spark plug every 2 years.
  • Clean or replace the air filter once a year (more if your mower is exposed to a lot of dust and debris).
  • Sharpen the blades before each season and throughout the year, depending on usage.
  • Clean your mower blades after every use. Give your lawn mower a thorough cleaning about twice a year

Have A Perfect Lawn All Year Round

As you can see from these lawn mowing tips, there is a lot that goes into maintaining a great-looking, healthy lawn. If you have limited time or would rather spend it doing something else, there is another way to have a beautiful, healthy lawn all year round — The Grounds Guys! Our team of experienced pros has all the equipment and expertise needed to ensure your lawn stays healthy and looks its absolute best throughout the year. To get started, give us a call or find The Grounds Guys® location nearest you. We’re happy to answer your questions, provide a free quote, or explain our extensive range of lawn maintenance services.

As a proud member of the Neighborly community of home service brands, all our work is backed by the Neighborly Done Right Promise. This ensures the quality of work and guarantees your satisfaction. Contact us today to receive a free estimate.

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