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How to Mow the Lawn Properly

How and when you mow your yard can affect the lawn's appearance and health.

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vary mowing pattern to prevent soil compaction

Highlights:

Step 1: Choose the Right Setting, Time and Pattern

Grass does better if it’s cut at a higher mower setting. This also helps cut down on weeds. The optimum goal is to cut one-third of the length of grass, allowing clippings to decompose and return nutrients back into the soil. If the lawn is out of control, mow it at a higher level and then lower the blade and mow again a couple of days later. Higher mowing heights for grass provides for a deeper root system, a better looking lawn and less invasion by weeds.

Avoid mowing in the heat of the day, which can damage the grass, or when the grass is wet, which can damage your mower and leave unsightly clumps. Mowing in varying patterns helps prevent soil compaction and keeps grass healthier. If you want the striped look of a golf course, just put a roller on the mower. You can get a roller at many hardware or supply stores.

vary mowing pattern to keep grass healthy

Step 2: Prevent Scalping and Keep Blades Sharp

Cut down on sharp turns by turning the mower on the driveway instead of in the lawn. Scalping the lawn causes damage to the crowns of the plants. If you’ve added fertilizer or another lawn application, avoid mowing for 24 hours.

Since sharper blades make cleaner cuts, sharpen your blades every four to six weeks and keep an extra set on hand. Always mow across a hill with a walk-behind mower and mow up and down with a riding mower. Make the last cut before winter short as the lawn goes into the dormant season.

turn mower on driveway to cut down on sharp turns

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