Mowing can seemingly be a task that is easy but can be complicated if homeowners do not know the right ways of doing it.
Improper mowing can cause your lawns to suffer and the main reason for this suffering is due to the negligence of mowers and the equipment they use.
Luckily, there are simple and easy solutions which can help you turn into a professional mower in less than no time.
With the right use of tools to getting to know your lawn grass with simple as well as professional steps.
This article can help you solve all your mowing mysteries and allow you to keep your lawn healthy and beautiful.
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Why You Should Mow Your Own Lawn
While it can be a little exhausting to mow your lawn all by yourself for some, others may enjoy this as a fun activity that they actually look forward to doing.
Mowing your lawn is not simply just cutting the grass and walking back into the house. It requires you to set up the mower, clean it, and keep it back in its place once you are done.
Whether you have been living in the same house for years, or have just moved in. There will definitely come a point when you will need to either mow your lawn or hire professionals to do it for you.
Although it can be tempting to have someone work for you, there are quite a few reasons why you should consider doing it on your own.
Cut Down Extra Expense
Did you know, you can save approximately $1,500 if you mow your lawn by yourself?
A lawn mowing service costs you an average of $80 which would come up to over $1,500 annually depending on the size of your lawn and your state of residence.
You can easily save this amount by making a one-time investment in lawn mowing equipment.
A good-quality lawn mower costs about $1,750, while a leaf blower and weed eater would cost somewhere around $150 each.
Although that is a lot of money think about how this investment can save your money in the long run.
Familiarize with Your Lawn
When you spend time mowing your lawn, you get to know it personally. The bald patches as well as the relatively wetter spots, you find them easily.
Apart from that, you also come across areas that have bumps, holes, or any divots. Especially if you have children around, knowing the risky spots can help you keep them away.
You might come up with interesting ideas to decorate your lawn with either DIYs or tutorials you find on the internet once you gain enough interest in mowing your lawn.
Additionally, you will grow to appreciate the yardwork and homemaking as it will make you realize how much effort and care goes into it to make it survive and bloom.
You Have the Control
Although hiring a professional seems like you can rely on them and not worry about the end result.
As they are experienced and have the equipment required to maintain your lawn.
However, there are no guarantees for that, as even professional mowers can be reckless and may damage your lawn with their high-powered machinery.
By mowing your lawn, you get to make the choice of how you want to manicure it.
As you take your sweet time in determining what spots need more fertilization, you also get the chance to work on it with an intensity and pace that not only suits you but is healthy for your lawn.
You can decide the way you want your grass to be cut, whether it’s horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, you choose.
How to Mow A Lawn Professionally
Choosing the right mower and additional accessories that you need for mowing are surely a major part of carrying out your regular mowing.
You can learn the basics of how to mow your lawn through tutorials over the internet and learn as you go.
However, while the basics can help you just enough to cut the grass, there are some professional tips that can actually allow you to learn about lawn and how you can mow it differently.
It is important for you to water and fertilize your lawn, but it is equally important to touch it up with a professional finish before it starts running wild.
Here are some advanced tips that you can make use of:
Find the Proper Mower
While there are several brands in the market, offering different types of mowers. It can be a daunting experience for you to choose one if you do not know much about mowers or your garden type.
Not every mower will work perfectly with the lawn you have, which makes it important for you to choose wisely.
From the choice of mowers available for you, go for the one that is best in its category. For example, if you have a small yard then you can consider buying a reel-power or manual mower.
However, if your yard is big and needs extra effort then a cordless or a self-propelling mower is just what you need.
Use Sharp Blades
To get the professional finish that you are working for, make sure the blades of your mower are sharp enough.
Not only are sharp blades essential, but they also allow you to get the perfect clean cut.
Along with that, having blades that slice through easily will reduce shock and stress while also reducing the chances of bacteria and mold spores.
Using blades that are not sharp enough is like using a pair of scissors that are dull.
Instead of doing the cutting job perfectly, they will shed, tear, and damage the grass by pulling it from the roots altogether.
As resilient as grass may be, it is still a living organism that can sustain pressure only to a certain extent.
Leave Some Length
Mowing grass can be giving you a soothing effect and may tempt you to cut more than required to achieve the think, compact finish you actually want.
However, it is important for you to know that the food produced by synthesis light is with the help of the grass blades.
The more you cut, the fewer nutrients will be produced by the lawn for itself.
You have to make sure you leave a sufficient length and do not go cutting off the food source of the grass.
Otherwise, you will have to fertilize the lawn yourself which can be a more exhausting task when you have to do it regularly.
Any negligence on your part will leave your lawn patchy and may even kill the grass altogether.
Fix A Mowing Time
Once you get to learn about your lawn, you realize how your grass reacts to different weathers and seasons.
This can help you decide a time that suits your grass the best and that is exactly when you cut it.
While some people believe morning time to be the best for cutting grass, others think there is no specific time.
What really matters in choosing the time is the season, how fertilized your lawn already is, and how much you water it.
It is recommended to not cut the grass when it’s wet as it can be dangerous for it and may damage it completely.
Although you can use wet grass friendly mowers like an Auto mower, provided that you are willing to invest enough and are committed to mowing.
Another one of our professional tips includes mowing lines on your lawn.
If you look at these lines from a distance, they give a completely professional finish to any lawn and create an aesthetically pleasing vibe that shows you have put in effort in making your lawn look the way it is looking.
It may look complicated, but honestly, it is a simple process and one of the easiest DIYs you can do.
All you really need to do is pick your choice of tree or plant that is situated at the end of your lawn and walk in a straight line towards it with the mower.
Do not look anywhere else and keep your focus on the distant plant. This is how you will get your line and you can continue the process until you reach the other end of your lawn.
What Equipment Do I Need?
In order for you to get started with mowing, it is important for you to have the proper equipment to do so.
You can find uncountable things in the market but knowing the right kind of equipment and the function of each object can help.
You know how you can put each of them to use and how they can enhance and make your mowing experience easy and convenient.
Let us look at some of the main parts of mowing equipment that you need to perfectly mow your lawn:
First off, the most basic thing to mow your lawn is the lawn mower itself. Depending on the size of your yard and the health of your grass, you can choose a mower accordingly.
For those who like to incorporate a bit of exercising can choose manual mowers, while for those who like easy work with no hassle can choose automated or petrol-powered mowers that just need to be directed.
Also knows as String trimmers, these are used to cut grasses from spots that are tight or not easily accessible with mowers.
For example; spots along the fence, under the decks, or near plants and shrubs that are delicate and cannot be put at the risk of being damaged by mowers.
They can also be used in order to get a proper finish along the edges of driveways and sidewalks where mowers will not work.
While some people are okay with leaving leaves on their lawns, others may not like the untidy look it gives.
With the help of a leak rake, which is considered as a broom for the outside, you can collect the fallen leaves or the grass that you cut along the way and keep them aside.
This prevents your lawn to be smothered and makes your yards look cleaner and better.
A soil rake is also called a garden rake and is used for removing soil. You can use this tool for breaking up and moving clods of dirt while making your soil smooth.
You can find soil or garden rakes in two different types, plastic, and metal.
While metal rakes are great for wet soil specifically as they have tension bars which have a low chance of bending or breaking, plastic rakes can work as an all-rounder and are lighter in weight.
This is a part of the equipment that works alongside the lawn mower.
It is used as a convenient tool that helps in spreading granular material over the yard, particularly fertilizers.
Spreaders are equipped with a hopper and at least one adjustable orifice along with a rotating regulator which helps in disposing of the granular material as the mower moves forward.
Originally called a ‘Hori-hori’ or a ‘weeding knife’, is a heavy serrated multi-purpose blade made of steel.
This knife is used for gardening jobs that include digging and cutting and is sharp from both sides with a semi-sharp point at the end.
You can easily divide plants and sow in planting bulbs, flowers and herbs with this knife while digging out weeds, removing any rocks found in your plants, and working through the roots.
Brush cutters are similar to trimmers however, trimmers use thin nylon strings that cut through vegetation like long grass or weeds.
On the other hand, brush cutters use a metal blade that cuts through much denser vegetation like tree trunks that are as thick as 4 inches.
This a powered agricultural tool and is great with foliage that is inaccessible with a lawn mower. You can attach different cutting blades to a brush cutter depending on your requirement and purpose.
Lastly, but most importantly! The safety equipment you choose when mowing is what keeps you safe from any potential damage that may be caused during mowing.
You have to ensure you wear proper guards and an appropriate outfit that keeps you safe, which includes wearing sturdy boots, gloves, masks, glasses, ear protection, long pants, or PPEs that are compatible for mowing.
Do not wear any additional accessories as there may be a chance for you to lose them while mowing.
Types of Lawn Mowers
Since the lawn is the largest part of your house, it needs twice the maintenance efforts as the house itself.
For a lush green lawn, which is every gardener’s dream, it is important for you to have the perfect lawn mower that suits your grass and the size of your garden.
Technically, the lawn mower itself is one of the most important tools you need as a gardener.
While there are numerous types of lawn mowers out there, it can be difficult choosing the one that works the best with the type of grass you have along with your garden size.
We have listed down a few of the commonly used types of lawn mowers. You can differentiate between the different types and learn how each of them works.
Here all the most popular entry-level models currently available for each of the brands I mentioned above:
As suggested by the name itself, self-propelled lawn mowers work with the help of a control lever that is either a part of the handle or a separate shifting bar.
This lever propels the mower forwards and you do not need to push it. With this type of mower, you simply walk behind it and guide it around the yard according to the area you want to mow.
Push Lawn Mower
These lawn mowers generally require muscle power as you need to push them around.
For garden sizes that are relatively smaller, push lawn mowers can work great as they do not use electricity and neither do produce extra noise.
For those who have larger gardens with slopy patches, push lawn mowers can be difficult to work with.
Petrol Lawn Mower
Petrol lawn mowers are considered a robust aid for your lawns as they are super powerful, especially for the edges of your gardens.
These mowers are faster at cutting as compared to others and are easy to maneuver around. Petrol lawn mowers can be a little expensive, depending on the requirement of power for your garden.
Also, they need servicing and will need to be checked regularly for an oil change.
Cordless Lawn Mower
For those looking for mowers which come without the hassle of connecting cables and wires, cordless lawn mowers are perfect for them. These mowers are battery operated which allows for them to make less noise.
Also, cordless lawn mowers require no gas which prevents the production of fumes in turn making these mowers low maintenance. They are perfect for people who want an environment friendly mower.
Cylinder Lawn Mower
Also known as the ‘Reel Mower’, this one comes with exposed blades ranging anywhere between 5 to 12.
These blades are situated at the front of the mower and rotate as they move while slicing the grass with the bottom plate which works like a pair of scissors.
As understood, the more blades a cylinder lawn mower has the faster it will work and better it will cut. Also, it comes with a grass box that collects the grass that is being cut which makes it easier for you to clean up once you are done.
Use this guide to learn how does lawn mowers Work.
Learn more about the best riding lawn mower specifically for large yards here.
How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn
Depending on your geographic location, the grass in your lawn will not necessarily grow completely each time you prepare for mowing.
For example, the Kansas City area is a place where you will find most of the cool-season grasses including ryegrass, fescue, or bluegrass.
These grasses only grow properly in seasons like Spring or Fall and may not need mowing regularly during other seasons.
Normally people mow their glass weekly, of course, it all depends on how fast your grass grows.
While some may be fast, others may grow too slow which is a way to determine how often you should be mowing.
It recommended to not cut your grass more than one-third of the grass blade you are using.
As we mentioned earlier, the blades are what work as a source of food for the grass. When you cut more than that, you will be taking the food source away.
One of the best ways to determine when you should mow your lawn or how often you should do it is the length of the lawn and not the gap between the last time you mowed until the next time you think about doing it.
Two things you need to keep in mind when you plan on setting a schedule for mowing your lawn:
When You Should Start Mowing?
You can start as early as when Spring season comes to mow your lawn and give it a fresh cut right at the beginning of the year or when the snow has almost melted away.
Once your lawn starts turning green and begins growing, wait until it is a decent length and start with clipping off dead tips.
The sooner your start mowing your lawn, the earlier you can crowd out the weeds before they start to grow.
However, you must always make sure that you are not cutting the grass when it’s wet.
Your grass needs to be fully dried and free of water in order to prevent any damage to it and having to redo the entire vegetation process.
How Long Should the Grass Be?
The length of your grass is not calculated in terms of how long it has taken to grow but in fact the actual size of it. The longer you let your grass grow, the longer the root system will be.
Grass that has grown properly and is strong enough from the roots will make it healthier and more stress-resistant.
Additionally, once your lawn becomes resistant to stress and drought you will not need to water it as much as you had to earlier.
Some tests have depicted that lawn grass grown up to 2.5-3 inches long and reduces the growth of weeds as the sunlight will not be reaching the weeds.
Most importantly, the longer the blades are of the grass, the more surface it will have available for photosynthesis which will help the grass produce its own life-giving energy and food.
How to Cut Grass Properly?
Neatly cut grass not only looks great but also feels amazing to walk and play on.
Achieving the perfect shape for your grass is not difficult when you know the type of grass you have and how critical the right length is for that type.
Let us walk you through a few basic steps of how you can cut your grass properly.
Determine Ideal Length
You must know the grass type you have, and which length is the most suitable for it to keep it healthy and self-fertilized.
Not every grass type has the same ideal length, while one may need 5mm of cutting, others may need approximately 30mm.
A few common grass types and their ideal lengths:
- Fescue – 30 to 50mm
- Green Couch – 5 to 30mm
- Carpet Grass – 30 to 50mm
- Kikuyu – 30 to 50mm
- Zoysia – 5 to none
Choosing different directions of mowing can reduce the monotony as well as contribute towards making your lawn healthy as it encourages the blades to grow in a straight line.
Moreover, the change of direction gives more space for blades to grow and eventually makes the lawn fuller as well as thicker.
Adjust Mower Height
This is a basic step that needs to be made sure of according to the weather and seasons.
For example, shifting the cutting deck higher in summer will allow for the grass to grow longer which will help give the soil enough shade and prevent weed growth.
Along with that it will slow down the water evaporation due to sunlight and will help the grass to withstand drought.
Following a different pattern, each time you mow keeps the soil from being compact as well avoid creating ruts.
Soil and ruts can both lead the grass to become less healthy if they are not worked properly and with the growth of weeds that can further work against the growth.
This can also help you in making your lawn more beautiful as you can cut your grass in fun and creative patterns.
Some Relevant Information Related to Mowing:
Lawn Mowing Techniques
While you may have invested in the best equipment for mowing and learned all the right ways to mow.
However, you also need to learn the techniques to apply the guidelines you have learned.
Without knowing how to make the best use of a rule, you might not be able to do it the correct way.
Choosing the right speed is of high importance as you do not want to damage the grass or its roots.
With the lower speed, you have control over your mower. Especially when you are mowing around the edges or landscaping, you have to be extra cautious not to mow more than needed.
For perimeter edges which include the edges along driveways and sidewalks, you can mow in a clockwise direction which throws the access clippings away from the edges and bring them to the center of the lawn.
With the use of perimeter cut, you can outline the edges and make room for your mower to turn especially when performing straight cuts.
Just like perimeter cut, obstacles like trees, bushes, or landscaping can be worked in the same manner.
You can mow around the obstacles and the same clockwise directions in order to keep the clippings from spreading everywhere and getting collected in the center.
For those who have slopy gardens, it can be relatively technical if you do not know the right technique to work around slopes.
It’s recommended mowing the slopy areas in a side to side direction instead of doing up and down.
With going sideways, you are at low risk of tumbling, whereas with up and down directions it will be more time consuming as well as dangerous.
With this technique, you cut the top and the bottom of the grass while the rest of the lawn is cut with overlapping stripes that are perpendicular to the top and the bottom.
As you mow, you cut several inches into the last section in turn this helps you avoid areas that are not mowed between the strips of mowed sections.
Riding Mower vs Zero Turn Mower
Out of the numerous types of mowers out in the market, the two distinct types that are used widely by professional mowers and homeowners are Riding Mowers and Zero Turn Mowers.
These two types have various differences them however, the main differences include speed, function, maneuverability, and cost.
When it comes to comparing the speed of these two types of mowers, zero-turn mowers are much faster with a speed of 8 to 16 MPH. Whereas, a riding mower is relatively slower and operates at a speed of 3 to 7 MPH.
Although it is recommended to choose a mower that gives you enough control, you can choose the speed levels according to your yard size and how fast you like getting the job done.
Riding mowers are easy to attachments to haul, dethatch, spray, and other accessories. On the other hand, zero power turn mowers can be attached with bag clippings, transportation materials, clear snow, and other accessories.
While riding mowers are equipped with a wider turn radius, the zero-power turn mower can turn up to 180 degrees only.
With riding mowers, you have the option to back up or drive grass that is already cut and continue moving on.
On the other than, zero-turn mowers allow you to continue cutting without leaving strips of grass that are uncut and repeats the process over and over.
The most important part of any product you buy, even it is a mower, is the cost. You want to invest in something that is useful for you in the long run and does not just get the job done.
When we talk about the difference of cost between riding and zero-turn mowers, the riding mower has the upper hand as its maintenance cost including filter and oil changes, replacement of blades of grease points is much cheaper than zero-turn mowers.
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Health Benefits of Mowing the Lawn
Some people take lawn mowing as a task that can be strenuous and exhausting.
While that may be true to some extent, the interesting part here is that lawn mowing attaches itself to various health benefits that are not talked about as commonly as they should be.
According to psychologists, benefits offered by lawn mowing are not just for the grass of your lawn but for yourself more.
As simple an act as lawn mowing seems, it actually brings forth numerous benefits for your entire body and be considered as a job that makes you exercise and gets the job done as well.
Let us look at the various other benefits you can get from mowing your lawn:
Calmer State of Mind
Following a repetitive pattern of working has been claimed to be one of the reasons that calm your mind.
When you are mowing your lawns, you tend to slip into a state of mind that absorbs calmness from your surroundings filled with greenery.
The motion of repetitive work helps in promoting a sense of well-being and allows for you to reclaim your attention and gain control over yourself and your mind.
Also, the smell of freshly cut grass acts as a stress believer and improves your mental health according to some neuroscientists.
Solid Cardio Workout
One of the most obvious benefits you gain from mowing your lawn is the physical exercise it makes you practice.
Cardio specifically if you are using any lawn mower other than the self-propelling ones. Mowing can be a complete routine of exercise where you have to use your muscles to push the mower and walk with it.
You can make the most of this benefit by investing in an old-fashion manual reel mower.
These are not only cheaper but are easier to maintain as compared to the powered ones and make less noise while offering a vigorous workout.
After the workout benefit, it is definite that you would also be able to burn some calories along the way.
You can easily calculate the amount of weight you lose by simply multiplying your current body weight by 2.2 and multiplying the answer by 0.08 in case you are using a power mower.
Further, you can multiply that answer by the number of minutes you spend mowing and you will get the total calories you have burnt.
Manual mowers are more useful in terms of burning calories as you have to use more strength as compared to running ones.
What Else? Do I Need Additional Tools and Accessories?
Apart from the regular mowing equipment, there are some other additional tools and accessories that can help you in mowing better and with more ease.
These guards are placed at the front of your lawn mower and protect the mower from getting damaged due to debris and branches.
Brush guards are especially useful if your mower has its radiator behind the grill as a stray branch could get through the guard and puncture the radiator.
You can use carts for transporting equipment likes hay bales, water jugs, soil, or other tools required for mowing.
They are small in size and do not take much space you can squeeze them in the corner of your garage and keep them out of sight when they are not in use.
For those who have to mow through the dark, having lights for your mowers can help extensively as they can guide you through the way.
Also, they can give you a clear picture of where you are working along with how much effort is required.
Lawn Mowing Etiquette: How to Be A Good Neighbor?
Now that you know your ins and outs and perfect techniques to get started with mowing, let us discuss a few of the etiquettes that are even more important than having the right equipment.
Every task you carry out needs to be reflective of your behavior, as you do not want to disturb your neighbors or be thought of as inconsiderate. A few basic mowing etiquettes are:
Choose Appropriate Times
One of the most basic etiquettes of mowing is to choose a reasonable time for mowing. Do not mow at odd times, specifically early morning, or late at night.
Your neighbors should not have to be bothered with your mowing and that requires you to be considerate not just for your lawn but for the people around you as well.
Do Not Let Your Grass Overgrow
If you live in a neighborhood, you should keep in mind that your lawn should look neat and well-taken care of.
As otherwise it creates a bad impression on the whole neighborhood and may even become a problem for you to mow your lawn with tall grass.
Clean as You Go
Once you start mowing, you must clean your mess as you move on. Do not leave your leftover clippings, even if it is on your part of the property.
Eventually, these clipping will float around the neighborhood and be a cause of problems for others. Bag your extra clippings and leave some for recycling if you want.
Choosing the right lawn mower for your mowing jobs is not the only important thing you need to keep in mind.
Many a time, you may have the right equipment but inaccurate guidance which can ruin your lawns.
Always make sure you know the exact details of your lawn, the type of grass it has, and the tools that you need to make your lawn perfect looking.