Lawn mowing is one of the most important tasks performed in lawn maintenance. That which we call a lawn is composed of the tall, thin leaves of the turfgrass plant. Maintaining this part of a home’s landscaping is essential. However, it’s not simply the act of mowing that makes a lawn look good. There are many useful tips, which if employed, can improve the look and underlying health of a lawn.
The usual type of machine used in lawn mowing is the rotary mower. This machine uses an engine to rotate blades in a horizontal circle. Many rotary mowers are designed to collect the clippings of the grass as it is cut, but these clippings are actually a valuable source of nitrogen, phosphorous, and other essential nutrients. One of the recent advancements in rotary mowers is the mulching mower design, which leaves the grass clippings on the ground to break down and refertilize the lawn.
Lawn mowing is actually quite stressful for the grass, and because of this, most types of grass have recommended mowing heights. In any case, a good rule of thumb is to never cut away more than one-third of the lawn’s height in any one mowing. Almost all rotary mowers can be adjusted to cut higher or lower to adapt to different types of grass and mowing schedules.
As is the case when operating any type of machinery, following basic safety tips can reduce the risk of injury that is inherent in lawn mowing. The first step is to familiarize oneself with the mower’s safety features, such as the engine cut-off lever, and leave all of them connected. Secondly, it doesn’t hurt to check the lawn beforehand for any rocks or debris that could be dangerous if kicked up by a high-speed blade. Sturdy shoes and long pants will also provide protection. Also, gasoline-powered mowers should only be refueled when the engine has been allowed to cool for at least 10 minutes.
One of the most important guidelines in lawn mowing, apart from safety considerations, is timing. Grass should not be mowed during or closely following periods of rain. The reason for this is that grass blades often bend over under the weight of rainwater, making it so that many do not get cut. Also, wet grass can stick to the blades and undercarriage of the mower, making it cut less efficiently. In a worst-case scenario, the wheels of the mower can even uproot small areas of grass, leaving dead spots or ruts.
If mowing must be done in the rain, mow in passes that are less than half of the width of the mower. This helps keep the blades spinning quickly and minimizes clumping of cut grass. Following these tips and guidelines will provide the best chance for a lawn that remains attractive and healthy for many years.