How to Mow the Lawn the Right Way

How To Mow The Lawn

Mowing your lawn is the most important part of lawn maintenance you’ll undertake. A well mown lawn is healthy and looks good. Like most plants, when you remove the crown of the plant, it responds by branching out. In the case of grasses, this is how you create a thick, lush lawn. If you don’t mow your lawn, the grass will grow tall and slender, looking more like a prairie than a manicured yard.

  • First, do a check of your mower before turning it on. For a gas lawn mower, like the Husqvarna 7021P Push Lawn Mower, check the oil and add oil if needed, check the blade—you want it sharp, and check the gas to make sure you have enough for the job.
  • Choose your grass height. The table below gives you a range of heights for certain grass varieties. If your lawn is under stress because of heat, drought, or something else, aim for the longer end of the grass height range to stress the grass less.
  • Plan to cut frequently—every 5 to 7 days during the growing season. Why? Too short grass is susceptible to disease, weeds, and drought and heat damage. Long grass can be an ideal home for mosquitos, voles, and other critters.
  • Don’t cut more than 1/3 of the plant at a time. If your lawn has gotten really long, cut about 1/3 the height and come back in a few days to get it down to the length you want.
  • Unless your grass is really long, mulch the clippings and leave them on the lawn. Don’t believe the myth that mulch leads to thatch. Mulching is a great way to return nutrients to the soil. You’ll need around 25% less fertilizer by mulching with lawn clippings.
  • Mow a dry lawn. Wet grass won’t cut as precisely, plus the clippings can clog your mower. Additionally, leaving wet clumps of grass can smother the lawn.
  • Mow in a different pattern each time you mow. This will help you avoid compacting the soil and make sure that every blade gets mowed eventually.
  • Don’t get too close to trees, edging, or garden beds. Not only can you harm the obstacles (especially trees), you can knick or damage the lawn mower blade. A sharp blade is key to getting a good cut. Come back later with a string trimmer.
SeasonTypeHeight in Inches
warm seasoncommon bermudagrass, zoysiagrass1-2
warm seasonhybrid bermudagrass0.5-1.5
warm seasoncarpetgrass, centipedegrass1.5-2
warm seasonSt. Augustinegrass2.5-4
cool seasontall fescueWinter: 2 to 3
Summer: 3 to 3.5
cool seasonfine fescueWinter: 1.5 to 2.5
Summer: 2.5 to 3
cool seasonryegrassWinter: 1 to 2.5

Table created with information from Clemson Cooperative Extension.


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