Cutting your grass isn’t rocket science—or is it? Well, no. But you may be damaging your lawn in ways you hadn’t considered. Consider the following:
Many people have a preference for a close-shaved lawn. It does look great, and when the grass is that short, it means it won’t require mowing again for a longer period of time. But when grass is cut too low, the roots aren’t able to burrow as deep into the soil and tap into the available water. Allow your grass to get a bit longer and gain a firmer hold. Not only does this keep it greener, it also reduces weed growth when the grass is thicker; it allows less room for weeds to find nutrient sources. A slightly longer lawn is a healthier, more vibrant one.
When mowing new grass, cut it with the blade at a high setting, then, over successive cuts, reduce the blade height. Too drastic a cut can damage fragile, new turf.
Keep your mower well-maintained for the sake of both the machine and your lawn. Clean the underside of your mower after every use. A good hose-down at the end of every day is recommended.
Do not try to force the mower to cut faster than it can effectively do the job. Not only will this give your lawn a ragged appearance, but the heavier clippings clog the blades. Develop a consistent rhythm of pushing the mower forward and then pull it backward in short strokes. This allows the motor to pick up the revs.
Of course, it goes without saying that under no circumstances should you ever put your hand in the collection chute to clear blockage while the engine is still running. The mower should not only be turned off, but a few moments should be allotted for the blade to stop spinning. It’s also a good idea to remove the spark plug cover. Fingers—unlike blades of grass-do not grow back.
These steps may require that a larger block of time be set aside to have your lawn looking its best, but it’s well worth the added effort.