Most people don’t perform any maintenance on their mowers until they break down. However, mowers require regular maintenance. You’ll extend your mower’s useful life, but you’ll also improve your lawn’s overall health. Mower blades slightly dull every single time they cut anything. While an individual blade of grass won’t ruin your blade, think about how many times it cuts something. Most mowers cut grass at about 3,600 rpm, and you probably cut millions of blades of grass every year.
Those tiny cuts add up, so you should sharpen the blade once every .Dull blades cut slower, so you’ll speed up mowing times by sharpening your blade. Dull blades also create jagged cuts, which can damage your lawn over time. Sharp blades will keep your lawn healthy and help it grow thick in a fraction of the time.
To start off in the spring, you should mow your grass short and bag the clippings for the first mowing of the season. After the first mowing, raise the cutting height to 3” and leave it there for the remainder of the season. On most mowers, this means setting the wheels down as far as they can go. You can check your cutting height by measuring from the ground to the bottom of the mower deck. When we say 3” cutting height, we are saying that is how tall your grass should be standing after it is cut. You want to have this high mowing height set prior to hot summer temperatures. High cutting heights are needed for the grass plants to store water and nutrients which turn into carbohydrates. During warm-dry periods, the more carbohydrates reserved, the better. Don’t wait for the hot weather and then raise your mower, by then it is too late.
Do’s and Don’ts
These do’s and don’ts provide general guidelines for mowing your lawn
- Always cut your lawn at a 3” height, except for the first and last mowing of the season.
- Mow your lawn in the evening hours, especially during the heat of the summer.
- Try to cut each time in a different direction. By doing this, you will prevent grooving tracks from the mower and this will help the grass to stand up.
- Always keep the mower blade sharp!
- NEVER CUT MIDDAY. It is not good for you or your lawn. Mowing midday can cause undue stress to the lawn and enhance possible disease problems or force the lawn to turn brown.
- Avoid mowing when your lawn is dry or stressed out. If the lawn is dry, wait until a day after a good rain or watering. If you cut the grass when it is dry or stressed, you can actually burn the lawn and you will leave brown lines from the wheels of the mower.
If you mow your lawn on a regular basis, you do not have to bag the clippings. Letting the clippings fall, will feed nutrients back into the lawn. If the grass is extremely long and you notice you are leaving clumps of grass as you are mowing, then it is best to bag the clippings. The clumps of grass left on the lawn will smother the grass and cause bare areas to occur. If there is a drought and you can not water your lawn, do not mow it! It may start to look a little shabby, but if you mow when it is dry & stressed out, there is the possibility of causing disease activity or browning.