With the threat of snow and ice out of the forecast here in Northern Kentucky, we can’t help but think about the warmer days of spring ahead. As the spring season quickly approaches, it’s time to prepare ourselves for another eight months of yard work. Today, we want to focus on the most basic type of lawn maintenance: mowing your grass. Below, we’ve summarized several tips from expert Roy Berendsohn of Popular Mechanics. Happy mowing!
- Plan Your Attack: Whether you prefer to trim the edges first and then mow or mow first and then trim, which cuts down on trimming time, Berendsohn says to stick to one approach to avoid constantly swapping tools.
- Cut a Wide Collar: Cut the collar – the border that you mow first around the lawn’s perimeter – “wide enough to turn the mower around without driving into the flower bed.”
- No Buzz Cut, Please: Cutting the grass too short can “leave ugly brown patches in areas of uneven ground and strain root systems.” Berendsohn says that cool-season grasses should be cut to 2 ½ to 3 ½ inches; war,-season grass to 1 to 3 inches.
- Watch Your Speed: Berendsohn says “haste can make a waste of your lawn.” Rushed jobs, particularly in tall or wet grass, can lead to “uneven shearing and leaves behind clumps of poorly mulched clippings.”
- Don’t Look Down: Focus 10 feet ahead while mowing to keep straighter lines, says Berendsohn.
- Bag the Bagging: Mulching as you mow puts grass particles back into the turf, which provides nitrogen to the soil leading to healthier turf.
- Alternate the Pattern: Switching your mowing pattern weekly encourages grass to grow straighter and healthier.
- Trim Ambidextrously: If you’re right-handed, use your left hand to make a cleaner job on the second pass. It’s safer, faster, and less tiring, according to Berendsohn.
- Edge and Trim at Once: Hold the string-trimmer head vertically to cut a clean edge, and turn it horizontal to trim around bushes or landscaping, advises Berendsohn.
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