Yard-maintenance companies will tell you that only their experts know how to mow a lawn beautifully every time. But by following these expert mowing techniques below, you will look like a lawn professional.

Alternate your mowing route. Lawns that are mowed the same direction every time develop unsightly stripes that may grow back irregularly. To avoid creating a pattern that lasts all season, alternate mowing one direction across the lawn the first time and then perpendicular to this direction the next time.

Mow early. For the best cut, mow in mid to late morning, when it’s cool but the morning dew has dried off.

Take your time. Don’t speed through mowing, because you may miss spots. While you’re mowing in a wide-open area, stay in control by keeping your mower on a medium speed setting. Throttle down to lower speeds when you’re turning corners and trimming borders for a closer cut.
Adhere to the one-third rule. For a healthy lawn, never remove more than one-third of the grass blade at one time.

Don’t cut your grass too short. Grass about 3 inches (8cm) tall usually looks better, encourages a deeper root system, and helps prevent weeds from invading.

Keep your blade sharp. Sharp lawn mower blades produce a well-manicured lawn, and clean cuts promote better grass health. Use a mill bastard file or a grinding wheel to sharpen the blade, maintaining the blade-surface angle that came from the manufacturer.

Water infrequently but deeply. In most parts of North America, lawns need about an inch of water per week during the growing season.

Be Efficient

Mowing in rows is usually the fastest, most efficient way to cut your lawn. But the direction of your rows plays a role in how quickly you mow. If your lawn is wider than it is long, you should mow in horizontal rows. By working in rows that correspond to the longest part of your lawn, you’ll reduce the number of turns that you will have to make with your mower so that you can work more quickly. On the other hand, if the length of your lawn is greater than its width, you should mow in rows parallel to the width to finish as quickly as possible. Just as with working in horizontal lines for a wide lawn, you’ll make fewer turns with mower if you use go lengthwise on a narrow lawn. If your lawn is square, you can work in rows that go in either direction. To ensure that you cut all of the grass, you should overlap your rows slightly in case you miss a spot on your first pass.

When To Mow?

Most lawns should be mowed in the range between 2 to 4 inches,depending on the type of grass.

Cool-Season Grasses

  • Tall fescue 2 ½ to 3 ½ in.
  • Turf-type tall fescue 2 to 3 in.
  • Fine fescue 2 ½ – 4 ½
  • Perennial Ryegrass 2 to 3 in.
  • Kentucky bluegrass 2 – 3 ½ in.
  • Creeping Bentgrass ¼ – ¾ in.

Warm-Season Grasses

  • Bahiagrass 2 ½ – 4 in.
  • Bermudagrass ½ – 1 in.
  • Buffalograss 1 ½ – 3 in.
  • Carpetgrass 1 – 2 in.
  • Centipedegrass 1-2 in.
  • St. Augustinegrass 2 – 3 ½ in.
  • Zoysiagrass 1 – 2 in.

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photo credit: Stripes on the lawn – Emmanuel via photopin (license)