As warmer temperatures begin to transform the landscape, it’s time once again to start mowing the lawn. Every year homeowners across the country set out to manicure lush green yards in the hopes they’ll be the envy of the neighborhood. However, there may be things holding you back from cultivating healthy grass. There are mistakes you can make when using your lawn mower that can cause damage to your yard. The following tips provide some guidance when mowing the lawn and ensure that your grass will stay healthy.
Replace Your Cutting Blades Regularly
One mistake that many people make when caring for a lawn is that they continue to use old, dull blades. Several problems arise when using worn-out mower blades. First, instead of cleanly slicing the grass, the blunt blades rip and tear the grass. As you can imagine, a neat slice across the grass is much healthier than torn grass. When the dull blades rip the tops of the grass instead of cutting, it places the lawn in a shocked and damaged state.
Another issue with blunt blades is they cause the mower’s engine to work harder. As you roll over thicker patches of grass, the mower’s engine stresses beyond its standard capacity. Failing to replace your dull blades can lessen the overall life of your lawnmower. The best practice is to replace your blades every season.
Don’t Cut Too Much at Once
It might be tempting to drop the mower to the lowest height setting and cut the lawn short in one session. However, this is very damaging to the health of the grass. It would be best if you considered only cutting about a ¼ of an inch of grass at a time. It may take you a few sessions of mowing to get the lawn to a shorter length, but your grass will be much heartier. When you cut too much of your yard too fast, things turn yellow. You can kill some of your lawn this way, and it can take several weeks to bounce back.
Skip Bagging the Clippings
While many riding lawn mower models come equipped with a bag to catch the clippings, consider removing it. The grass clippings help foster growth and put nutrients back into the lawn. If you can safely remove the bag and allow the clippings to disperse out into the yard as you mow, you’ll notice a difference.
Deciding not to bag the grass also provides a money-saving opportunity as riding mower bagging systems can run over $200. If you bag, you’ll also need to make special arrangements for the collected clippings as most trash companies won’t accept yard waste. So, it’s best for the lawn, your wallet, and your time to consider redistributing the clippings across your yard as you mow.
Longer Grass Is Healthier
Many homeowners like to keep their grass very short, mimicking a golf course, for example. However, this short look can require expensive landscaping materials and chemicals to maintain the right color and appearance. Instead of purchasing additional costly grass products, consider mowing your lawn at a higher setting. Taller grass is much healthier than when it’s in a short-cropped state.
You may have noticed when you haven’t moved in a few weeks, the grass is taller but a dark emerald shade. Longer grass is more resistant to heat, holds moisture better, and can prevent weeds from developing. Weeds can flourish when the grass is too short and unable to properly via for the available resources. However, with long, thick grass, weeds can’t get a strong foothold in your yard.
Bring on the Mowing Season
You can create a luscious and vibrant yard that provides your home enhanced curb appeal with a little guidance. At the start of every season, replace your mower blades for healthy grass and a longer-lasting mower. Try to cut ¼ of an inch of grass at a time, and don’t bag the clippings. Also, consider moving at a higher height setting, as longer grass is heartier and prevents weeds. With these simple tips, you should be well on your way to creating the best lawn on the block.