Many people dive into moving without bothering to read instructions or get adequate information. To them if one needs to mow, one should simply get a lawnmower and get right to it, after all, how hard can it be?
Well, mowing is more technical than many people think, and one needs a lot of information on how to mow effectively to get the best results.
Since you’re reading this article then there’s a big chance you wish to know how to use your lawnmower safely and efficiently. Congratulations! All the information you’ve been searching for is right here. Grab a chair, rest your back and let’s get to business.
Tips for Safe and Efficient Lawn Mower Use
1. Pick the Correct Mower: Efficient lawn mowing starts with one foundational step– buying the right equipment. Now, we have different kinds of lawn. Some are big, others are small.
Some have tough grass in them while others have grass that is easy to manage. Whatever the case may be for your garden, do make sure that when you set out to buy or borrow a lawnmower, you choose the correct one for your lawn.
For lawns that are no more than 500sq. Ft big reel lawnmowers are a good option. Their simple and noiseless nature make them ideal for small and medium-sized lawns.
Larger lawns, however, can benefit from a power mower. This is not only because power mowers are faster but because they have mulching and grass-catcher options which make cleaning up faster and easier. Riding mowers are also powerful, but if you don’t have a lawn that is at least one acre big then, you don’t need a riding mower.
Also, a battery-powered mower model is a good choice. They are considerably less noisy than their petrol-powered counterparts. Plus, they don’t run on fuel or oil.
This model has no cord. Therefore, it is fast dominating the electric mower market especially as manufacturers are now making reliable cordless mower products.
2. Ensure the Mower is Always in Good Condition: It is expedient that before any mowing begins you examine the blade area of the mower. Look for obstructions in this area especially if the mower has just been bought. Also, the machine’s moving parts could use a little oil if you notice that they feel tight.
The blades of a new mower are not usually as sharp as many people believe it to be. When you purchase your mower make sure to sharpen it blades before use.
Plus, if your mower has lasted for more than a year then there’s a big chance that the blades have become blunt and need sharpening. The danger of using blunt blades on your lawn is that it leaves the lawn looking rough. Sharp blades are much safer than blunt ones. You could learn how to sharpen your blade yourself or visit your local hardware store.
3. Set a Correct Wheel Height: The perfect height to which you can cut warm-season grasses like zoysia is from 1/2 inch to 2 inches, at the very most. Cold season grasses like fescue should be between 3 and 3 1/2 inches.
You can change the cutting height of your mower by raising or lowering its wheels. You can examine the side of your mower for switches with which you can adjust the wheels’ height.
There are now modern mowers which have a spring-loaded adjustment feature. This feature allows you to use one lever to change the height of the four wheels.
4. Tidy Up Your Lawn Before Mowing: Don’t just start mowing your lawn without clearing away all the obstacles in it. If your mower encounters any of the obstacles the machine may get destroyed.
Besides, because the trimmer will be working at high speed, the object could get propelled and hit someone. So, immediately before mowing, use a rake to gather all the loose stones, toys, cans, fallen branches or bottles on your lawn. Note the position of other objects like pipes that cannot be removed and avoid them when mowing.
5. Mow Early in The Morning: If you want your lawn to look great always, make it a habit to mow very early in the morning. You should also trim as regularly as you need to.
If your grass grows vigorously then you should expect to mow nothing less than one time in a week. When the weather is very warm or very wet there may be a need to mow more often. However, rather than set a mowing schedule, you can simply let the height of the grass guide you.
Note that healthy lawns usually require frequent mowing. This is because grasses can only remain lush when you remove a third or less of new growth at a given time
6. Use the Right Mowing Pattern: The ideal way to mow your lawn is through a back and forth pattern and not by moving in a spiral. When mowing, let you pace be brisk.
You do not want to be too slow because then the grass will catch and choke the blade. Maintain the back and forth pattern even if you’re using a riding mower. When mowing around a tree or flower bed, go around the obstacle in two laps. The two laps should be in different directions.
Also, you tend to get impressive results when you mow in half-lap passes. Make sure the new pass overlaps the former one by half of the mower’s width. This is not as hard as you’re imagining it to be. In fact, it doesn’t take too much time or energy since the mower will function smoothly. This technique also allows you to cut grass thoroughly and neatly.
It is best that you change up the mowing pattern every now and then. This will prevent the mower wheels from forming small ruts in your lawn. It will also help your grass stand straight since the mower won’t be beating it down in the same direction every time.
7. Tidy Up Your Lawn After Mowing: The only reason why you can leave clippings on your lawn after mowing is if you want to let the cut grass pieces serve as fertilizer to the soil for healthier growth.
Even so, you must use a mulching mower since they chop grass into tiny pieces for the soil to easily absorb. If this is not the case, then you must always gather the grass clipping together with a rake after every cutting session and dispose of them. Don’t forget to wipe your blades clean and apply oil on all the moving parts of the machine to avoid rust.
- Install a mower strip around your lawn to trim grasses much more smoothly.
- Tackle sloppy areas by moving across the slope when mowing instead of going up and down. This will help you prevent accidents. However, when using a riding mower, you can go up and down. This pattern is safer with this mower type.
- For the sake of safety, make sure there are no children playing around when you’re mowing. Also, don’t let kids ride with you if you’re using a riding mower.
- Mow your lawn only when the grass is dry. Wet grasses can be slippery. They can also clog your blade and stick to your mower in a messy manner. Besides, when you cut wet grasses, they become vulnerable to fungal attack.
- When the discharge chute or blade of your machine gets clogged and the motor begins to puff, kill the engine. Then, once the blade stops turning, raise the mower. and remove the dirt.
Successfully maintaining a healthy lawn is a thing of pride. No matter how tough it appears to be at first, you will eventually get used to it and find that it isn’t so hard after all.