young woman mowing the lawn

You may not be too concerned about how you’re mowing your lawn — all that really matters is that it looks lush and lively. After all, is there a wrong way to mow? According to most lawn care professionals, there absolutely is a right and wrong way to go about mowing your lawn. Proper lawn care can help promote the lush lawn condition that you’re looking for. Conversely, going about lawn care in the wrong way can actually do more harm than good, putting unnecessary strain on your grass. Follow these seven helpful tips from Personal Lawn Care to help keep your lawn looking great all season long!

Don’t Scalp Your Lawn (aka Mowing Too Short)

When you cut your grass too short, it’s known as “scalping” your lawn. There are two big reasons why this can be harmful to your grass. Firstly, when you trim your grass too short, it’s possible that you’ll actually go so far as to expose soil. This can leave your turf vulnerable to disease and create a nice open space for weeds to take root. Secondly, continuously trimming your grass too short can have a negative effect on the development of your lawn’s root system. As the root system weakens, your lawn’s thickness will diminish, as will its resistance to drought conditions or extreme temperatures. 

Adjust Your Mower to the Proper Height

Scalping your lawn should be off the table — however, the proper length to trim your grass can actually vary depending on the time of year. 

In late spring and into summer, it’s recommended to adjust your mower height to about three inches. Allowing your grass to be a bit taller during this season helps to protect your soil from the blaring summer sun, which in turn allows your turf’s soil to more easily retain water and prevent weed growth. Once fall rolls around, you can lower your mower height to about two and a half inches in order to prevent molding or damage to your turf when the first snowfall arrives. A slightly shorter lawn also makes cleaning up leaves in the fall much easier to deal with.

Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp

It should come as no surprise that sharper mower blades deliver a cleaner cut. When your mower blades begin to dull it can result in jagged edges in your grass cuts, and can even produce uneven patterns. These inconsistencies in your grass structure can create openings for pests and lawn disease — and let’s be honest, it doesn’t look great. For a nice, clean cut, your mower blades should be sharpened a few times a year. At the very least, you should seek to have your mower blades professionally sharpened about once a season. If you have a large lawn, we recommend actually keeping a few spare blades on hand that you can swap them out, rather than visiting the mower shop too frequently. 

Alternate Mowing Directions Week-to-Week

When you mow your grass, stick with a single directional pattern each time. Feel free to change the direction the next time you mow, as going over the same path over and over again can begin to cause wear on your lawn. It’s possible that you may even begin to compact the soil under where the mower wheels travel and create ruts in your lawn. Your grass leans in the direction that it is cut, so alternating the direction of your cuts from week to week will help your grass grow straighter. 

Only Mow Dry Grass

Heavy machinery with moving sharp blades does not mix well with wet grass, especially with the risk of slipping. In addition to being a safety hazard, wet grass can spell disaster for your mower and your turf. Wet grass easily sticks together in clumps and can clog your mower’s deck, leaving behind wads of wet grass as you cut. It’s also reasonable to assume that if your grass is wet, so is the soil. Soggy soil can more easily compact under the weight of a heavy mower, creating ruts and tearing up your grass. It’s just no good — wait until your lawn is dry to mow. 

Be Aware of Extreme Heat

On the hottest days of the summer, the sun can do serious damage to both your grass and your skin. Whenever you cut your grass, even on temperate days, you are causing some degree of stress. This stress can be exacerbated by extreme heat which saps the moisture from your lawn right when it needs it the most to recover. Avoid mowing your lawn on blisteringly hot days — your grass and your skin will thank you.

Consider Grass Recycling 

Grass recycling, or “grasscyling,” is precisely what it sounds like. Occasionally, instead of bagging up your grass clippings, you can allow the nutrients from the clippings to naturally fertilize your lawn. You shouldn’t do this every time you mow, but you can think of it as a little treat for your lawn and yourself (it can be nice to avoid the hassle of bagging clippings now and then.) Allowing your lawn to fertilize itself in this way every once in a while can give your lawn the boost it needs to become more lush and beautiful. 

Get a Lawn That You’re Proud of With Personal Lawn Care

As a local, family-owned small business in Tennessee, it is our joy and pleasure to help maintain your home’s landscape with ease. We promise to take care of your lawn as if it were our very own! Our customer experience-centered approach means that we’ll treat every lawn like it’s the most important lawn that we’re treating that day, and we won’t be satisfied until you’re satisfied! We’re committed to paying attention to even the smallest details of your lawn, and by doing so, treating each of our clients with the respect they deserve. For lawn care that is done right the first time and at a quality you won’t find anywhere else in the region, contact Personal Lawn Care today!