Mowing Tips For A Healthier And Happier Lawn – Part One

I consider myself somewhat of a lawn mower expert. After all, I have spent over 20 years looking over lawn mower reviews and acquainting myself with the inner working of this type of machine. I have also spent a considerable amount of time using the machines on my own lawn. That is why I think that I am uniquely qualified to give you some advice on how to properly cut your lawn.

When you are cutting your lawn, you have to realize that what you are really doing is pruning it. Proper mower should increase the density of the lawn by decreasing the amount of weeds. Every time that you run your mower over your beautiful grass, you should not only be cutting the length of it but you should also be improving its texture and quality.

However, if you don’t properly cut your lawn, then you are going to end up doing more harm to it than good. That is why you should seriously consider the following tips. They will help you get the most out of your lawn and are the best lawnmower tips you’ll find anywhere.

Tip #1: Cut According to Grass Type

The first thing you need to do is figure out what type of grass you have and find out the recommended cutting height. Once you have determined the proper cutting height of your lawn, you can then move on to tip #2.

Tip #2: The One-Third Rule

No matter what type of lawn you have however, you should never cut more than 1/3 of it at one time. If you do, then you risk doing serious injury to it. You can cause injury to the crown, destroy the surface area of the blade leaves which can reduce the efficiency of photosynthesis, make the grass more vulnerable to certain pests and diseases, and increase sunlight to weed seeds which in turn can cause more weeds to germinate.

Tip #3: Cut Grass While It’s Dry

Another thing to remember is to always cut the grass while it is dry. If you attempt to cut it while it’s wet, then you can cause damage to the grass blades.

Tip #4: Don’t Cut Grass While It’s Hot Outside

If the weather is extremely hot, then it’s probably not a good idea to cut it. If you do, then you risk not only overheating yourself but also overheating your grass as well. The ideal time to cut your grass is in the evening when the sun is beginning to set.

Tip #5: Keep Mower Blades Sharp

You should always keep your mower blades as sharp as possible. Sharp mower blades not only cut more efficiently, but they also are better for the health of your lawn. That’s because dull mower blades don’t really cut, they pinch off the tips of the grass. This can have disrupt photosynthesis in the grass and prevent the nutrients from being properly absorbed by the grass.

If you follow these five tips, then you will not only have a better looking lawn but you’ll also have one that is healthier and happy.

Summer Lawn Care

Lawn mower reviews can tell you a lot about your mower, but they don’t tell you how to properly use it. That is why I am writing this article on summer lawn care today. This guide is intended to tell you how to keep your lawn looking good throughout the hot and dry summer months. A time of the year that is the hardest on your grass than any other time of the year.

Below are some tips that will not only keep your grass alive and healthy but will make your lawn a field of dreams. Follow these tips and your neighbors are sure to be green with envy at your beautiful and well groomed yard.

Plan Your Mowing

You should always make sure that you plan out your mowing before hand so that you don’t have to constantly switch from your mower to your other yard tools. For example, you might want to do all of the mowing first and then switch to your trimmer to finish up the border of the yard.

Make A Wide Border

Start with mowing a collar around your yard. The first thing you should do is cut the outside edges of your yard so that you can keep things all nice and neat.

Don’t Cut The Grass Too Short

Cutting the grass too short can strain the root system of your grass and result in ugly brown patches and ruts. Cutting the grass too short can also help weed seeds get more sunlight and sprout. Therefore, you should always cut the grass to the recommended height as determined by your grass type.

Take Your Time

You should never rush mowing your yard. This is true whether the grass is wet or dry. Trying to hurry up and cut the grass can result in an uneven cut and can also result in clumps of poorly mulched trimmings.

Keep Focused

Most people look down at their mower as they are mowing, which is a mistake. To keep an even cut, you should look about 10 feet in front of your mower instead of staring straight down. It will help you keep your mowing lines straight.

Try Mulching

I know a lot of people bag their trimmings, but I think a better solution is to mulch the trimmings. Mulching feeds nutrients back into the grass and results in a much better looking lawn.

Alternate Your Mowing

Changing your mowing pattern each week will help your grass grow stronger and straighter. One week, mow horizontally across your yard and the next week, mow vertically across your yard,.

These are the best lawn mower tips I can give you for maintaining a beautiful lawn all summer long. Follow these seven steps and your lawn will be lush, green and strong, even through the hottest summer months.

Mowing Tips For A Healthier And Happier Lawn – Part Two

In the first part of my series on mowing tips for a happier and healthier lawn, I went over some basics that you should follow to keep your lawn in good shape. Now I am going to build on that by not only giving you a few more tips on lawn cutting but also some tips that will help you maintain your mower at the same time. The following tips answer many of the questions people post on the comment sections of various lawn mower reviews.

Tip #6:  Taking Care Of Your Mower

I noticed that one thing that I failed to mention in part one, is how to set up for mowing in the first place. Proper setup will not only result in a better mowing experience for you and your lawn, but it will also prevent damage to your lawn mower.

  1. Always be sure to follow manufacturer’s directions and thoroughly read the instruction manual.
  2. Make sure that all debris is cleaned up before you start mowing.
  3. Always keep children and pets from the mowing area.
  4. Wear appropriate clothing and always protect your eyes with safety glasses.
  5. If you are using a riding lawn mower, then do not carry passengers.
  6. Never refill the gas tank on the mower while it is still hot.
  7. Do not alter the mower in any way. This includes removing chutes or safety flaps.
  8. Always practice pre-season and post-season mower maintenance.

Tip #7: Change Mowing Pattern

You should regularly change your mowing pattern. There are a couple of reasons for this. One, it will prevent the grass from adapting to your cut and growing in a slanted manner. Two, it will give your grass a more compact growth pattern and keep ruts from developing.

Tip #8: Learn to Adapt To Your Grass

If you want to avoid cutting your grass more than necessary, then adjust cutting height according to your grass’s growing cycle. When the weather is dry and hot your grass grows slower so raise the cutting height. On the other hand, when the weather is cool and wet your grass grows faster, so be sure to lower your cutting height to accommodate this increase in growth.

Tip #9: Instead of Bagging Consider Composting

If you are bagging your clippings, then you might want to either switch to a composting mower or composing your bagged clippings. This will allow you to feed your grass with your clippings. This will result in a nicer and healthier lawn.

These are the best lawn mower practices you can follow. If you follow these tips faithfully, you will not only have a healthier lawn, but you will also have a better looking lawn.

Maintenance Tips For Your Mower

One of the biggest complaints that people have about their lawn mowers is the complaint that they don’t feel their mowers last as long as they should. That may be due to the fact that many people don’t properly read lawn mower reviews before they run out and purchase one, but it may also be due to the fact that many people don’t practice proper mower maintenance. A little bit of maintenance really goes a long way to keep a mower running to the best of its efficiency.

In order to help my readers keep their mowers running their best, I have decided to write this article on proper mower maintenance. If you follow this guide, you will not only get more out of your mower but it will come a whole lot closer to its maximum life expectancy.

Read The Manual

I know that I have mentioned this in several articles I have written, but that’s because it is one of the most important steps in keeping your mower running its best. Your manual not only gives you proper operating procedures for your brand of mower, but most importantly tells you what you need to do to keep it in good working order.

Change Your Air Filter

Your air filter is one of the most important things on your mower to change regularly. A clean air filter keeps debris from entering your carburetor and damaging your engine. Your air filter needs to be changed after every 24 hours of operation or at least once every mowing season.

Check Oil

Most people know that they need to change the oil in their car every 3 months, but they don’t realize that the oil in their lawn mower also needs to be changed on a regular basis. After every 50 hours of use, be sure to check your oil and replace it if necessary.

Check Spark Plug

The spark plugs need to be checked and replaced on a regular basis. Usually this depends on the model of mower that you own (so you should check your manual), but many experts agree that it should be changed at least once per season.

Check The Blade

It is vital that you check the blades on your mower on a regular basis. The blade should be checked at the beginning of each mowing season. If after inspection you notice that the blade is broken or dented, then you should replace it immediately. You should also make sure that the blade is well balanced and sharp.

Follow these tips and you will be amazed at not only how well your mower runs but also how long it lasts.

Lawn Mowing Tips For The Mower Beginner – Part One

I have written a few advanced articles for those of you who consider yourselves mowing enthusiasts, but today I am going to switch things up a bit and write an article for those of you who are new to mowing. Today, I am going to give you the best lawn mower tips I have for beginners, so if you already have experience with mowing, then this guide may seem a little basic to you. It is only for those who are truly uninitiated in the art of lawn mowing. With that being said, let’s get right down to business and get this guide started.

Difficulty Level: Very easy

Time Required: Depends on the size of the lawn but generally requires only about 2-4 hours of time. This includes the amount of time required to get everything together and set up.

Step One

The first thing you are going to want to do is to find yourself a mower. If you are just cutting your grass one time (which probably isn’t the case), then you can probably burrow a mower from a friend or a family member. However, if you plan to mow your grass on a regular basis, then you are probably going to want to buy the best equipment possible. The first place to start are lawn mower reviews. These will give you all of the specs you need to know about a particular mower before you buy it.

Since there are so many reviews it is probably best to narrow down what kind of mower you need before you start. If you have under 500 square feet of lawn, then the best mower to buy is most likely a reel mower. While it requires more physical work, it is simple to use and doesn’t make as much noise as a gas mower. If you have over 500 square feet but under an acre, then you will want to get either a gasoline or an electric mower. Those of you with an acre or more will most likely want to get a riding mower.

Step Two

The next thing you want to do is to make sure your mower is in good condition. You want to make sure that it is assembled correctly and all the parts are in good working condition. If it’s gas powered, then make sure it has gasoline and oil in it.

Also check the blades. For safety reasons, most mowers don’t come with sharp blades, so make sure that you either sharpen them yourself or take them to someone who can do it for you. On average, a lawn mower will have to have its blades sharpened at least 2-3 times a season.

Step Three

Make sure that your yard is clear of all obstacles. Use a rack to pick up loose rocks, branches or other things that might harm the mower blades or get flung by the mower. It’s not always possible to get everything picked up, but you should try to get as much as possible.

Now that you have selected your mower, made sure it works correctly and have cleared the yard of all obstacles, it is now time to begin mowing. Please consult part two of this guide for guidelines on yard mowing.

Caring For Your Lawn During The Fall And Winter Months

If you haven’t read my article on taking care of your lawn during the spring and summer months, then I urge you to do that before reading this article. Today, we are going to be talking about the taking care of your grass during the fall and winter months. These are not only the best lawn mower tips for the care of your lawn during these months, but are the best tips for the overall general care of your lawn.

Fall

The fall season is an important time of the year for lawn care. Proper care during this season will not only help the grass recover from a busy spring and summer season, but will also ensure that it is strong enough to survive the low temperatures of winter.

Fertilizer: Most people neglect to feed their lawn during the fall season, but it is one of the most important feedings of the year for your lawn. It is done much in the same way as the spring feeding but there is one main difference. Instead of using a fertilizer high in nitrogen, you should use one that is high in potassium. That is because the lawn is preparing to become dormant and therefore doesn’t need any extra nitrogen. What it does need though is potassium; a nutrient that will help it build stronger roots for the upcoming winter.

Top Dressing: You should apply a good top dressing to your lawn. Following this step will promote the microbial activity in your soil, which in turn will result in healthier grass. You can either use a commercial top dressing from your local garden center, or you can make your own by mixing sand, compost and loam. For proper top dressing procedures and considerations, please see my article on top dressing your lawn.

Mowing: Hopefully, you have already checked out lawn mower reviews and bought a mower that has a height adjustment. That’s because you are going to want to cut your grass one last time and you want to use the highest setting possible on your mower. This last cut should be done as late as possible in the fall.

Raking: Make sure that you rack up all of your leaves and cut them up for compost. These composted leaves can then be used as the basis for next year’s fall top dressing.

Aerating: Make sure that you do a deep aeration of your lawn. You can do this by spiking down approximately 4 inches into your soil. This will allow air to get to the roots.

Winter

There isn’t a whole lot of things to do with your lawn at this time of the year, but there are a couple of things you need to consider, especially if you want to prepare the lawn for turf laying in the spring.

Pick Up Excess Leaves: Any leaves that have fallen since your fall raking need to be immediately picked up because you don’t want them blocking out what little sunlight there is and killing the grass. You can either remove them with a rake or use your mower if it has a bagging option.

Preparing For Turf: If the weather isn’t too cold, then you can dig up the areas of your lawn where you intend to lay turf in the spring.

That concludes my article on taking care of your lawn during the fall and winter seasons. Following these tips will help keep your lawn in better condition and make your next season of mowing that much easier.

Lawn Mower Buying Tips (Important Considerations) – Part One

If you are planning to buy a new mower, then you need to make sure that you do your due-diligence. You not only want the best machine you can buy for the price, but you also want to make sure that you buy a machine that serves your needs. Buying the wrong mower can make your lawn chores a whole lot more difficult than they need to be.

Before you buy your next mower there are a few things you need to consider. That’s the whole point of this article today. I am going to show you some of the things that you need to think about when purchasing a new mower. Follow these tips and you can then pour through lawn mower reviews with confidence. You will know what you are looking for and what features are important.

Walking Or Riding Mower

The first decision you need to make is whether you need a walking lawn mower or a riding one. Usually, you can determine which of these you need by looking at your yard’s size. If you are cutting more than a ½ acre, then you definitely want a riding mower. Smaller than a half-acre (a half acre is approximate 200×100 feet) and you can usually make due with buying a walking mower. Of course, the decision is up to you, however. You might want a riding mower for a smaller lot or a walking one for a large lot. It all depends on what is comfortable for you.

Mulcher Or Bagger

Another thing to consider is how you want your mower to handle leaves. Do you want it to put it in a bag so you can dispose of it elsewhere, or do you want it to mulch your leaves? All important things to consider.

If you get a mulching lawn mower, you will also want to consider if you want one that discharges the debris from the back or from the side. There are mowers that shoot the mulch a considerable distance and those that kind of leave the debris where ever it is cut. What you need depends on your lawn care routine and on what is easier for you.

Consider Size

If you have a relatively flat yard to cut, then it might not really matter what size mower you have. However, if you have a lot of slopes, then you might want to consider getting a smaller, more maneuverable mower. After all, you don’t want to have to push a behemoth up a steep slope.

All of these things are things you need to consider to buy the best lawn mower possible. However, this is only the tip of the iceberg. You also need to figure out what type of lawn mower you need. For advice on picking the model type, then check out our next article: “Lawn Mower Buying Tips Pt. 2-Choosing Your Mower Type.” It details everything you need to know about some of the more popular mower styles.

Lawn Mower Troubleshooting (Starting And Stopping) – Part One

One of the first things you’ll notice if you read the comments on some lawn mower reviews, is the fact that some people seem to experience technical problems with their mower that they don’t know how to fix. This leads them to abandon their mower and buy a new one. However, what is usually wrong with their machine is usually something minor and can be easily fixed. Check a few key components and make a few simple repairs and the mower will usually be as good as new.

Today, I am going to give you an overview of some of the most common problems with a lawnmower and how they can be quickly identified and fixed. This will not only keep you from having to buy a brand new machine every year but will also keep you from having to visit a repair man whenever you have the slightest problem with your machine. Here are the best lawn mower troubleshooting tips that will help you get your mower back out on the lawn.

The Mower Won’t Start

One of the biggest complaints that people have with their mower is that it won’t start. Very rarely is this a situation where the machine has completely died. Most of the time, it is something very simple that can be fixed rather easily.

Check Gasoline: Not only might the tank be empty, but you might also have bad gas. Check your tank and fill it, if necessary, or empty out last year’s gas and add new gas.

Check Spark Plug: Make sure it isn’t disconnected, dirty or loose. Check it, make sure it’s clean and reconnect. Also check the spark plug wire to make sure it isn’t damaged in some way.

Check Filter: Make sure that it isn’t clogged with debris.

Check Carburetor: Try tapping on the side of it with a wrench. Sometimes that is enough to get things moving. If that doesn’t work, then you might need to replace the fuel filter.

Power Loss During Mowing

If your mower suddenly cuts off while you are mowing then don’t worry. This is a common problem and happens to everybody eventually. All you need to do is check out the following components:

Check Cutting Height: If you are attempting to cut grass that is tall and you have your cutting height too low, then this can cause the mower to “choke.” Check the cutting height and raise if necessary.

Air Filter: If your mower isn’t getting enough air, then it won’t run very long at all. And usually the culprit is the air filter. Check it and make sure that it is not dirty or clogged.

Clean Out Clipping: Having a buildup of grass around the blades can result in them not being able to turn and the engine stalling out. This often happens when you are trying to cut wet grass. Simple remove the clippings and 9 times out of 10 the mower will stop stalling.

These are the most common problems with a lawn mower that won’t start or starts but stalls out. Most of the fixes will ensure that your machine is up and running in no time.

Lawn Mowing Tips For The Mower Beginner – Part Two

In the first part of my mowing guide for beginners, I outlined some of the things you need to do to get setup to mow. Now that I have covered those basics, it is time to move on to actually mowing your yard. Below you will find the best lawn mower practices for the mower beginner. Follow them and you’ll be on your way to a professional looking lawn in no time flat.

Step Four

Before we actually start mowing however, there is one more thing that needs to be done to the mower. The wheel height needs to be adjusted properly. This can be usually be done with a lever on the side of the back and/or front wheels. Put the lever down to lower it and pull it up to raise it. The exact mechanics of it depends on the type of mower you have, but that is usually how it works.

At this point, you are probably going to ask me “what’s the best mowing height for my mower?” Well, that depends on your grass. Different types of grass needs to be cut at different heights. Check the following table for some of the more common grasses and their recommended cutting height:

Warm Season Grasses:
St. Augustine: 1 to 3 inches
Buffalo: 2 to 4 inches
Zoysia: 0.5 to 3 inches
Bermuda: 0.5 to 2.5 inches

Cold Season Grasses:
Kentucky Bluegrass: 0.75 to 3.5 inches
Fine Fescue: 2 to 4 inches
Perennial Ryegrass: 0.75 to 2.5 inches

Step Five

Now we can start mowing. To begin with, you should start with a simple back-and-forth pattern. You completely one row of grass, turn around and then do the next row. And you continue to do this until the entire lawn is completed. Once you have gained experience, you can move on to more advanced lawn cutting patterns.

While you are cutting your rows, make sure that you overlap them slightly. This may seem like it requires more work, but in actuality it is quite the opposite. Overlapping your rows will result in less resistance and will prevent you from having to go back and mow over areas you might have missed.

Another thing you need to do is cut your grass early in the morning, after the morning dew has dried off of the grass. Also be sure now to cut your grass too law. This is called “scalping” and is really bad for the health of your grass.

Step Six

After you have finished mowing, you can now tidy up. Use a rake to clean up lawn clippings or empty your mower bag. Remove all of the debris that has accumulated under your mower (be sure to disconnect the spark plug first for safety) and perform any daily maintenance that the lawn mower manual or the lawn mower reviews have prescribed for your particular machine. Now you can pat yourself on the bag for completing your first mowing job. Congratulations!

Getting Your Lawn Mower Ready For Winter Storage

One thing that I have really learned from reading people’s comments in the comment sections of many lawn mower reviews is that there continues to be some people who don’t practice proper winter storage for their mowers. They don’t seem to realize that properly storing a mower for the winter season can mean the difference between a running mower in the spring and a mower that is heading to the repair shop. Proper winter maintenance is one of the most important things you can do to keep your mower running properly. So without further ado, let’s take a few moments to learn what “proper winter maintenance really means.

Remove the battery

One of the first things you’ll want to do before your store your mower for the winter is to remove the battery if your mower has one. That’s not only because a connected battery loses its charge faster than an unconnected one, but also so that it doesn’t corrode the battery cables.

After you remove the battery make sure you store it in a cool dry place that is away from gasoline, your water heater or your furnace. Remove the negative cable from the battery first and then remove the positive cable. After you’ve done that you should then wipe the battery off with a clean cloth. Also be sure that you clean the battery terminals off with a wire brush and apply a good coating of petroleum jelly to the terminals to keep them from corroding. Now the battery can be safely put away.

Use A Fuel Stabilizer

You don’t want to leave untreated fuel in your lawn mower. If you do, it can create a varnish like substance that can clog your carburetor. That is why it is important to either use a fuel stabilizer or completely remove old fuel from your mower before you put it away for winter.

If you opt to use a fuel stabilizer, then be sure that you use it correctly. You should follow all directions on the label and all of your mower manufacturer’s guidelines.

Clean Debris Off Of Mower

Make sure you remove all mud, grass and leaves from your mower’s undercarriage. Before removing all of this debris, then be sure to disconnect your spark plug to avoid any potential accidents.

Find A Home For Your Mower

Now you can find a place to store your lawn mower. Be sure to place it in a location that is dry and will protect it from the weather. Someplace like your basement, shed or garage.

And that concludes the best lawn mower practices for proper winter maintenance. Follow these simple steps and you can count on your mower working for you for many seasons to come. Proper winter maintenance will go a long way in keeping your mower running properly.