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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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!