Sometimes homeowners decide they want to manage their lawn care instead of having professionals do the job. That is fine, and it definitely can save some money, get one a workout and suntan and even some pride! However, there are some downsides as well. Here is a quick list of the mowing mistakes that everyone seems to make when doing their own lawn maintenance.
Buying the Wrong Type of Mower
You could be making a whole lot of extra work for yourself all because you’re using the wrong mower. A push mower really slows things down on a large plot of land (over 1/2 acre). On the other hand, in a small yard (1/4 acre or less), a lawn tractor will only get in the way and will be difficult to navigate. When buying the right mower consider the size of your lawn, the terrain, how many trees you need to maneuver around.
Running the Mower at Half Speed
Some mistakenly believe that running a riding lawn mower at full speed is bad for the engine and shortens the life of your machine. This is certainly not the case with John Deere lawn tractors. There’s an optimum blade tip speed on every machine and hitting a higher RPM on your engine means you’ll get an even better cut.
Mowing Too Quickly
While it’s okay to run your mower at full speed, it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to rush through the process of mowing the lawn. Take your time to ensure you get a clean, even cut. The last thing you want is for the lawn to look messier than before you cut it.
Using Dull Blades
One of the simplest solutions to a clean-cut lawn is a fresh set of blades. Lawnmower blades wear with use. You can tell it’s time to sharpen the blades by looking at the blades themselves. Ragged, jagged, and torn grass is a sign the blades need to be sharpened. Keep a second set of mower blades in the garage and take the dull blades to a specialist to sharpen them so you’ll never have to wait to mow.
Mowing Your Lawn When It’s Wet
After a rainstorm, there are often plenty of tasks to do around the yard. Mowing shouldn’t be one of them. Not only can wet grass be slick (dangerous for mowing), but the moist clippings are more likely to stick to and clog the mower. One of the best ways to eliminate mowing a wet lawn is to watch the rain forecast and mow ahead of schedule. If you normally mow on Saturdays but it looks like it might rain, give the grass a cut on Thursday or Friday, instead.
Not Mowing Long Enough
Do you want to keep your lawn looking lush all summer? Then cut it and cut it often. For the strongest, healthiest grass, you’ll want to cut no more than 1/3 off the top each time you mow. So adjust the blade height when necessary and never allow the grass to grow too long.
Mowing Your Lawn Too Short
Don’t think you can take a shortcut by giving your lawn a major trim so you don’t have to mow as frequently? Think again. Mowing any more than 1/3 of the grass blades damages the lawn. It is known as “scalping the lawn”. A super short cut makes the yard more prone to weeds and forces the grass to focus on regrowing its blades than deepening its roots. If you’re hoping for a lush lawn then avoid giving it any crew cuts.
Sticking to a Mowing Schedule
It’s important to pay attention to the grass before deciding if it needs a cut or not. In the spring and summer, the lawn grows quicker and needs trimmings more often. That being said, wait for a day or two after rainfall and allow longer breaks if your location is going through a drought.
Following a Mowing Pattern
Mix up the direction every time you mow the lawn. When you follow the same path, the grass begins to grow in the direction it’s being cut in. Varying the pattern ensures the grass will grow upright, as well as avoiding ruts in the lawn.
Cleaning Up the Clippings
Save yourself from extra work. Leave the grass clippings on the lawn. The scraps will quickly decompose, providing beneficial nutrients to the soil.
Not Cleaning Out the Mower
You’re supposed to clean the underside of a mower after every use. Many folks let this important maintenance slide. However, when you do that you’re actively shortening the life of your mower. Not only do clippings block proper airflow necessary for mulching or bagging clippings, but the moisture and fertilizer traces can corrode the deck of the mower, causing premature rust and wear.
Ignoring Basic Maintenace
If you treat your mower well, it returns the favor. Consult your manual to determine how often you need to change the oil and filters. This simple maintenance will do wonders for improving mower performance, extending the life of the mower, and making for a smoother running machine. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss a crucial tune-up.
Ignoring Basic Safety
No matter what kind of mower you own, you’re working with powerful machinery. Take the proper safety precautions when you mow by ensuring the discharge shoot is properly attached to the mower to prevent debris from flying up and hitting you. Even more importantly, mowing is not an activity for the family: Keep children and pets inside when you mow. After you’re finished and the mower’s put away, then you can safely relax in the yard together, enjoying the sweet smell of your newly clipped grass.
If you make sure NOT to make these mistakes, then you will have a much easier time and a much nicer lawn. If this is something that is difficult for you to accomplish, then you are best to call us or fill out the CONTACT US submission form and we would be happy to give you a quote for your lawn and let us at Broward Landscape take care of everything, and we will make sure not to make any of these listed mistakes.