One of the important aspects of how to best mow your lawn starts before you have even started the lawnmower. Preparation!
Before you use your lawnmowers check for any obstructions in the blades or discharge chute. Add a little oil to any moving parts that feel tight. Check that the mower blades are sharp. Ensure you have enough fuel. Adjust the wheel height to adjust the cutting height.*
Remove any branches, rocks, children’s toys, and debris from the lawn. You need to get rid of anything that could get caught in the blades and/or get projected out of the discharge chute. Objects coming out of lawnmower chute can reach up 320 km/p/hr which can cause some serious damage.
Then mark out and obstacles that will need to be avoided during mowing – half buried tree roots and rocks, surfaces pipes and drains.
Children should never be allowed to use or ride on a lawnmower – it’s just not safe. The best place for a child to be while you are mowing the lawn is inside the house!
Secure and pets that may get frightened or conversely try and attack the lawnmower. Dogs in particular can think they can take on this noisy intruder and can subsequently get hurt.
Much debate rages over the best way to actually mow the lawn and while it mostly comes down to personal preference, there are a few tips to ensuring you do a great job:
- Proceed in a back and forth pattern – not in a spiral pattern
- Move at a brisk pace so the grass doesn’t catch and clog the blades
- Try the half-pass method – with every pass overlap the area you have already covered by half the width – it actually takes less time and effort and the lawn mowing movements are smoother, you have less grass to cut on each pass and you’ll get grass you missed on the first pass – no need to go back to grab those bits you missed.
Rake up or at least evenly distribute any large clumps of clippings left on the lawn. Remove any clippings from the mower blades with water and oil to avoid rusting. (See your manufacturer instructions for more detail)
Mow your lawn often but high. You should aim to mow your lawn about once a week or once a fortnight depending on growth rate but you should never take off more than 1/3 of the leaf blade and never ever scalp your lawn.
*Warm season grasses – Kikuyu, Couch, Soft Leaf Buffalo, Queensland Blue, Broad Leaf Carpet and Zoysia – set the wheel height at 1.25 cms – 2.5 cms (1/2 – 1 inch) or 5cms (2 inches) at most.
Cool season grasses – Bluegrass and Fescue – set the wheel height at 7.5cms – 8.75 cms (3-3.5 inches).