When you think of the perfect American home, what do you see?
A white picket fence?
A garage with a nicely paved driveway?
A spacious front yard for barbeque parties?
All in a suburban neighborhood…
These are the features of the ideal American home. However, you can’t have a lovely suburban home without a beautiful lawn. There is nothing more beautiful than a nice suburban home with a carefully manicured lawn. No matter how nice your picket fence is, once you have an ugly lawn, you have an ugly house.
A carefully maintained front lawn is something to be proud of. It will make you the envy of all your neighbors. However, the luscious emerald nice patch of land does not just appear. It takes work, dedication and commitment.
The most critical aspect of lawn care is lawn mowing. The way you mow your lawn will play a significant role in how beautiful your lawn will turn out. There is the right way to mow your lawn. There is a wrong way mow your lawn.
In this post, we will be giving you a detailed but straightforward guide that explores the art of lawn mowing. This post will guide you through the best ways to care for your lawn to create great and desirable results.
Your Lawn Mower
The Lawn Mower is an essential tool in lawn care. The first step in lawn care is to choose a lawn mower. There are several types of lawn mowers. The kind you use and the condition it is in will have a lot of bearing on how your lawn will turn out. Here is a list of some of the lawn mowing options that you have as a beginner:
Reel mowers are the best type of mowers for folks that care about the environment. This is because reel mowers do not have any particular power source. They are powered by the muscle of the operator, making them quiet and eco-friendly. That is where it ends as far as advantages go. The reel mower is not perfect for cutting tall grass or twigs. Instead of snapping up the twigs, they get stuck in the blades of the mower. The twigs and sticks on the lawn have to be raked away before you use a reel mower. Another disadvantage of the reel mower is the fact that the blades have to be sharpened more times than often for the mower to be effective.
The electric mower is another eco-friendly mowing option that comes in two forms – cordless mowers and corded mowers. Both mowers are powered by electricity, as the name implies. However, cordless mowers are powered using rechargeable batteries. They may not be as quiet as reel mowers, but they sure do the job on small to medium-sized yards with moderately sized grass.
These mowers are the most potent mowers you will find in the market. However, all of this power comes with a price. If you have a gas-powered mower, you will have to bear with the noise and air pollution. On the flip side, gas-powered mowers are great for cutting tall grass and covering large areas of land. Gas-powered mowers come in two categories – riding mowers and walk-behind rotary mowers. The walk-behind mowers also come in two categories (the push-type and self-propelled).
Your Lawn Mower Blades
The sharpness of your lawnmower blades will play a significant role in how your lawn is cared for. Blunt blades will not only make mowing tedious. It will also ruin the blades of grass on your lawn by ripping out the blades of grass. To attain a perfect lawn, you need to have your grass cut precisely, and only sharp blades will do that.
Some lawn mowers blades have to be replaced when they get blunt. Other lawnmower blades have to be sharpened, once every one to two months. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to sharpen the blades of your lawnmower:
- Safety First! Remove the spark plug wire
- Remove the nut holding the lawnmower blade against the deck. The blade will be easy to remove after this
- Secure the blades on a vice
- Using a file, sharpen the blade by following the angle of the cutting edge there.
Your blades should be replaced when they become bent or nicked.
Before You Mow Your Lawn
A lawnmower is a machine and you have to treat it as such. Over the years, millions of people have injured themselves while using the lawnmower. The basic rules of safety have to be taken seriously. Ensure that you read the instruction manual before you even start to do anything. Understanding how your lawnmower works will help you figure out its safety features.
Before you mow your lawn, always make sure to do a preliminary check on the lawnmower. Also, rid the area you want to cut of stones or trash items. Wear overalls or a long pair of old pants to protect your legs from debris. Earplugs or earmuffs may also come in handy at this point.
Mowing Your Lawn
The rule of thumb with lawn care is to cut a moderate amount of length from your grass regularly. Homeowners often make the mistake of allowing their lawns to grow to a very considerable size before cutting them. The problem with cutting this way is that it compromises the health of your lawn. An unhealthy lawn will not improve your curb appeal. As a matter of fact, it can take from it. The level of green will begin to reduce, and soon enough, you will be left with yellow patches of grass.
To prevent this, you have to make sure that you properly set the height of the blades before you start to work on your lawn. Never cut more than one-third of the length of your blades at a time. The minimum height that your lawn should reach is 3-inches. Grass blades this long will ensure that your lawn has an in-depth root system, which will prevent the growth of weeds.
Another important rule to follow is to always mow in straight lines. Remember to take your time to make sure that the grasses aren’t torn or ripped. Also, mow in alternate directions to reduce the rate of soil compaction. You can use varying mowing directions and patterns to achieve the best results.
The best time to mow your lawn is in the morning. At this time of the day, the temperatures are cool and the morning dew helps you achieve a precise cut. Don’t rush while you mow. Take your time so that you will be in full control of your machine and be able to cover every area perfectly.
Simple Lawn Care
Lawn care does not end at lawn mowing. There are a couple of other things that need to be done to keep your lawn healthy, green and luscious. For instance, during summer months, extra effort needs to be applied in the care of your lawn. In this climate, it will be a lot easier for brown and yellow patches to appear on your lawn. To prevent this, water your lawn every morning. This way, the hot summer sun won’t be able to harm your plants. However, when you water your lawn, be careful not to drown the plants.
Fertilizing your lawn is another essential aspect of lawn care, particularly during the growing sessions. For cool-season grasses, fertilizing should be done during the autumn season while warm-season grasses should be fertilized during summer and winter. Ensure to distribute the fertilizer evenly using a calibrated spray nozzle. Here is a video that can help you figure out how to do that:
If you have a tree on your front yard, it will be difficult for you to grow grass in the area where the tree makes a shade. This is because most plants and grasses need direct sunlight to grow. This is why you may find moss growing on these areas instead of grass. This is were shade-tolerant grasses come in. These grasses can grow in and thrive without direct sunlight. Plants like St Augustine and tall fescues are great solutions for shady areas.
Alternatives to Lawn Mowing
Even though Lawn Mowing can bring great results, it can be a challenging and demanding task to continually undertake. Lawns need time, money and a lot of other resources to be healthy and stay that way. The great thing is that there are a lot of great landscaping alternatives to traditional lawn mowing.
Vegetable gardens, ground covers, wide walkways, planting of native plants and Xeriscaping are great alternatives to having a lawn. However, it is essential to weigh the pros and cons of all of these options before making a choice.
Lawn mowing is a very important aspect of effective lawn care. The end game of effective lawn mowing is to have a home with excellent curb appeal. However, lawn mowing alone will not get you the beautiful lawn that you want. In our comprehensive guide, we have covered fundamental aspects of lawn mowing and lawn care.
Sharp blades are integral to perfecting the aesthetic that you want to create. In this guide, we gave a comprehensive guide on how to sharpen your lawnmower blades. Watering your plants is as important as having them cut, especially during the hot summer months. The best way to mow your lawns is to aim to keep the grass as short as possible. Remember to never cut past one-third of the grass blades on your lawn each time you mow your lawn.
I hope that you can apply the instructions given in this guide to get the lawn that will be the envy of all your neighbors.