Mowing a lawn sounds quite easy. You just need to start the mower and push it along the lawn. However, there is a lot more to it if you opt for a better looking and healthier lawn. Now the question is, where do you start?
It is best to start by addressing the prerequisites. You need to make a good choice while picking the mower for your lawn. And with regular maintenance, your yard can be the envy of the neighborhood. Weeds, soil, seeding, feeding, mowing, and watering are some of the basic components of a healthier looking lawn.
Selecting the right equipment, picking up the right knowledge, maintaining the pre-conditional factors, and applying these accordingly are some of the steps you need to consider while mowing a turf. Here are some handpicked useful tips for a better-looking yard and a healthier lawn.
1. Choose the Right Tools
You cannot think of giving your lawn a fresh and healthy look without mowing it with the proper equipment. The right tools will let you do the job properly and might as well save you some extra time.
The basic equipment that is a must to keep in the list is, a whipper snipper or weed wacker, a leaf blower, a string trimmer, and a lawnmower with a grass catcher.
If you want to prepare the soil before mowing, you need to add some extra tools in the list. Gardening tools like lawn aerator and a lawn starter fertilizer can be very handy in this case.
2. Safety Equipment
The next thing up in the checklist is safety equipment. OHS and safety gears are very important while mowing the lawn to avoid any kind of major or minor accident.
A pair of good safety glasses, ear muffs, safety boots, sun spray, a hat, and good clothing coverage for the arms and legs are to be kept in mind while mowing lawns.
3. Remove Weeds
Start by looking at the overall health of your lawn. Weeds need to be in check if you want your yard to look fresh.
If your lawn has very little grass and a large area covered with weed, you need to address them immediately. Spray the weed with weed killer and wait until they die. Whereas, if your lawn is in good condition with some occasional weeds, you can spot treat only those specific areas using weed killer.
4. Prepare the Soil
Over time the quality of the soil under your lawn begins to degrade. Soil plugs, dead grass, and other debris prevent air, water, and mineral nutrients to reach the root system.
Gardening tools are great for preparing the soil. You need to start by wrecking your lawn vigorously to remove this debris to rejuvenate it.
5. Choosing Grass Seeds
Try to stick to one kind of seed instead of picking different types each year. Choose the grass seeds best for your region. Different kinds of seeds might give you a patchwork lawn making the whole lawn look like a mess.
6. Aerate your lawn
The next step is to improve soil drainage by aerating the lawn. Aerating is done by punching small holes in the soil. This technique loosens the ground and allows air and water to get down to the root system. Thus, when you put the grass seeds in the soil, they will go into the holes and be well spaced out.
Aerating helps in healthy germination. Once the weeds are in control, check your lawn. If your lawn looks healthy, you can evenly spread the seeds through the entire yard. But if you see bare patches, you have to follow spot treatment. With the soil prepared and the seeds down, you are well on your path to new healthier grass.
7. Fertilizer and Feeding
Choose a fertilizer specially prepared for the new lawn. For achieving a green and fresh-looking lawn, fertilizing the grass is essential. Lawn starter fertilizer is a tool that can help spread the fertilizer for the growing seeds.
8. Consistent Watering
New seeds need to stay wet as much as possible. It is the key to a healthier lawn. You can water your grass seeds before going to work in the morning and again after coming back home. This assists in germination. Make sure not to overwater. Keep the seeds consistently wet until new growth.
9. No Spilling of Oil and Gas
You should check a few things before starting the mower. Always check the oil level when the engine is cold. It gives a proper reading. Oil reading while the engine is still hot might not be accurate and hence, pose the possibility of overfilling.
Measures should be taken to carefully check the gas. Spilling of gas/oil on the lawn might kill the grass.
When the grass seedlings start to grow above 3 and a half inches, it is time for mowing. Bear in mind to never mow a wet lawn. Otherwise, the grass clippings might form clumps. Do not mow within the first 4 weeks. Be cautious as the soil is still wet and seedlings are not much strong. After around 8 weeks, you can mow once per week.
Always consider and be mindful of the height and type of grass. 2-4 inches is the optimal height for cutting the grass. You can also follow the One-Third rule. Only remove the one-third length of the grass. Overlap the cut a little bit after you make the turns. In this way, you won’t leave any uncut grass behind.
A mowing pattern is important. You should keep in mind to change the pattern of mowing every week. The same pattern may aid to form rocks on the lawn. This might happen due to the wheels of the mower.
11. Use Sharp Blade
In order to cut grass, the mower blades must be sharp. They create a nice and clear edge giving the lawn a fresh look. Cutting the grass with a dull blade will tear them. Thus, fungus and diseases would easily get into the grass through the tear. Sharpen your blades at least once every four mows.
12. Edge Bedding and Scalping
When your lawn has a bed, usually a drop in grip is there. If the wheels of the mower go into that drop, then your blade lowers and it will scalp the lawn. Too much scalping is not healthy. So to make sure not to scalp the lawn, stay a few inches away from the edge.
13. String Trimmer
Measures should be taken when dealing with cobblestone and a cobbled courtyard while mowing. Do not take the mower too close as hitting with such stones can damage the mowing blade.
String trimmers can be your savior at times like this. Use safety glasses while using a string trimmer. Hold the trimmer nice and labeled and take it down the edge for the cut.
14. Grass Clippings
It is always a good idea to use the bag attached to the mower especially when the lawn is newly seeded. Without the bag, the clippings would cover-up the new seeds. This would hinder the germination of grass.
Wheelbarrows are very handy while dumping the grass clippings and bringing them over the pile of compost.
With some simple but necessary mowing tips and tricks, a lawn can be transferred from garbage to gold. A comparatively cooler temperature is mostly the best time for lawn renovation. Keep in mind that mowing must be done when the lawn is dry. Thus you can have greener grass on your side of the lawn.