The Beginner’s Guide to Mowing the Lawn

Man mowing his front yard

How do you get a beautiful lawn? Lawn mowing, especially for beginners, can be intimidating. Besides watering, cutting, and fertilizing, there are many subtleties regarding how to mow a lawn — some of which you may not be aware of. To make sure you’re up to speed, here are some helpful lawn mowing tips to help you achieve great-looking grass.

Lawn Mowing Tip #1: Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp

When mowing the lawn, dull cutting blades can cause a slew of problems, from cutting unevenly to shredding the tips of your turf. Over time – usually within a few days – shredded tips will turn brown, compromising the lush, green appearance of your lawn. Worse yet, these damaged tips serve as an entry point for disease, putting the health of your lawn in jeopardy.

By contrast, sharp mower blades minimize the damage to your grass, promoting a beautiful and healthy lawn. Mower blades should be sharpened frequently — about once every 25 hours of operation. It’s important to inspect your mower blades at least once a season, depending on how often you mow, and replace them with genuine Toro blades when necessary.

The best time to inspect your blades is right after you run out of fuel. This way, you can tip the mower on its side without risking a fuel spill. However, when doing this, it’s important to tip the mower in the right direction – with the air filter facing up, and the oil dipstick facing down.

 Lawn Mowing Tip #2: Don’t Cut Too Short

While the appropriate cutting height for your lawn varies, depending on your type of grass, the time of year, and climate conditions, there are a few basics to keep in mind.

It’s important not to cut the grass too short. Taller grass helps to better shade the soil, helping it stay cool and moist to support a healthier lawn. When mowing the lawn toward the end of spring, it’s a good idea to raise your mowing height, protecting your soil from drying out in the summer heat.

Lawn Mowing Tip #3: Never Remove More Than 1/3 of The Grass Blade

In conjunction with the previous tip, before you start mowing the lawn, you’ll want to be mindful about how much length you’re removing at once. The rule of thumb is to never remove more than one-third of the grass blade at a time, and never more than one inch. This takes away too much of the surface area needed for photosynthesis, ultimately weakening and thinning your grass by forcing it to cut into its food reserves.

This might mean cutting your grass twice a week during the peak growing season rather than cutting it once at a shorter height. But, if you’re interested in how to mow a lawn for the best possible results, this technique will help you achieve healthier, better-looking grass.

Lawn Mowing Tip #4: Vary Your Mowing Pattern

While beginners – and even seasoned lawn-mowers – may be tempted to mow the same pattern every time, it’s actually more beneficial to vary your mowing patterns.

If you’re mowing the lawn in the same direction every time, the wheels of your mower will leave ruts in the soil, even compacting it so that oxygen and nutrients are tramped out. Grass also tends to grow in the direction it’s been mowed, so changing your mowing direction allows it to grow straighter.

If you would like to try your hand at striping, we have tips and tricks for getting the pattern down perfectly.

Lawn Mowing Tip #5: Clean Your Cutting Deck

Cleaning your cutting deck is an important part of maintaining your lawn mower, ensuring that it’s working properly and efficiently. Clearing out the underside of the mower helps it discharge or mulch grass clippings the way it’s supposed to. Additionally, if your mower has picked up any fungus or diseased material, cleaning the deck will help prevent them from being spread around.

Putting It All Together

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a new homeowner wondering how to mow a lawn, it’s always good to brush up on your lawn mowing tips. Following these tricks for mowing the lawn, along with watering, fertilizing, and providing some TLC, will help get you that healthy, green lawn you’ve been looking for!

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