Mowing Tips for the Do-It-Yourselfer

So You Want to Take Care of Your Own Yard?

Starting your Central Illinois lawn off on the right foot in the springtime can set your yard upward for good health all season long.

For first-time homeowners, they will often find themselves trying to replicate a golf course or the ballpark grass seen on TV. The results of such aggressive mowing is a thin and shallow rooted turf that cannot resist external pressure, insects, and diseases. In addition, grass cut too short will stand no chance competing against weeds.


  1. Mow often
  2. Leave the grass clippings
  3. Mower blade should remain sharp
  4. Change mowing patterns often
  5. Take note of shade
  6. Mow only when dry
  7. Leverage edging to save your grass
  8. What to do with a hill?

Mow Often

Resist the urge to scalp your grass, which is cutting it far too short. A yard that is scalped is exposed to weed infestation and diseases. Turf that is scalped is often thin and poor, especially for growing healthy grass; this will expose dirt that any homeowner would like to remain hidden. A thin yard allows weed seedlings to be reached by sun and provide them a boost.

With each yard’s situation being unique, there isn’t any one currently accepted mowing height for every situation. For most yards, it is a good idea to mow the lawn just frequently enough to not need to take off more than 1/3 of each blade of grass at one time. This might mean you must mow a lot more than once a week particularly in the springtime. In most cases, grass mowed at 1-1/2″ to 3″ will be healthier, look better, and hold up better during the hot summer months.

Maintaining longer grass will give the following benefits this summer:

  • More photosynthesis = more food for healthy grass
  • More shade for less moisture reduction and cooler ground
  • Fewer weeds
  • Roots that are stronger & deeper
  • Slower growing grass

Yes, you may have to mow more often to keep higher grass. But you will be thanked by your yard this summer. Root shock can be caused by cutting too large an amount of blade at once. In hot, dry weather this could ruin your grass.

Leave the Grass Clippings

Nutrients in the grass clippings help fertilize the yard and return to the land. Yards that don’t have clippings returned to the land frequently need 25-40% more fertilizer.

Removing too many leaves early on causes quality root development to halt. Root development may not begin for a month after it is supposed to. This inhibited root development reduces the plant’s capability to absorb nutrients and water, essential to survive the humid Bloomington-Normal summers.

It’s advantageous due to the fact that they contain nutrients which might be returned to the yard to NOT remove the clippings. As they decompose fairly quickly clippings tend not to cause thatch. Just really long clippings, which will smother the grass, ought to be taken off.

Grass clippings are GOOD!

It’s called “grasscycling” when you let grass clippings lie after cutting. Grass clippings can supply up to 25 percent of your yard’s fertilizer necessity, so you’ll save some money on fertilizer in the long run. Although the salesman may push it, you don’t want a mulching mower that is specialized, although you may want to change out your present mower blade using a mulching blade, which cuts grass into smaller bits that decompose rapidly. To prevent being sprayed with grass clippings while mowing, where clippings usually leave the mower deck, buy an adaptor kit to your mower that provides a plug. Try to find worldwide kits on the internet or from shops which sell mowers.

Grasscycling functions best with grass that’s mowed often and when one third of the grass blade span continues to be removed. Rolled up or more grass must be raked in a bag accessory. You’ll be able to grasscycle turf that’s grown overly long if you’re willing to cut it, and second out the clippings to rake and mow them over to chop them.

Mower Blade Should Remain Sharp

Just like when preparing food, having a dull blade can be not only frustrating, but harmful to what you’re trying to accomplish. With a dull-blade, grass snaps, developing a jagged, irregular edge. These tears create openings for diseases and pests to enter grass blades. A yard that’s been cut using a blunt blade develops a brownish or whitish color as the points of grass blades that are individual die back. Sharpen blades at least a couple of times a mowing season. Prevent mowing over rocks or thick branches to lessen even or blade dulling damage.

Nothing makes your yard look ill quicker when compared to a dull mower blade. In case your yard starts to appear straw-colored, assess your blade to ensure you’re not shredding grass tops. When they’re frayed subsequently the blade of your lawn mower must be sharpened assess the points of the blades of grass once you mow. Frayed points suggest the grass plant continues to be hurt by splitting it, which means a huge escalation in the chance of disease or insect problems. You always need to possess a sharp blade in your mower.

Fix mower height through the entire growing season. As an example, change the cutting deck higher and invite grass to grow more. Taller grass helps protection ground, which impedes water evaporation from land and prevents weed growth. As we’ve discussed, taller grass grows deeper roots, which creates a yard that may withstand drought. For the final mowing of the season to assist in preventing snow mold from forming on grass, lower the cutting deck in late fall.

Change Mowing Patterns Often

To help grass blades stand up for better air flow and the most sunshine, make an effort to alter your mowing pattern.

Prevent mowing in routine or precisely the same direction every time you mow. When you do so, you risk really creating ruts and compacting earth. Ruts and both compacted earth often leads to grass that healthy, followed by weeds that flourish in earth that is compacted.

Take Note of Shade

Yards that grow in shadowed places reap the benefits of a greater mowing height. Longer grass blades possess a larger surface area for running photosynthesis. In a low light scenario, this really is a secret to growing a wholesome lawn in the shade along with an excellent advantage.

Incredible pressure can be created by the action of mowing on un-shaded grass. Individual grass plants lose more water and recover a lot more slowly than in when you mow through the cooler area of the day. An alternative would be to wait until shadiness is around the yard. Less water is lost by grass in the shade and faster to rally when cut.

Mow Only When Dry

Mowing a yard that is wet doesn’t damage the grass, but it doesn’t give the most effective results. A mower deck clogs and fills. In addition, it has the inclination fall over as you mow, creating an irregular cut and clump together. Remove from the lawn. Consistently prevent mowing in soggy ground, or you also risk tearing up grass and creating wheel ruts. In addition, ensure that your mower blade is sharp to prevent tearing grass from land.

Leverage Edging to Save Your Grass

When mowing, leverage the edging already in your yard and save its’ health by having the wheels going along the pavers when possible.

Using numerous substances to roll your wheels along, like your edging, concrete pavers, gravel, bricks or closely packed crushed limestone will help reduce the number of tires marks in your yard.

What to Do With a Hill?

When grass is wet, never mow an incline. That creates slick foothold which will bring about serious harms. To mow an incline safely, shove on the mower on the other side of the incline, down and not up. With little or short inclines, occasionally it’s more easy to make use of a string trimmer to cut grass.