Tips for Mowing Your Lawn with a Riding Mower

For most homeowners mowing the lawn is something that’s done on a weekly basis. When done right mowing increases the density of your lawn and this leads to decreased opportunity for weeds to grow. Mowing a lawn truly does keep it healthy. Since grass grows from the bottom up one of the main things you accomplish when mowing a lawn is to trim away the oldest part of the grass. This trimming promotes further growth and development of a deeper, stronger root system. Deep roots are good because it allows the grass to have access to water that is deeper in the ground. This water acts as a reserve during the long hot, dry summer months.

In this article, we’ll talk about mowing your lawn with a riding lawn mower.

Choose the Right Setting, Pattern, and Timing

Use a higher mower setting for cutting grass. This will help reduce weeds, and the grass will do better. Take care to cut approximately one-third of the grass length each time and let the clippings from each cut decompose and act as fertilizer as it returns the nutrients it contains back to the soil. If a lawn has grown a bit out of control it’s best to mow it initially at a higher level, then mow it again in a couple of days at a lower level. Remember that when you mow at higher levels it helps in the development of a deeper root system. This will limit the growth of weeds and thereby leave you with a much better-looking lawn. Because of the damage it does to grass you should avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day. Also, avoid mowing wet grass as this is not ideal for your lawn mower and could lead to damaging it. Consider mowing in a variation of patterns to help the grass and soil remain healthy.

Keep Your Blades Sharp and Avoid Scalping

When mowing, you want to avoid making sharp turns. One of the ways you can do this is to use driveways for turning. This is an important point to make because making sharp turns on the grass damages it. It’s a good practice to avoid mowing altogether within 24hours of adding fertilizer.  As for your blades, ideally, you want to sharpen them every four to six weeks depending on your usage. And make sure to keep them sharp, so the cuts are cleaner. This also happens to be healthier for your lawn.

Don’t use a riding mower when mowing across a hill. You should use a push mower instead while using a riding mower to go up and down. As the dormant season approaches, make the last cut that is appropriate for the type of grass in your lawn. Each type of grass is different, so this is something you may have to find out. What you need to know is the recommended height for the type of grass you have. Alternatively, as a general rule, you can stick with the 1/3 rule which says you should never trim more than 1/3 of a blade length at any time. Avoid what’s known as close mowing as it leads to brown lawn and a few other harmful effects like:

  • Damage to your lawns crown, which hinders grass growth, and nutrient depletion.
  • Makes your lawn more vulnerable to pests and disease.
  • The risk of compacted soil.
  • Hinders sunlight from reaching weed seeds, which allows their germination.

One of the most important things you can do understand how to operate your riding lawn mower is to read the owner’s manual and pay close attention to all warning labels. Also wear protective gear and dress appropriately when cutting the grass. And one final tip for mowing your lawn with a riding lawn mower is to always secure loose fitting jewelry or clothing before you start mowing.

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