Mowing Tips For Beginners

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Mowing a lawn can be seen as an unwelcome chore for some while for many others it’s a moment of pride to make their property and garden beautiful for all to enjoy.   It’s also an important and necessary part of a garden ( unless you want wild meadow!)   and mowing supports green, healthy grass, helps keep weeds in control and bare spots at bay.  With Chipperfield’s easy to follow tips and a little practice, you will soon find yourself a mow-pro and even create patterns and stripes on your lawn.

1.Getting your Lawn ready for Mowing 

Preparation is key!  So, How to choose the perfect mower for you and your lawn?   The most common and most popular lawn mower used by domestic gardens is the petrol-powered push mowers. This is good choice for the typical suburban home lawn, but there are other options to consider:

  • Manual reel mowers are powered only by you pushing them, and are a very affordable and environmentally-friendly choice for very small, flat lawns.
  • Electric push mowers are quieter and cost less to operate than petrol powered  models, but they’re also heavier and more expensive. Corded models in particular are best suited to small lawns (0.25 acres or less). These are great if you live in a noise sensitive area.
  • Petrol walk-behind mowers come in both push-propelled and self-propelled varieties. Either is suitable for lawns up to about 0.5 acres in size.
  • Riding mowers or lawn tractors, these cost more than walk-behind models, but will save you time with most lawns over 0.5 acres in size. 

2. Keep your mower blades sharp and your machine in good condition. Dull mower blades cause jagged cuts in your grass blades, which create brown tips and can lead to grass diseases. If your lawn looks ragged after a mow, it’s probably time for a blade sharpening.  You may also want to service you machiner every year by a professional, this will ensure the mechanics are in good working order 

  • It’s recommended to sharpen your blade at least once a year. Depending on how you use your mower..
  • Inspect your mower regularly for damage every 3-4 mows, and brush or rinse away any built-up grass debris on the blades and underside of the mower. 

3.Set your mowing height based on your grass type(s) and climate. It’s an easy mistake to cut your lawn too short in an effort to reduce mowing. However cutting your lawn too short can lead to browning lawns and more weeds. Ideal mowing heights vary based on several factors, but usually fall within the range of 2 to 3 inches (5.1 to 7.6 cm).  Look out for adjustable cutting heights on your mowers, some have a manual levers to adjust.

To work out the mowing height, you can measure from the ground to the bottom of your mower’s mowing deck, then from this point up to your blades. This total equals the mowing height.

4.Check the fuel and oil levels before starting the mower. It is unsafe to add fuel to a warm mower engine, so give the fuel tank a fill-up before you start mowing. Check the oil level every 2-3 mows as well, and add oil as needed before firing up the engine.

You’ll also need to occasionally change the oil and clear the fuel lines, or have a pro do this routine maintenance for you. Consider giving your mower a tune-up once a year at the beginning of spring.  If you are storing your mower way during winter, ensure you drain the fuel before putting your mower away.  This is for safety but also fuel will go off after a while.

5. Mow your lawn on its schedule, not yours. Some people mow their lawn like clockwork every Saturday afternoon, but it’s better to mow based on the height of the grass. Use the “1/3s rule” and don’t mow down more than a third of the total height of your grass each mowing.  You can also check the weather forecast for dry weather to mow the lawn, mowing on wet grass can clog your machine. 

6. Clear away lawn debris, pets, and kids before mowing.  Seems like an obvious check, but many injuries and damage to your mower can arise from stary branches, rocks, toys, pet waste, or other obstructions.  Mowers can eject rocks or other flying debris at great speeds, so it’s always best to keep other people and pets out of the area.

7. Put on protective eyewear, ear wear, and clothing. Wear safety glasses to protect yourself from flying debris, and ear protection to muffle the loud mower engine. Also put on closed-toe, sturdy footwear and long pants to protect your feet and legs.

8.  Enjoy you Mow!  Taking care of your lawn shouldn’t be a chore,  it’s a great time for exercise, mindfulness and taking pride in your green space!

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