You don’t have to be a professional to have a professional looking lawn.  Knowing the proper way to mow your lawn can make a huge difference in not only the appearance of your property but also the health of your lawn.  By following a few simple guidelines, you can be the envy of your neighbors without spending a fortune on expensive lawn professionals.

 1.  Follow the 1/3 Rule:

Be sure to set the blades on your mower so they do not cut more than 1/3 the height of the grass.  Cutting any more than this can stress the grass causing it to stop growing roots as all of its energy is put into replacing what has been cut off.

 2.  Avoid mowing during the hottest time of the day.

Cutting the lawn during the hottest part of the day puts unnecessary stress on the grass.

 3.  Avoid mowing wet grass.

Mowing wet grass leaves the grass vulnerable to bacteria and disease.  Additionally, blades tend to become clogged with clumps of grass when used in wet grass.

 4.  Keep the blades sharp.

When the blades on a mower are dull the grass is torn instead of cut.  This leaves the grass with a frayed look and more prone to disease.

 5.  Do a perimeter pass.

Start by mowing the ends of the yard and getting the areas around any buildings, trees, and landscaping.  If any areas around the perimeter are difficult to reach with the mower, use a trimmer (manual or power) to trim the grass to the same level you will be cutting the lawn with the mower.  By having the perimeter done first, you will have plenty of room to turn the mower around and you won’t have to worry about missing any patches of grass.

 6.  Cut in straight rows.

Walk in straight direct lines across the lawn.  When you have reached the edge of the lawn, turn the mower by lifting the mower deck up as you make your turn.  This will prevent the blade from being on the grass as you turn the machine.

 7.  Go diagonal on the slopes.

By taking the horizontal or vertical path on steep slopes it can be tricky to do a good and consistent job and can also be dangerous.  Therefore, mow the sloping parts of the lawn on a diagonal.

 8.  Vary your mowing direction.

Mow at 45- or 90-degree angle to the last time you mowed your lawn.  By going in a different direction you will prevent tire ruts from forming in your lawn.  You will also stop the grass from leaning and growing in the direction it has been mowed.

 9.  Be sure to include some overlap.

To prevent any missed areas, overlap each row by about 2 to 3 inches.

 10.  Time your mowing by looking at the grass and not at a calendar.

An easy way to know when it is time to mow your grass is by doing so when the grass has grown back to the level it was last time you cut it.  Looking back at the 1/3 rule, this should be when the grass is 1/3 taller than its ideal height.

 After a few weeks of good mowing techniques you will notice that your lawn is starting to look like you had a professional working on it!