Good summer growing needs good spring mowing.
With spring approaching, lawn care experts point out that not all mowing techniques are the same. ”Simply mowing your lawn is not enough,” says John Ladds, the operations manager at Weed Man Canada. “For the healthiest, most attractive lawns, mowing properly makes all the difference.”
The pros recommend brushing up on the following best practices:
Know when to mow
Before that first mowing, make sure that there is no standing water and that your grass has had a chance to air dry. Any excess debris should be removed as well. Mow frequently enough to shave the top third of your grass blades while maintaining a mower height of 7.5 to 8.5 cm. This could mean two to three times per week during periods of rapid growth such as spring and fall.
Tune it Up
After sitting in the shed all winter, your lawn mower could really benefit from some care. Whether you do it yourself, or take it in to a shop, make sure you change the oil, and check that all cables, spark plugs, air filters, brakes and wheels are in good condition.
A sharp blade ensures that your mower is cutting the grass cleanly. Improperly shorn or frayed grass is not only unsightly, but can also make your lawn more susceptible to disease. Remember that new mowers require sharpening too; factory-sharpened blades are not sufficient for mowing. Mower blades need sharpening two to three times per season. You could consider purchasing a second blade that can be switched out when it’s time to sharpen.
If you mow north/south one week, try east/west the next. Alternating your mowing direction keeps grass blades growing straight, allowing for better air circulation and light penetration. For a professional look, mow in straight lines and overlap your wheel’s line marks slightly. Keep lawn edges looking clean by using a trimmer to shape areas around curbs and sidewalks.
Mulch your clippings
For much of the year it is recommended that you use your mower’s mulching functionality, as this returns valuable nutrients back to the soil. For the first and last mow of the year, however, attaching your mower’s bag can help keep your lawn clean and breathing easily.
More information is available at www.weedmancanada.com.
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