Whether they’re new homeowners or have owned their homes for a while, many people turn to lawn services to help them keep their yards looking fantastic. These lawn care professionals don’t just cut the grass, they also take care of other aspects of yard work.
Lawn mowers can create a mess when they leave grass clippings lying around, so it’s important to either blow them or sweep them away afterward.
Time of Day
Lawn care can be a time-consuming task, but it’s one that is crucial to the overall health of your yard and the surrounding vegetation. Regularly tending to your lawn with regular watering, fertilizing, and cutting will help promote a healthy life cycle for the grass and other plants in your yard. For those who can’t devote a lot of time to their yard or don’t have the equipment to do so, hiring a professional is often an excellent choice. In either case, mowing your yard in the best possible way requires a bit of planning, especially when it comes to the time of day that you do so.
The worst time to cut your grass is early morning, when the lawn and other vegetation is still wet from dew or overnight showers. Not only does this stress the lawn and expose it to disease, but it also dulls mower blades more quickly. During the summer, the sun is a major source of stress to the grass as well.
Mowing your lawn in the early morning can also disturb your neighbors, which is a major breach of standard lawn care etiquette. In fact, many communities have ordinances in place to prevent people from starting any work before 7 or 8 a.m. on weekdays to avoid disturbing neighbors with loud machinery.
Midmorning is the ideal time to cut your lawn because by this point the dew and moisture will have evaporated. It’s also not too hot yet, which makes it easier for you and your equipment to handle. It will also give the lawn a chance to dry out before more dew settles in for the night, further stressing it and exposing it to disease.
Evening mowing is also not a good idea for several reasons. The first is that the lawn will have already been exposed to harsh sun, which can cause it to become wilted and unhealthy. Besides that, the evening is when humidity increases. Wet grass can clump together, restricting the flow of nutrients. It can also create a slipping hazard for you and your equipment. To avoid this, it’s important to change the direction you cut your lawn each time you mow to reduce turf wear and soil compaction.
Height of Cut
If you’re not careful, you could seriously injure yourself or someone else with a lawn mower. The most common injuries are cuts and lacerations. Those injuries require medical attention, and may be severe enough to require stitches or even surgery. Many of these injuries occur in the hands and feet of the operator, and are caused by contacting the mower blades directly.
This type of injury can be avoided if you wear close-toed, sturdy shoes (preferably work boots), and make sure your hands and feet are clear of the mower deck and blades while mowing. You should also comb your yard for sticks, stones, toys and other hazards that are likely to be flung by the mower as it cuts grass.
If your mower has multiple settings, you should always test the blade height on a flat surface before using it on your lawn. Also, if you’re using a walk-behind mower or riding mower, make sure to mow across slopes rather than up or down them. Slopes pose a significant risk of slippage and have the potential to cause the mower to overturn.
Mowing your lawn at the correct height is crucial to its health and appearance. Grass that is cut too short doesn’t develop a deep root system and is more vulnerable to drought, heat, fungal diseases and insect pests. Keeping your lawn at the recommended height for your particular grass type will result in a healthier, stronger turf with fewer problems and less water use.
When you’re ready to begin mowing, be sure that the lawn is dry. Mowing wet grass can lead to ruts and damage the turf. Likewise, it can be hard to control the mower and you’ll be more likely to hit rocks or other debris that can throw off the machine.
It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with your mower manual and safety instructions before you begin mowing. You should also read up on the best practices for your specific lawn care regimen, including proper fertilization, core aeration and overseeding. And finally, don’t get hung up on an arbitrary schedule for mowing. You should mow as often as your grass needs, based on its growing conditions, season and growth pattern.
Variation in Directions
While modern lawn mowers vary in size, power and features, they all have one thing in common: They move grass clippings into a bag or mulching system for disposal. This helps reduce thatch, which can block sunlight and water from reaching grass roots, encouraging disease. Regular mowing and some clipping removal prevents thatch, and using a dethatching machine can help remove this buildup as it accumulates.
Repetition can send your brain straight to snoozeville, so mix things up by positioning the mower in different directions each time you mow. Not only will this keep your brain engaged, but it also keeps the grass looking good. It will stand up taller and more vibrant since it’s being mowed from many different angles. Try diagonal lines next week, or maybe a checkerboard pattern. The beautiful grass-art of professional baseball stadiums is a beautiful example of this type of variation.
The best lawn mower for you will depend on your own personal preferences and the size of your yard, but it is generally recommended to choose a mower with front-wheel drive if possible. This type of lawn mower can maneuver easily around obstacles, allowing you to complete your mowing job quickly and with less effort. Another advantage of this type of lawn mower is that it typically produces fewer emissions and noise, making it a better choice for those who want to maintain a healthy environment and protect their hearing.
Whether you use a rotary or cylinder lawn mower, it is important to keep up with the proper maintenance and repair of your equipment. Regular oil changes, blade sharpening, tire pressure checks and cleaning of the deck are just some of the tasks that you should do to ensure a high-quality result each time you cut your grass.
It’s also important to avoid mowing when it is wet. Wet grass can become slippery, making it more difficult to navigate your lawn mower. Additionally, wet grass can bend or lean under the weight of the mower’s mowing deck, potentially damaging the machine or causing it to skip when cutting.
Lawn mowing may seem like an innocuous yard chore, but a staggering number of people wind up in US emergency rooms each year with injuries sustained while operating a mower. This blog delves into the most common hazards associated with this seemingly straightforward task and explains how simple precautions can significantly reduce the risk of injury.
Considering the wide range of potential dangers, it’s important for anyone who takes on this task to take it seriously and adhere to strict safety rules. A lapse in concentration or an improperly adjusted blade can have serious consequences, from cuts and bruises to complete amputations. To minimize the likelihood of such accidents, the first step is to inspect the mower prior to use to ensure that all safeguards are in place and functioning properly.
This inspection should include the blade itself, as well as any other components that could come into contact with the operator during operation. Modern mowers often feature a variety of safety devices, including guards that prevent hands and feet from coming into contact with the blade and shields that help deflect debris. It’s also a good idea to wear long pants and sleeves, as baggy clothing can get caught in moving parts or catch on the mower itself, leading to severe injuries.
Additionally, a quick sweep of the lawn should be conducted to make sure there are no sticks, stones, sprinklers or other objects that could obstruct the mower during operation. Such items are dangerous for many reasons, but the most important is that they can quickly turn into deadly projectiles when thrown by a fast-revolving blade. Similarly, kids’ toys have a tendency to pop up in the most unexpected places, and running over one of their prized trucks or dolls is a definite no-no.
Finally, it’s essential to only operate a lawn mower in an open area free from flammable materials such as dried leaves or spilled gasoline. Gasoline is highly flammable, and operating a mower in such an environment can lead to fires or carbon monoxide poisoning. Likewise, electric mowers pose the risk of electrocution if their cords are stretched or damaged, so it’s critical to never leave them unattended during operation.