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10 Insider Tips for a Perfect Lawn(Tip 3 of 10)

Tip Number 3.  Mowing

There's nothing like a perfectly manicured lawn.

There is no greater joy in this world than a perfectly manicured, Emerald green lawn.  Lundholm Landscaping takes great pride in not only creating the finest lawns possible, but also in teaching others the importance of proper lawn care.

The most important aspect of a show lwanTheProper mowing is one of the most important things a homeowner can do, or not do, in creating a perfect lawn.  I will break the Mowing segment into two parts… equipment and technique.

Mowing Equipment.

Proper maintenance of your lawn mowing equipment is as important as any other subject in the mowing process.  If you have not yet done so, throroughly go over your lawn mower and check and replace the following as needed..

Oil-Change at least once per season

Air Filter-Replace at the beginning of the season, then thoroughly clean monthly(bi-weekly if mowing in dusty condtions)

Spark Plug-Replace annually

Blade-Replace when ends become rounded.  Sharpen every 10 cuts.  A dull blade tears grass instead of cutting.  Torn grass blades effects the growing process and makes grass susceptible to disease.

Mower Deck- Clean the mower deck often.  When mowing wet grass, clean the deck after each cut.  Otherwise, check and clean the mower deck often(Always disconnect the spark plug before inspecting or cleaning the mower deck)

Throttle Cable-Inspect and lubricate annually.  Make sure the throttle cable moves easily and does not slip and cause the engine to throttle down.

Safety Bar-Inspect and lubricate annually.

Wheels-  Inspect and lubricate as needed.  Your wheels should roll easily and smoothly adjust up and down along the adjustment notches.  Be sure to check for proper alignment.  Wheels out of alignment can cause unwanted scalping and uneven mowing.

Starter Rope-  Inspect with each pull.  If fraying is noted, replace immediately.  This is one of those jobs that I always let the pros handle.  I never seem to get it right.

Keeping your lawn mower maintained insures a long life and years of effective cutting. Failure to maintain your equipment could result in sluggish operation and poor mowing. Prior to mowing your lawn, I recommend do the following check list to insure a clean cut…

Walk the entire area to be mowed and remove any impediments that will slow the mowing process or damage the blade in any way.

Make sure safety bar is engaging.

Set your mower deck at a height of 3 inches(be certain that all 4 wheels are on the same setting).

Wear safety goggles and ear protection.

Take a firm grip on the handle and start the engine.

Lawn Mowing Techniques

I recommend edging and trimming prior to mowing.  Debris from edging and trimming is effortlessly sucked up by the lawn mower during the cutting process lessening clean up.  Avoid scalping the lawn edges with the edger or trimmer.  Hold the trimmer level to the ground and keep adequate trimmer line exposed.  Avoid damaging tree bark, siding and fence posts.

Damage to tree bark from a string trimmer can quickly kill a tree.

Safely start you lawn mower and make 2 passes around the exterior of the cutting area. Decide in which direction you will be mowing and keep the same pattern consistent throughout the cutting.  Overlap slightly with each pass to assure an even cut.  Always alternate cutting patterns on a regular basis. Continued mowing in the same direction will result in wheel lines embedding in the turf which will cause eventual scalping and could lead to disease in the track worn areas.

If bagging, promptly empty the bagging device as soon as it appears full.  Over filling the bag will cause build up of grass cuttings on the mower deck and create grass clumps left in the lawn.

If mulching or “free blowing” grass clippings, avoid letting the grass grow too tall. Mulching or free blowing a higher lawn will create a layer of grass clippings that will eventually smother the lawn.  If necessary, rake excessive grass clippings and create a compost pile.

Avoid cutting more than 1/3 of the grass blade.  Cutting more than 1/3 disrupts the growing process and leaves grass susceptible to disease and unnecessary browning.  Never, never, never cut a lawn lower than 3 inches during the regular growing season.  Keeping a lawn at a height of 3 inches insures optimal health.  Further, grass blades that are 3 inches or taller shade underlying soil, keeping weed seeds from getting necessary sunlight, thus keeping the weed seeds from germinating.  When grass is maintained at 3 inches, the plant naturally spreads itself out creating a thicker, healthier, weed free lawn.

As always, never hesitate to post a question or comment.  If you prefer to speak with me, reach me in any of the following ways.

Rob Lundholm
Lundholm Landscaping

Office 609-898-9136

Cell/Text 609-722-1814

email rob@lundholmlandscaping.com

Proudly serving Cape May, West Cape May, Cape May Point, Lower Township, The Wildwoods, Avalon, Stone Harbor, Sea Isle, Ocean City and beyond.

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