Trim Job: The Beginner's Guide To Mowing Your Lawn

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There are many experiences that can be fun and exciting the first time around – but short of something irregular happening, mowing the lawn isn't one of those experiences. However, mowing the lawn correctly is imperative, not only for the aesthetics of your lawn, but also for its health and safety (especially in the summer months). But as a complete beginner, where do you start? If you're looking for a no-frills guide to mowing the lawn that you'll be able to follow easily, then here's what you need to know.

Check Your Mower

Mowers come in different shapes and sizes, and not all mowers are created equal. The most important distinction to make between lawn mowers is that of electric versus manual. A manual mower, as the name would suggest, runs on your own power, using the force you press on it to rotate the clipping blades and thus trim your grass. While quieter and less expensive than an electric mower, manual mowers are generally much more work and take much longer to use.

Electric mowers run on some type of fuel (normally gas) and run pretty much independently of your own force, save for relying on your to tell it where to go. If your mower's electric, you'll need to ensure you're close to an outlet at all times, and that you have the fuel you require before you can begin.

Check the Clock

There are better times of day to trim your lawn than others, and if you try to cut the grass at the wrong time, you'll end up getting super frustrated and possibly damaging your mower, your lawn, or both. Avoid using your mower in the early morning, when the grass still has dew clinging onto it; this dew will make the grass wet and more likely to mat, making your job harder and possibly gumming up the blades of your mower, causing them to not cut or even the machine to stall.

Mowing when the sun is at its peak (usually between 10am and 2pm, give or take an hour depending on your specific climate) is also a bad idea – not only because working outside when it's hottest can be bad for your health, but also because mowing when the sun is most powerful can expose the previously hidden roots of your grass to massive damage and potentially stunt (or even burn) your grass.

Check Its Blades

All mowers, no matter if they're manual or electric, have a way to check and change their blade length. The length of the blade is important as it is the thing that controls how long or short your grass is going to be after its cut. Cutting grass too short can make it burn and die more easily in the summer heat, while keeping it too long can cause it to mat and go to seed – not to mention look entirely unkempt. For the healthiest (but still neat-looking) lawn you can get, consult this chart, which features the proper height range for some of the more common grass types. If you're not sure what kind of grass you have and need to mow before you'd have a chance to find out, 1 ½ inches is generally a safe height no matter what kind of grass your lawn is made of. Contact a landscape, like Wagner Sod, Landscaping and Irrigation Co., Inc, for more help.