Score a Perfect 10: Improve Your Mowing Technique


For many, getting off the couch to cut grass requires an extraordinary dose of self-motivation. After all, mowing the lawn provides about as much stimulation as watching paint dry on a wall. However, simply revving up the lawnmower and moving it over your lawn does not make you a lawn maintenance expert. You also need to apply a mowing technique that preserves the health of the grass that you cut.

If you stop by a professional greenkeeper’s office, you will notice two clocks on the wall. One clock tells time and the other clock tells the greenkeeper’s team of landscapers which direction to mow the grass on the golf course.

A Change in Direction

By alternating the direction in which you cut grass every time you mow the lawn, you implement a simple, yet highly effective way to sustain the growth of healthy grass. Mowing the lawn represents one of many routines we perform each day that includes walking the dog and commuting to work. Unlike walking the dog and commuting to work, mowing the lawn requires a change in direction. By changing the direction of your lawnmower’s movement, you prevent the lawn care nightmare called “wash boarding,” which is the lawn care professional’s term for grass that does not cut properly because the same directional cutting has produced grass that grows horizontally. A few hours after you mowed the lawn in the same direction, the horizontally positioned grass remerges to a vertical position, at a longer length.

Do You Mow in the Direction the Wind Blows?

You understand the benefits of mowing your lawn in different directions. The question then turns to how do you change mowing direction. The answer is to mow against the grain the first time you change direction and then go back to the original pattern the next time you cut grass. For example, if you typically mow your lawn from east to west, change the direction the next time you mow from west to east. Homeowners that mow hills from top to bottom should consider changing the mowing routine from bottom to top, unless the hills are too steep to push a mower safely and accurately.

After You Establish Directional Mowing

After you have established a directional mowing routine for a few weeks, apply fertiliser and moss control on your lawn. The reinvigorated grass produced by directional mowing is healthy enough to withstand the chemicals. Also, remain vigilant for the presence insect larvae, as certain species want to consume the freshly and properly cut grass that develop delicious new roots.

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