For those who have suddenly been thrust into homeownership and, by proxy, lawn ownership: welcome to lawn mowing 101. It will be here where you will learn about the basics of mowing and what you will need to get started. This will be taught as if a gas mower is being used, but of course these steps will vary depending on the type of lawn mower you plan on using.
Gas mowers typically have some parts in common that you will want to make yourself familiar with, like:
- Grass bag: This is where all the trimmings go.
- Pull cord: Nylon cord with a plastic handle that spins the blade’s motor.
- Choke: Switch with several settings that allow for operation (Stop, Run, etc.)
- Primer bulb: Translucent bulb with fuel that is depressed several times to aid in start-up.
- Drive control bar: Typically located on the handle, holding this down propels the lawnmower forward automatically.
The instructions for start-up may vary slightly by model, but typically include depressing the primer bulb several times, with the choke in the start-up position, then pulling the pull cord until the lawn mower starts. So now that we got it started, what happens next?
When to Mow Your Lawn
During the grow season, it is recommended that you mow your lawn at least once per week. Also, when you mow your lawn is also important to prevent damage from the sun, which can more easily scorch a freshly trimmed lawn that cannot recover as quickly. Instead, aim for before 10AM or early evening, which will give the grass a chance to heal properly.
Do Not Attempt to Cut Wet Grass
One of the quickest ways to clog up your lawn mower blade and bag is to try and cut a lawn that has just been rained on or sprinkled. Further, cutting wet grass can also negatively impact the soil and the grass’s growth cycle. Do your lawn and yourself a favor, and just don’t do this.
Empty the Bag Mid-Mow if You Have To
If your lawn mower suddenly loses efficiency and/or begins leaving behind clumps of grass in its wake, your bag is likely full and needs to be dumped. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for doing so, re-install by following the steps in reverse, then proceed.
Hold onto Your Grass Clippings
Rather than tossing out your trimmed grass, leaving it on the lawn can leach much-needed nutrients back into the soil as it decomposes. Also, it can be collected into a compost pile for future gardening use.
Lawn Mower Blades Require Sharpening
If you find your grass looking overly frayed after mowing, a dull lawn mower blade may be to blame. Luckily, sharpening them is not too much trouble with the right hand tools and an afternoon. Multiple tutorials exist online, and are definitely worth looking into for not only your lawn’s health, but also your lawn mower’s as well.