6 Tips for Mowing Your Lawn this Spring
Pretty simple post, but I’ll just quickly explain what I do for my first mow of the spring season that will lead to a thick, weed free, green yard. Plus, keep reading for 6 tips for mowing your lawn to remember all season.
Weedeat Around Plant Beds and Edges
Before mowing, the first thing I do is weedeat around all my plant beds and edges that my riding lawn mower won’t be able to get to. This helps make mowing quicker and easier if you have sharp corners and edges. Eventually I plan to change the shape of all of the landscaping beds in my yard to get to the point that I will rarely have to use the weedeater at all. This doesn’t have to be perfect, but try to weedeat about the height of what you will be mowing.
Edge Along the Driveway and Sidewalk
After weedeating, I run an edger along my driveway and sidewalk. I love edging because it gives the yard that nice manicured look. When you don’t edge it’s like getting a haircut without having them trim up the edges. When you edge you will want to get as close to your cement as possible and just follow the edge of the concrete. The first time you edge it could take a long time, however if you keep up with it, it’s a quick job for the rest of the year. Some people like to edge last, but I edge before mowing because I can then blow it on my grass to be mixed up with the grass clippings. If you don’t keep this up it can take forever. Our old house was a corner lot, and once I got it maintained I could do the entire thing including the driveway in about ten minutes. People hate edging because they don’t keep it up. I do this every other mow.
Blow Dead Leaves out of Plant Beds
I already told you that before I put down Crabgrass Preventer I usually use my blower to blow out the lawn, but I also do that with the plan beds before the first mow. I blow the dead leaves onto my yard to be cleaned up with the mower. And yes, I know what you're thinking if you've been reading since the beginning- I still have a TON of rocks to get rid of before I can put down mulch (read why I prefer much over rock on this blog here). Let me know if you want to come haul some away.
Bag Clippings Around Edges
With my first mow I bag the clippings around the edges to clean up the dead leaves. Once I’ve collected all the dead stuff around the edges, I take the bags off and compost the rest of the grass into my yard. Most of the year I do not bag. If you keep up with mowing, you can’t tell the difference from someone that bags and someone that doesn’t.
Get Mowing - 6 Tips Before You Mow
Make sure your mower has a sharp blade. This will help prevent diseases and give you a clean cut. If you look at your grass blades and they look like split ends, you need to sharpen your blade.
Make sure the grass is always dry. A wet lawn will make chunks of grass in your yard.
Change directions of your lines each time you mow. This will make that carpet like look, and prevent leaving tire marks. It will also help prevent compaction in your soil.
Leave the grass clippings on your yard when you can. This is free fertilizer; it will decompose into your yard to make your yard thick and green. If you let your yard go really long it may help to bag at times.
Set your deck height high. I have mine set at 3 ¾ inches. Four inches is the highest my mower can go. This will help prevent and push the weeds out. It also provides that little extra shade for the hot summer months.
When you finish mowing, pretend like it was a ton of work and you’re miserable. I’ve screwed this up in my marriage, and my wife knows how much I enjoy mowing. I feel like she treats this like my hobby instead of a chore. ☺
My Lawn After the First Mow of the Season
Blow Trimmings Off the Sidewalk
After mowing, always take your blower and blow any clippings off the driveway, street and sidewalk. It drives me nuts as someone who walks my dog twice a day walking through someone's grass clippings, especially on dewey mornings - for my shoes and my dog!
Prep for What's Next
At this point, I have only put Crabgrass Preventer on the lawn (click here for my advice on the best Crabgrass Preventer and how to apply that). I haven’t put on Weed and Feed yet, and haven’t turned on my sprinkler - both will come in the next few weeks. I’ve also spot sprayed my weeds with a pump sprayer and my favorite weed killer (click here for that how-to blog).
I’ll post again when I put down my Weed and Feed and will also plan to tell you about what I think is the best grass seed for an Iowa lawn if you need to put seed down. Stay tuned.
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