Done wrong, lawn mowing can damage your lawn, making it more susceptible to diseases. And lawn mowing also poses quite a few safety risks that you definitely want to avoid.
This article and video gives lawn mowing tips that will help you to:
1) protect the health of your lawn; and
2) protect the personal safety of you and your children.
For the health of your lawn, when you mow you will only want to cut down about one-third of the total height of your grass at any one time. The reason is that if you cut more off than this, it puts too much strain on the grass, since it is the green part of the grass plant that provides the energy for it to grow.
You should also sharpen your mower blades after every 10 hours of mowing. Mowing dulls the blade, and when the blade is dull, rather than cut the grass, it instead tears it. And tearing the grass damages it, and makes it more susceptible to diseases.
Also, you should use a mulching mower to cut your grass, or if you don’t have a mulching mower, then you should install a mulching blade kit on your mower. There are several reasons to mulch when you mow. First, mulching cuts up the clippings into finer pieces which are returned to the lawn as nutrients; and secondly, it reduces the work of mowing, as you don’t have to keep stopping to empty the bag.
And finally, you should mow your lawn only when it is dry. If your lawn is wet, the mower blades can’t cut the grass cleanly and this creates the opportunity for diseases. And mowing a wet lawn also causes grass clippings to clump and decompose slower. Plus going over a wet lawn can also compact the soil and create ruts. And with a wet lawn you are more likely to slip and fall while mowing.
Lawn mowing unfortunately is the cause of too many accidents and injuries. But here are some steps you can take to improve personal safety while mowing your lawn.
First, inspect your mower before starting. Look for anything that has come loose on your mower, and especially be sure that all of the safety guards are in place. Inspect your mower blade to be certain that it is tight and not damaged, but NEVER touch your blade unless you are sure that the power is completely dis-engaged.
Next, check for any foreign objects in your lawn. When you lawn mower hits objects in your lawn, it can shatter them and send them flying at very high speeds. Look over your lawn before you get started, and be sure to carefully watch at all times while you are mowing.
Keep children away while you are mowing, and let them know to stay away (since you may not hear them coming while the mower is running). If you have a rider mower, never give them rides on it, as this can encourage them to try to hop on when you are mowing.
You should drink plenty of water when you are mowing on hot days. Becoming dehydrated can make you dizzy which can lead to slips and falls, but also, becoming dehydrated can impair your judgement, which can have you taking risks that can lead to injuries.
Be sure to wear proper shoes that give you good traction while you are pushing your mower. And be especially careful of your toes when you are pulling backwards on your mower. Also, because objects can come flying out from underneath your mower, it is best to wear closed-toe shoes when you are mowing.
And finally, you should always wear ear & eye protection when you are mowing. And if you have allergies or asthma, then it will help you to wear a respirator too.
Here are a few other tips for you to consider while you are mowing.
You should use your weed whacker before you mow, then your mower can chop up the clippings that you have cut up.
Also, you will want to mow in straight lines, and overlap your wheel marks. And you will want to vary your cutting patterns . . . if you cut north to south one time, then cut east to west the next time, then northeast to southeast the next, and so on. This keeps your lawn from getting matted down in one direction.
And lastly, you should clean your mower after each use.
Hopefully this article and video has given you some helpful tips for how to mow your lawn to protect both your lawn’s health and the safety of both you and your family.
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