If you want your lawn to look its best, you need to put in the effort (and use the right technology). That means adequately preparing for lawn mowing season so you can tend to your yard effectively and make sure your grass stays healthy. The sooner in the season you do this, the better.
So, let’s get started!
Understand Your Region’s Climate
First, make sure you understand your region’s climate. While there are many tips that can help you prepare for mowing season and promote a healthier lawn, you’ll have to change your approach slightly based on where you live.
For example, you may need to fertilize at different times based on the type of weather you expect each season; people in colder climates usually fertilize in fall, whereas people in warmer climates usually fertilize in spring.
Fortunately, there are countless online resources that can help you better understand the climate in your area. And if you want more details on weather developments in your specific neighborhood, consider investing in a smart home weather station.
Late Winter and Early Spring Preparation
In the late winter and early spring, you can begin with the following:
- Inspect and maintain your mower. This is a great time to inspect and maintain your lawnmower, arguably the most important piece of technology in your lawn care arsenal. Take a close look at the lawnmower, see if any parts need replacing, conduct a general assessment, and make sure the mower works as intended. This way, you’ll be adequately prepared for their first mow of the season.
- Sharpen your mower blades. While you’re at it, take a moment to sharpen your mower blades. This is going to allow your lawnmower to cut much more effectively and consistently – and it can increase the lifespan of your machine as well.
- Get some fresh gas. It’s a good idea to get some fresh gasoline, since old gasoline can become stale and ineffective without proper treatment. Of course, if you have an electric mower, you won’t need to worry about this. If you have stale gasoline in your mower currently, adding some modern fuel stabilizer may help you get started up.
- Clean up the lawn. Finally, take some time to clean up your lawn. It has likely accumulated rocks, sticks, leaves, and other debris throughout the fall and winter. This way, the grass will be clear for cutting. Advanced lawn clearing tools can make this easy.
In spring, you can work on the following:
- Fertilize. In many areas, this is a good time to fertilize. Fertilizer promotes healthier grass growth and a richer, greener lawn. You don’t need anything fancy here; a typical fertilizer spreader should do the job.
- Aerate. Aerating a lawn is, essentially, poking holes deep into the soil so that water, oxygen, and nutrients can reach deep roots. Properly aerating your lawn at least once a year can promote greater grass health.
- Apply herbicides. Pre-emergent herbicides are designed to prevent weeds and other pesky species from emerging and ruining the overall look of your lawn. Modern products are surprisingly effective.
Late Spring, Summer, and Beyond
Deeper into spring, summer, and beyond,
- Mow high. Setting your mower blade high is advisable for several reasons. For starters, it will be practically impossible for you to damage the turf; this type of damage almost exclusively happens when mowing too short. It promotes larger root establishments, allowing your grass to penetrate deeper and withstand droughts with greater resilience. It partially shades the soil surface, giving you natural crabgrass and weed control. And as an added bonus, you’ll have fewer worries about grubs and other pests. It might be tempting to keep your lawn short, especially if you care about aesthetics, but mowing high is a better long-term play.
- Mow dry. It’s usually best to mow your lawn when it’s dry, both for the health of your lawn and to avoid wet grass clippings.
- Change up your pattern. Many people fall into a routine and follow the same, exact mowing pattern every time they mow the lawn. But it’s usually better for the health of your grass to vary your mowing patterns.
- Leave the grass clippings. When you’re done mowing the lawn, it will be time to rake up and bag all the grass clippings, right? In actuality, lawn care professionals now recommend leaving your grass clippings as they are – these clippings will eventually decompose and provide vital nutrients to the rest of your lawn.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be in a prime position to mow your lawn quickly, efficiently, and in a way that promotes better grass health. You can get started as the winter starts coming to an end to give yourself a head start in spring.