Lawn Care Tips
Mowing your lawn may seem like a simple task, but in reality, it can be tricky. And if you don’t have a lot of experience, you might not know exactly the right kind of care or mower is right for your lawn. It could become a real stressful task. There are lot of questions to ask yourself. What kind of lawn mower is right for my lawn? When is the best time to mow my lawn? How often should I mow? Making sure you’re doing things the right way, can make the job so much easier and ensure that your lawn is healthy and looks the best it can. Here are some tips to make taking care of your lawn a piece of cake!
Here’s some Lawn Mower Safety Tips from the “For DUMMIES” website;
“Every year, hundreds, maybe even thousands, of people get injured when using lawn mowers. Power lawn mowers can be dangerous even when used properly. Be proactive when it comes to safety and follow these tips to avoid injuries:
- Know the equipment. Read the owner’s manual. Become familiar with all the safety features and don’t disconnect any of them. Keep all nuts and bolts properly tightened. Never pull a walking mower.
- Check the lawn before mowing and wear proper clothing. Pick up any rocks or debris. Heavy shoes and long pants provide the best protection from flying debris. If you’re using a reel mower, don’t wear loose clothing.
- Protect your hearing. Doing yard work can get pretty noisy. In addition to the lawn mower, high-decibel noise comes from trimmers, edgers, and blowers. Use earplugs or earmuff-type hearing protection.
- Keep pets and children away from the lawn as you mow. Don’t let children operate a lawn mower unless they’re strong enough, responsible, and understand all the operating and safety features. Even then, supervise them. Never give a young child a ride on a ride-on mower. Sudden stops, flying objects, or an excited child can spell disaster.
- Be careful when fueling. Stop the mower and let the engine cool for 10 minutes before fueling. Never fill the tank with the mower on the lawn. Avoid spills by using a gas can with an adequate pouring spout. Clean up spills immediately and put the used rags in a covered metal can. (Gasoline-soaked rags are a fire hazard.)
- Turn off the mower. Never leave the mower running unattended, or work on a motor that is running. Turn off the power when you cross nongrass areas.
- Be careful on hills. Steep slopes are always dangerous because a mower can flip over or go out of control. Plant a ground cover other than turf in these areas. On gentle slopes, mow across the slope, not up and down. Use a walk-behind mower.”
Maintaining Your Equipment
Making sure your equipment is maintained is not only a safety measure, but it helps to ensure that your lawn is cut to the best of your mowers ability. Keeping your blades sharp is important because dull blades can make your lawn look choppy. To keep a neat and clean appearance, its essential that you keep your blades sharp. Also, make sure that your mower always gets regular gas, oil and filter changes. And last, but certainly not least, keeping up with lawn mower tire maintenance makes a great difference on your lawn as well. OTR’s Lawn and Garden products are proven to be exceptional to say the least.
Check out our Lawn and Garden products here!
Also, you can read our blog “Lawn and Garden/Tractor Tires: Quick Tips for Tire Replacement” that gives great tips on when it may be time to replace your tires, how can you find the right size tire, and help you decide what’s the best tread pattern for your intended use.
The Best Time to Mow
You want to make sure that you mow when the grass is dry. If the grass is wet, the blades will not be able to cut properly. Grass will bunch up and clump together while cutting, leaving your lawn looking choppy and uneven. Which is why its also not a good idea to mow in the early hours, not only because you might make your neighbors angry, but because even morning dew is enough to make your lawn too wet to mow. Also, the heat tends to be intense in the summer, so the best time to mow is probably late afternoon, when your grass is dry and the sun isn’t too strong.
Its also important to mow regularly. This depends the type of grass, the time of year, the amount of fertilizer you use, and how often you water. So, there isn’t a set rule for how often you should mow, but there is a rule for how much you should mow at one time, which is the one-third rule. The Lawn Doctor explains the one-third rule as;
“You never want to mow more than one-third of the grass at once. “Scalping” your lawn – cutting off too much — can have negative side effects, including depriving your lawn of nutrition and exposing the grass to harsh sun. So pay attention to how quickly your lawn grows, and mow accordingly so that you never cut off more than one-third at one time.”
Different Types of Mowers
Here’s a helpful list from the “For DUMMIES” website that explains the purposes of different types of lawn mowers;
- “Push rotary power mowers: Push rotary power mowers may come with side- or rear-bagging units to catch clippings. Side-baggers may be less expensive than rear-baggers. Most newer models are very easy to start. Don’t buy any walk-behind mower, push or self-propelled unit, that doesn’t include a blade break system, colorfully termed as a dead man switch. This device makes the spinning blade stop within seconds after the operator releases a lever on the handle. The blade break system makes power mowers more complicated (and expensive) but has reduced the number of injuries caused by careless use of lawn mowers.
- Self-propelled and mulching rotary mowers: A mulching mower basically is the same as a typical rotary mower. However, the clippings circulate in the blade housing and get cut and re-cut until very small. If you don’t like picking up grass clippings but can’t stand the sight of them lying on your lawn, mulching mowers are for.
- Electric rotary mowers: Electric rotary mowers are great. You turn a switch, and the blade spins. These mowers are virtually silent, too; all you hear is the low hum of the spinning blade.
- Cordless electric mowers: Perhaps the best feature of these mowers is their minimal environmental impact. Even after accounting for power-plant emissions, replacing gas mowers with electric versions results in a 99 percent reduction in carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, and methane, and a 38 percent reduction in carbon dioxide.
These mowers can be hard to push up sloping lawns. Although they’re not heavy in comparison to standard mowers, only a few models of cordless electric mowers are self-propelled.
- Lawn-and-garden tractors: Lawn-and-garden tractor mower deck sizes vary, but most cut 38 to 48 inches of grass in one swipe. Some models take attachments such as snow-moving blades, and snowblowers or snowthrowers. The lawn-and-garden tractor is the type for a homeowner with a large property.
- Garden tractors: The benefit of a garden tractor over a lawn tractor is that the garden tractor can accept a larger variety of attachments, such as tillers, chippers, snow- or earth-moving blades, and snowblowers or snowthrowers. A garden tractor is a good tool for weekend farmers who need to do lots of chores.
- Reel mowers: Push mowers are quiet and nonpolluting. If your lawn is 1,000 square feet or less and composed of mostly soft grasses such as fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, or ryegrass, a push-type reel mower is for you.
- Robotic mowers: Most robotic units look similar to unattached mower decks. The futuristic mower moves around an area of the lawn like those small battery-operated cars your kids love to control. A barrier (usually electromagnetic) keeps the mower confined to within the area you want mowed. To create the barrier, you bury grids beneath the turf at the perimeter of the space.”
Don’t forget to check out our Lawn and Garden Tires!
Be sure to read our past blog post on Lawn & Garden Vehicle Rider Safety! It has some very helpful tips as well as links to other great safety resources!
The For Dummies website has a great informational piece on “Mowing Your Lawn the Right Way.” Give it a read! Also, the Lawn Doctor has plenty of helpful tips as well!