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Ten Things You Should Know About Mowing Your Lawn

A lush, green lawn is a beautiful thing. But it doesn't get that way by itself. A lawn requires watering, fertilizing, weeding, and mowing to keep it in tip-top shape. Here are some mowing tips to keep your lawn looking great.

1. Choose the right type of mower. This depends on the size of your lawn, type of grass, and a number of other factors. You can choose from either a rotary or reel-type mower. You may want a mower you push or a self-propelled unit. For very large lawns, a riding mower is a good choice. And a multi-use lawn tractor can mow, clear snow in winter, and perform many other yard tasks.

2. Maintain your mower. Keep the engine in good running order, and add oil as needed. It is recommended to sharpen the lawn mower blades twice per season. Dull blades can tear the grass rather than cutting it.

3. Before you mow, inspect your lawn for rocks and debris. A rock caught by a rotary mower blade can be flung out at high speed, injuring you or a bystander.

4. Always wear proper clothing. Bare feet or open-toed sandals while mowing can lead to a trip to the emergency room should the mower roll over them. Steel-toed work shoes are safest. Long pants will prevent cuts on your legs if the mower ejects any debris.

5. The best time to mow your lawn is early in the day, after the dew or the water from the morning watering dries. If it is too wet, grass will tend to clump and tear. If too dry, it puts too much stress on the lawn.

6. Make sure the mower blades are set at the proper height. Too low, and you risk scalping and bare spots. Too high, and you will be mowing too frequently

7. Set the mower to "mulch" setting. This will leave the nitrogen-rich clippings in the lawn. It also promotes healthy root growth and discourages crabgrass.

8. Alternate the direction of mowing every few times. This will keep your lawn looking more natural.

9. Mow with an overlap. This way, the mower is not working as hard since it is cutting less grass per pass, and you won't miss any spots.

10. Finish up with a string trimmer and an edger around the perimeter of the lawn to give it that finished, manicured look.

Follow these suggestions, and your lawn will be the envy of your neighborhood.