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How to mow a lawn: a beginner guide

By chadchaffin | Gardening

Apr 22

Moving on to a new home, or finally deciding to set aside a garden area in your current one will definitely bring on the need to decide on having a grass to grow in your yard.

After all, grass is the bed that will be the back drop of the many plants, flowers, trees and shrubs that you will be planting in your lawn or garden. After deciding on the grass to grow, and allowing it to thrive comes the part when you would have to trim and maintain.

Like any other plant, grass needs to me maintained so that it could retain its lushness, color, and the life it spreads unto the whole garden itself.

But when do we cut new grass? How do we perfectly maintain it without back-breaking and time consuming effort?

This article aims to help you with maintain a lush grass turf in your lawn, garden, or backyard. We will be discussing when to cut new grass, plus other questions you may have when it comes to grass maintenance such as what could happen if the grass in your lawn is not routinely maintained. We will likewise be sharing with you some tools that are available to help you maintain your lawn without having to slave over gardening. Lastly, we will impart some tips on how to keep your grass patch healthy, thriving and vibrant.

Cutting Grass: The Rules of the Game

Generally, newly planted grass can already be cut or mowed once it has reached three to four inches in height. Having said that there are limits of course on how much one can cut in terms of the grass blade’s remaining length in the patch.

Ask any experienced gardener or lawn mowing service, and he will tell you that the rule of thumb is to always, always retain two-thirds of the grass blade when mowing or cutting grass. This means that you should only cut about a third of the blade’s current height such that it can maintain its health and lushness.

Even if it means having to mow the lawn every week, it will still be in your best interest to retain such grass height because any height shorter than that may prevent the grass from growing healthily. Besides, grass cutting should be done at least on a weekly basis to prevent weeds from growing, so better adjust that mower to retain the said height when cutting grass, and allot time to do the mowing.

What can happen if the grass will not be cut regularly?

Well, leaving your grass patch growing on its own without maintenance in the form of routine cutting or mowing would leave it unsightly. Overgrown grass does not look lush and gorgeous, bringing the overall look of your front yard or garden down, instead of accentuating the whole picture.

More importantly, an ill-maintained grass patch would lead to under nourished grass. Why? Because nutrients will fail to reach its roots easily and at the same time, sunshine can be blocked by the blades of over growing grasses. It basically makes the whole patch weaker, unhealthy, and very much susceptible to plant diseases.

When this happens, the grass can die, and it would mean another expense to have it revived, or worse replace it with new patches.

Weeds can also take over the lawn when the grass is left to grow on its own without regular maintenance and cutting.

Moreover, it can damage your lawn mower or grass cutter because too long a grass blade can jam up the mower’s blades.

What can be done to maintain a healthy grass patch?

At the end of the day, it all boils down to time management. Caring for one’s lawn requires an investment of time and money. It is not a walk in the park at all. Some choose to invest on gardening tools and equipment that will help lessen the time that they spent maintaining their garden and at the same time lessen the effort that they have to exert.

Not all homeowners though may have the enough budget to finance power gardening tools that will make life easier. Some hire a lawn mowing service, which is of course a perfect scenario, but not everyone may have a room in their budget for that.

So does this mean that an ordinary homeowner should slave for hours in the lawn or the garden? Not Really. One just has to dedicate a specific time every week to mow the lawn or cut the grass so that it will not overgrow, be unhealthy, and maintain its lush and vibrancy.

What are the basic tools available to help in cutting and maintaining grass?

Fortunately, the world of grass maintenance have also been modernized that a homeowner can invest on gadgets and equipment that can make his life easier. Here are some:

  1. Grass Cutter – Every home with a garden or lawn must have a grass cutter. Yes it is old school but it does its job well especially for areas that cannot be reached easily by a lawn mower.
  2. Lawn Mower – Lawn mowers have evolved so much such that, mowing one’s front yard will not require too much time and effort. Basic lawn mowers can be push propelled and could either be rotary or cylinder type. Some leave the trimmed grass on the ground, while other versions have a grass catch which saves up so much time because one no longer has to rake and bag the trimmed grass. It can go from mowing to dumping which is very convenient. Some lawn mowers are still manual or push propelled, while others are fuel-propelled. Either way, it helps a lot in maintaining a healthy looking lawn.
  3. Grass String Trimmer – For those who are taking their landscaped area seriously, one can purchase a string trimmer. This one can cut grass in the corners or very narrow surfaces that a mower cannot reach. It can also be great for overgrown grasses since too long a grass blade can jam up mowers.
  4. Edging Shears – Meticulous homeowners with carefully-manicured lawns use edging shears to clean up the edges of the growing grass. This makes the whole lawn or grass area neater and better looking.
  5. Rake and Besom – This helps in removing cut or trimmed grass from the grass area such that the whole turf would look clean and lush after mowing. It would also ensure that the grass can breath and receive all the nutrients from the water, soil and sunshine that it needs to grow healthily.

Now that you already know the basic tools for turf maintenance, then here are some ways to keep grass healthy and growing lushly.

Tips in Maintaining Grass:

  1. Trim regularly. As mentioned earlier in this article, the rule of thumb is to mow the lawn at least once a week to ensure that the grass will not overgrow, and to prevent weeds from growing. During the summer months when grass growth slows down, regular mowing can be done every 10-14 days, but do not go two weeks without cutting.
  2. Mow Carefully. Always observe the right trimming height for the grasses no matter how quickly it grows. It will be better to mow more often, than have unhealthy looking grass that would die and dry up in time.
  3. Regularly water the grass. Ensure that the grass gets adequate nutrients and hydration from regularly watering them. If you do not have the time to manually water the grass or the lawn, have a sprinkler that can be programmed to water the whole lawn at least once a day, or twice during the summer months.
  4. Invest in fertilizers. Yes it may stink, but fertilizers allow grass to grow healthily. It will speed up the growth and adaptation of newly planted grass, and it can ensure the whole turf’s great health.
  5. Get Rid Of Bugs And Pests. Yes, bugs and pests can pester the life of your otherwise healthy patch of landscape. Control their growth by using pest control and bug sprays before they take the life out of your turf.
  6. Get rid of the growing weeds. Do not allow weeds to take over your lawn. Do this by regularly maintaining your garden or lawn through mowing and grass cutting. Take out visible weeds to if you can and you have the time. Otherwise, treat the whole turf with a weed killing solution if need be.


To ensure that the grass will grow healthily, and the lawn will look carefully maintained, dedicate time to regularly trim and mow your grass. Ensure that you only trim one-third of the grass blade’s height for it to continue growing healthily. Invest as well in tools and gardening equipment that will make your weekly lawn maintenance routine a breeze, and something that you can really enjoy doing. Ensure hydration, use fertilizers, and weed and pest control if need be. Lastly, always remember that great things need time and effort. Going home to a lush and vibrant lawn is one of those things.

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