Many people who are getting ready to mow the lawn might head straight for the mower, but often surprises await, such as a lawn mower that will not start, running out of gas, or multiple items in the yard that need to be removed while mowing. The person mowing the lawn can decrease the time it takes to mow the yard by preparing carefully and using time and resources wisely.
Although it might be tempting to wait until the planned mowing day, it can be helpful to prepare to mow at least a day ahead of time. Ensure that grass does not get too high because tall grass might require double the amount of mowing time if two passes are necessary. Weather can also play a big role in how quickly a mowing job can be completed. If the grass is wet, grass tends to stick to the underside of the carriage and can cause the mower to stall or cut improperly and can also be a safety hazard.
Mowing can be a dangerous job, so it is important to always follow manufacturer’s directions and to ensure that safety equipment is used, such as:
The person mowing should ensure that children, animals, and others around the yard are safely located to prevent injury. Loud noises may agitate bees, so it helps to check the yard and outdoor buildings for hives, particularly if the person mowing is allergic to bees, wasps, or hornets.
People who are using a mower or trimmer for the first time or may be using multiple mowers at different locations may wish to brush up on how to work the lawn mower. It is helpful to have the owner’s manual handy and to review safety tips such as automatic shut-offs and whether to mow side-to-side or up-and-down on a hill, how to start the mower and/or string trimmer, how to engage the blade, etc.
Each person’s yard is different, and people who have mowed a yard several times often find techniques that fit their individual needs. Before mowing, it is helpful to pick up all sticks, debris, etc. This will make the mowing job safer but will also decrease the number of stops and starts necessary while mowing. People who have multiple gates and gardens may find that it is easier to mow the yard in sections rather than mowing the entire yard as one area.
If using a riding mower, it helps to plan a strategy that involves as few stops as possible. Most riding mowers have a safety feature that turns off the blade when placing the mower in reverse, so it may be more efficient to round the corners and then to trim those areas with a string trimmer. If mowed areas are beginning to curve inward sharply, it is helpful to mow shallowly toward that inner curve to avoid sharp turns later.
One of the quickest techniques for mowing a yard includes starting around the perimeter and making circular passes that get smaller and smaller. If using this technique, it is helpful to mow the first two rounds in a clockwise direction if the grass sprays on the right side of the mower. This will allow the mower to get closer to the edge and to avoid spraying large amounts of grass onto sidewalks, into flower gardens, etc. If trees, flower beds, or other items are toward the center, it is helpful to mow to the right of these.
After the first two rounds, turn around and mow in a counterclockwise direction to avoid mowing the same grass over and over because the mower will not be spraying where the mower will cut next.
After mowing the yard, it is tempting to place the mower, trimmer, and other supplies quickly into storage, but a few minutes of preparation can help the job to go smoother next time. For example, after turning off the mower and trimmer, clean them and ensure that items such as the string are appropriately loaded for next time. Routine maintenance can help prevent problems later. In some areas, it is also helpful to lock up gas cans and mowing equipment because they might not be there when ready to mow the next time.
With careful preparation and ensuring that all necessary equipment is working, checking to see that supplies are readily available, and adequately preparing the yard, people may find that mowing the yard can be a more pleasurable experience with a lot less stress.