Mowing. Seems simple and pretty straight forward. Each year we spend hundreds of hours keeping our lawns trimmed and groomed - but could it be that we may be going about it all wrong? You may be unintentionally making things harder than they need to be. Spartan Mowers has been around the yard a time or two and we want to let you in on a few secrets to improve your mowing skills. These 7 tips will make your mower and your lawn thank you!
Before you begin mowing make sure your tank is full. This may seem very trivial, but there is nothing more frustrating than getting almost done with the yard and to have the engine run out of gas. Fill it either before you mow or even when you finish mowing. Topping off the tank when you’re done will help you get started quicker the next time. Regardless of when you do it, always begin mowing with a full tank.
Before mowing season begins, sharpen those blades. If you’ve not done it yet, at least sharpen them before your next mow. Make the most of your time by giving those blades the cutting edge your lawn deserves. A nice clean cut will help your lawn to grow more evenly and will help to make it look pristine! Your mower will also log fewer hours. Also consider replacing the blades every 2 years, or when the metal develops chips and/or uneven characteristics that can cause a very uneven lawn.
Before you begin mowing, make sure there aren’t any limbs, toys, or other items on your lawn. If there is a potential mowing obstacle, clear it, bag it, move it to where it can’t cause a problem. One of two things can happen if you don’t do this. You will either not see the items and mow over them, sending potentially damaging and deadly flying objects toward your house or towards other people, OR you will have to stop often and remove objects as you are mowing. Take care of things before you begin and you will mow safely, not causing harm to your property, people, or to your machine.
Cutting your grass short may seem like a budget-friendly thing to do - hoping you’ll have to mow less during the summer months. Realize that a short cut can be harmful to the point of actually killing or severely damaging your lawn. A longer grass blade actually helps to shades the ground, slowing moisture evaporation. This will also help keep weeds to a minimum. A rule of thumb is to mow ⅓ of the length of your grass, leaving ⅔ standing. During extreme heat, it is good to leave your grass 3” tall or more. In shady areas, let the grass stand even taller.
Many people fall into the habit of mowing the same way, with the same pattern every time. The grass tends to lean in the direction that you mow. Changing your direction will actually cause your lawn to become healthier. Mow side to side, then next time front to back. Reversing the pattern is key. Some people are even more creative mowing at different angles each time. Bottom line: mix it up!
What time of the day you mow is critical. It is always best to mow when it is cool outside and when the grass is dry. An optimal time is late evening, giving your grass 12 hours of darkness to recover from the fresh cut. Added bonus, mowing when it is cool also makes it easier on you.
Although using a bag to catch the clippings may seem like a good thing to do, did you know that leaving them behind can actually help fertilize your lawn, returning nitrogen and other nutrients back to the soil? Of course, if your lawn is super high you may want to use the bag - but for the most part it is best to leave the clippings behind and not use the bag.
Regardless of how you mow, you will realize optimal results with one of our Spartan mowers! Experience the Spartan Advantage on all of our 2020 models. These advantages, many that come standard on EVERY Spartan, set the bar much higher in the zero turn mowing industry. Other brands may have similar features, but none are equipped with so many of these advantages, AND our price point. For more info, be sure to check out this video from our founder, Robert Foster.