Before you get on the grass, it is essential to find a mower that meets all the needs of your property so your lawn can get the best cut possible. When choosing a mower, you’ll want to consider the size of your lawn and any obstacles on it. A standard push mower should be fine for regular lawn maintenance for properties smaller than half an acre. For properties larger than half an acre, a riding mower or zero-turn mower will get the job done faster and have the ability to cover more ground. Riding mowers are also ideal for yards with more slope due to their increased stability and power steering feature. Zero-turns can come in handy for getting in tight corners since their zero-radius turn technology helps them get in every nook and cranny.
Knowing when to mow and how often to mow can affect the quality of your lawn as well. Mowing is something that needs to be done in the warmer months. In early spring, the grass is just beginning to grow so it doesn’t require cutting as much which is why you should mow every other week around this time. As late spring and summer approach, the grass will be at its growing peak so it should be cut once or twice a week. You’ll also want to pick the right time of day to mow for the best results. It is recommended that you avoid cutting during early mornings or whenever your grass is wet to avoid clumping up wet grass clippings and smothering the soil. The best time to cut is mid-morning from 9 am-11 am or after 5 pm as the sun cools down.
The height of your cut plays a huge factor in the quality of your cut. That is why lawn experts recommend the ⅓ rule. The ⅓ rule suggests cutting only ⅓ of your grass's height to maintain grass health and avoid damaging the grass. Most mowers will have a height adjustment feature that allows you to adjust the height of the mower deck to get a great custom cut. This is something you can find on most John Deere mower decks.
Instead of discarding your grass clippings, go the extra mile and use them to mulch. Mulching is the process of redistributing grass clippings to the lawn to return essential nutrients like nitrogen and potassium to the soil. This can act as a natural fertilizer for the soil creating a more healthy and beautiful-looking lawn and preventing weeds from sprouting up. Select John Deere mowers include an optional MulchControl feature that makes this process easier, allowing the operator to switch from mulching to side discharging when needed.
A dull blade can do more harm than good when cutting grass. When your mower’s blades are dull it can make the blades of grass more susceptible to diseases resulting in frayed and brown grass. To avoid this, make sure to sharpen your mower blades regularly for a crisp and clean cut. The more hours your mower spends on the grass, the more often you should sharpen your blades. You will know that your blades are dull if you notice that your grass cut is uneven and of poor quality. To sharpen your blades you can take it to a trusted dealer like Eis Implement or get a DIY blade sharpening kit. If you notice your blades are chipped and worn it could be time for a replacement.
Along with sharpening your blades, you should also get your mower serviced regularly. Keeping your mower up to date in service not only ensures it is giving its optimal performance but also ensures it will keep running for years to come. It is good to have maintenance done on your mower at least once a year, preferably before peak season in the spring. This includes changing engine oil, replacing spark plugs, and other necessary tasks. You can perform maintenance yourself or bring it to a trusted dealer to perform the service for you.