How to Mow Like a Pro: Healthier Grass, Better Look
Whether you’re maintaining your own property or you’re getting into your own lawn care business, it’s not just about having the right equipment. But if you’re asking how to mow like a Pro, you’re already on the right track. Mowing is more than just keeping the grass at an even level. If done right, it also helps maintain the health of the lawn and there’s a decorative appeal that can come along with proper mowing technique.
Now, what we’re not talking about today is proper cutting height (that’s a topic for another article). We’re also not tackling baseball stadium style mowing where the grass is cut very short and rollers are used to give it that great look.
How to Mow Like a Pro
There are More than Two Directions
One of the first lessons my high school soccer coach hammered into my head is the number of directions there are to play. It’s more than just up and down the field or left and right. Most people simply mow the grass back and forth across the longest dimension to cut the mowing time down. But just like on the soccer field, there are 360° you can play or mow. Mowing the same way every time gets the job done, but it can also begin to create ruts and give the grass a bend.
While you could mow in 360°, it’s really not necessary. I rotate between North/South, East/West, NE/SE diagonal, and NW/SW diagonals. With four directions to work with, you’ve got a month before you repeat a cutting direction if you’re mowing every week.
Frame Your Best Work
When you take the time to rotate mowing directions, one of the benefits is the look it leaves. The diagonal patterns particularly stand out against your neighbor’s standard long lines. Start by mowing your lines and then make a frame for them by mowing two or three deck lengths around the outside border to remove your turn marks and cut the grass that’s missed on the edge.
If you have landscaping in the middle of the lawn, follow the most direct line you’ve already cut to it and mow one or two deck lengths around around each piece. Follow a line back to the border to keep the look unblemished.
How to Mow Like a Pro Without a $10,000 Mower
The beauty of this mowing technique is that you can use it no matter what kind of lawn mower you have. Push or self-propelled mowers are easy enough to maneuver to the next line like a ZTR. Non-ZTR lawn tractors are a little trickier, but you can mow opposite ends of the lawn and work your way toward the middle. You’ll have to be creative to mow the last couple of lines. Since you’re mowing the border last, you’ll be able to cover up your turns.
This style of mowing is most prevalent on the golf course. Very short grass cut in the same direction each day will not only get ruts, it will also begin to bend the grass in one direction and affect the green’s behavior. Even on the fairways, you’ll see mowers work in multiple directions from one day to the next to keep the mower from creating ruts and ensure the grass doesn’t lean just one way. Granted, come tournament time, you’ll see a combination of cuts used to create an effect and look that you’re not necessarily shooting for at home. But you’ll end up with a better looking and healthier lawn in the long run.