Mowing with a lawn tractor may seem easy but achieving a professional-looking lawn can be more complicated than you may think. If you don’t mow properly, your grass can easily become unhealthy – leading to a lawn filled with bald spots, overgrown weeds, and brown colours. Luckily, this problem can be easily fixed with a few simple tips and tricks. Here are our top lawn tractor mowing tips to ensure your lawn is continually healthy and able to achieve that clean-cut look we all love.
Skip the scalping
One of the most common mistakes individuals make when mowing is to cut their grass too short – a practice known as scalping. There are some cases where it might be beneficial to scalp your lawn. While scalping may seem tempting to achieve a clean look or extend the time between when you need to mow, it can be very unhealthy for your grass if done regularly or to the wrong type of grass. Like other plants, grass absorbs sunlight for food, and when it is cut too short, this can make it hard for the grass to produce its own nutrients. This can lead to an uneven and unhealthy lawn that is susceptible to brown spots and weed invasions. To avoid this, make sure you mow more often and do not cut off more than a third of your lawn’s height. In the spring, when grass grows the fastest, you will likely need to mow your lawn every 3 to 4 days. In the summer months, it can usually be done every 7 to 10 days.
Sharpen your blades
Another essential tip for achieving a healthy lawn is to ensure the blades on your lawn tractor are sharp. Mowing with dull blades creates a messy cut that can shred the tips of your grass instead of slicing them, leaving the tips dry with a browned, jagged look. To ensure you get a clean cut, make sure to sharpen your lawn tractor’s blades around once a month or at least three times a year. This can be done at home or at your nearest hardware store, mower dealer, or mechanic. As regular sharpening can eventually reduce the size of your lawn tractor’s blades, make sure to also replace them every year or two.
One of the biggest benefits of owning a lawn tractor is the many attachments you can add. Some of the most popular attachments are mulching kits, which can do wonders for helping you achieve a healthy lawn. Mulching kits work by attaching to your lawn tractor and cutting lawn clippings into finer pieces as you mow, later re-distributing them back into your lawn. Like a natural fertilizer, this process adds a ton of nutrients into your lawn, helping to make it healthier and achieve a brighter and greener look. Besides this, mulching also helps reduce cutting time and it is an excellent way to recycle lawn waste. Check your lawn tractor manufacturer’s website for available accessories and attachments. For example, Cub Cadet’s lawn tractor page lists mulching kits, baggers and haulers among the most popular accessories.
Give your lawn a drink
Like fertilizer, giving your lawn a regular watering can come a long way in maintaining its health and beauty. You can water your lawn using a sprinkler or hose – around 2 to 3 times per week, depending on the weather. It is recommended that you water your lawn when it is cooler either early in the morning or in the evening, as this prevents the water from evaporating before the grass can absorb it. When watering, make sure to avoid flooding, as this can severely damage your lawn, and ensure that your entire lawn gets water by moving your sprinkler or hose to a new spot around every half hour. Keep in mind that after you water your lawn, make sure not to mow it until after it has dried. Although mowing a wet lawn does not affect the health of the grass, wet clippings can easily clog your lawn tractor, making it harder to mow and creating uneven cuts.
A dry and unhealthy lawn is never a good look. Fortunately, by following these simple tips, you can achieve that healthy and professional-looking lawn in no time!