How To Mow A Yard The Right Way

How To Mow A Yard The Right Way

How to mow a yard the right way - Improper mowing causes more lawn care problems than any other yard maintenance practice. Most lawns are mowed too short, not often enough, or with a dull blade.

Proper Cutting Height

Mowing your lawn too low restricts root growth and increases the chances for damage from insects, disease, drought, and traffic. Cutting too low also leaves the grass wide open for weed seeds and infestation. Cut height depends on the type of grass.

  • Kentucky Bluegrass at 2.5 to 3.5 inches
  • Perennial Ryegrass at 2.5 to 3.5 inches
  • Fine Fescue at 2.5 to 3.5 inches
  • Tall Fescue at 3 to 4 inches
  • Bermuda at .75 to 2 inches
  • Buffalo at 2 to 5 inches
  • Blue Grama at 2 to 4 inches
  • ST. Augustine at .5 inches

Proper Timing

How often you mow your lawn depends on how fast the grass is growing. Take care to mow often enough that you don't remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single mowing. For instance, if your grass reaches 3 inches, don't cut any lower than 2 inches. If the grass has grown too tall, raise the mowing height and gradually lower it back to the original height over a few mowings.

Keep Your Mower Blade Sharp

You should check your blade every few times to take care that it remains sharp. A dull mower blade will tear the grass blades in your lawn leaving a brown dying look on the surface.

Grass Clippings

As long as the lawn is mowed on a regular basis, clippings don't need to be collected. Grass clippings contain about 80% water and easily decompose back into the soil. They do not cause lawn thatch. Clippings recycle needed nutrients, in particular nitrogen, back into the soil so less fertilizer is needed.


Mow in whichever direction is safest. Some people like to mow in a criss cross pattern. Some like to mow a second time in the opposite direction. I personally like to mow parallel to the street that the home faces.

There really is no right or wrong direction. Just be safe.