In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook gives tips on getting a perfect-cut lawn.
Steps for Mowing Your Lawn:
- Remove the dipstick and check the oil level while the engine is cold; never run the engine with low oil.
- Unscrew the gas cap and check the gas level. When refilling, don't spill gas on grass or asphalt driveway.
- Adjust the mower's cutting height to 3 inches or 3½ inches.
- Check the sharpness of the blades. If they are dull, sharpen or replace them. Dull blades rip the grass, which promotes fungi diseases.
- Use the grass-clipping collection bag when cutting tall grass, wet grass, or a newly seeded lawn.
- When using a mulching blade, be sure to install the discharge chute plug to block flying projectiles.
- Squeeze and hold the safety bar prior to starting the engine. Releasing the safety bar automatically shuts off the engine.
- Change the mowing pattern between grass cuttings to prevent wheel ruts.
- Avoid missing any grass by slightly overlapping each pass.
- Mow close to obstructions, but not so close as to hit them with the mower. Instead, come back later and clean up the grass with a string trimmer.
- Dump grass clippings from the collection bag into a wheelbarrow and deposit them into a compost pile.
- When mowing alongside flowerbeds, be careful that the mower's wheels don't roll into the bed or you'll scalp the lawn.