How to Properly Mow the Lawn (Row or Column Method)

A nice mow makes any lawn look a lot better. Here is how to mow the lawn the right way.


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    Get a lawnmower.
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    If you purchased a gasoline-powered mower, put gas and oil in the lawnmower in the appropriate receptacles. Check the air filter for debris; cleaning or replacing if necessary.
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    Clean yard of any sticks, branches etc. to ensure the life of mower blades.
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    If you purchased a gasoline-powered mower, start the mower by pulling the cord. If you purchased a reel mower, simply begin pushing, and the reel will begin spinning to snip the grass.
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    The most important rule of all is to ensure the edges have been trimmed by using the appropriate equipment such as a Whipper Snipper. Doing this will establish a perimeter of the yard so the when you start mowing you can see where you have to go. Another reason why you should snip first is the mower will then pick up all the mess the snipper has made, making it look professional.
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    Mow in rows or columns, going all the way to the other side and then turning around. Don't miss any grass because it will look unprofessional.
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    To keep your rows or columns straight and even, select a wheel on the other end and aim your mower on the line you already made. Work steadily and aim straight toward the uncut grass. When you reach the end of that row and turn around, pick another line on the other end to aim for when mowing. This will help keep you in a straight line.
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    Check for missed spots and go back over them. If you put your wheel on top of the line you already made, you will barely miss any grass.
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    Turn off the lawn mower, and put it away in the garage or shed after cleaning it off.
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    Repeat as necessary to maintain a uniform appearance to the lawns height.
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    Alternatively - pay a gardener who should already have the above equipment and knowledge, together with the appropriate mowing skills, and perhaps a recognized qualification.


  • Remove any large sticks or debris from the lawn before you mow so they don't get in your way, damage your mower, or injure you.
  • For a healthy lawn, never remove more than 1/3 of the total length of a blade of grass. If the lawn has become very long, cut 1/3 and then cut another 1/3 three days later. Repeat until the desired height is reached. As a general rule, remember "1/3 - 3 days."
  • Mowing can 'train' grass blades to lay in one direction rather than stand up. So, alternate which direction you mow. For example, one week mow in rows. The next week mow in columns. The following week, mow diagonally, next week the perimeter working in.
  • For ease and to cut down on fertilizing, consider not bagging clippings. Consider purchasing a mulching blade, which will make the clippings short enough to prevent smothering the lawn.
  • A longer cut of grass will require less water during drought seasons. It will also "shade" weeds, hopefully preventing them from growing. Thusly, you are able to cut grass shorter during rainy seasons. This will allow for maximum water to reach the grasses roots.
  • To make starting easy and safe, only start the lawn mower on a sidewalk, driveway or other solid ground.
  • Separate the area to be mowed into a large rectangle(s) and then do that in rows, and mow whatever is left after.
  • For an easier and neater job, mow first around the perimeter. If you can do so with the discharge shooting in, you'll minimize cleanup.
  • Set the cutting deck about 4 inches (10.2 cm) for shady areas and 3 inches (7.6 cm) for sunlight to cut St. Augustine grass. Bermuda grass should be cut at around 1.5" - 2" for proper growth.


  • Keep pets and children away from the area being mowed and the operating lawnmower.
  • Choose hearing protection carefully. While you want to protect yourself from the noise of a gas-powered motor, you also do not want to be so cut off from sound that you are unaware of your surroundings. A quality earplug set, which offers protection while allowing in warning sounds, such as a car horn or a person shouting, is ideal.
  • Powered lawnmowers are dangerous equipment. Operated improperly, they can cause serious injury, including death.
  • Be particularly aware when pulling the mower toward yourself that you do not trip or fall and pull the mower on top on you. Rather than pulling the mower toward you, consider standing to the non-discharge side of the mower, and then walking forward while pulling the mower alongside.
  • Read the manufacturer's instruction. Understand the mower's power, function and limitations. Understand its safety devices, how they work and how they must be maintained. Understand how safe operation is distinct from unsafe operation.
  • Always wear hearing and eye protection and tough shoes while mowing. While mowing makes for hot work, avoid the temptation to wear short clothing; open-toed shoes, flip-flops or sandals; or do the work without a shirt. Professional lawn care experts wear long work pants and light, long-sleeved shirts to protect them from power equipment, debris and insects.
  • Watch out for the blade; it can cut you. If your blade becomes clogged with clippings or other debris, do not use your hands to free the blade. Instead, turn the mower off and use water from a garden hose to dislodge the blade of a gasoline-powered mower.
  • Use safety glasses to protect your eyes from flying debris. Wrap around versions are ideal. Even though modern mowers are designed to keep this to a minimum, there is always the chance of this happening.
  • Listening to a portable music device, like an iPod, while mowing is a bad choice. While the earphones might block sound, listening to such a device provides, like a cellphone to a driver, a dangerous mental distraction at a time when total focus is required to properly control dangerous power machinery.

Things You'll Need

  • Hearing and eye protection
  • Lawn trimmer
  • Lawn mowing equipment, including enough fuel

Article Info

Categories: Lawn Care