Mowing the Lawn – How to Cut the Grass

Lawn mowing is something that a lot of people do differently, but one thing remains the same – if you do it wrong, you’ll hurt your lawn, leave lots of clumps, sunburnt grass, and much more. Not only that, but many have driven by a lawn and seen numerous lawns falter. It’s not rocket science when it comes to mowing a lawn, but there is a science to it. Therefore, we’re going to tell you in this guide in a ground-rule like manner how to make sure that when you mow your lawn, you’ll promote it to be a lush and full lawn.

Choosing the Right Mower

One thing remains the same no matter what – if you buy a crap mower, you’re going to have crap lawn. We know that sounds harsh, but it’s important to have a high-quality mower. Yes, you can find these on a budget, but if you look solely for the price of lawncare equipment (weed eaters included), you won’t have as good a result compared to having the better equipment on the moderate to higher priced spectrum. If you have a good mower, you’ll have a better and healthier lawn – it’s that simple.

Sharpen the Blades

Dull lawnmower blades cause numerous issues in not only the cut grass, but also your lawn and mower in general. Therefore, you need to make sure your blades are as sharp as possible so it cuts the grass instead of tearing it. There’s a bit of science to this too. Each time that your mower blade rips the grass instead of cutting it, it pulls the roots up some, and ends up drying or hurting the healthy grass beneath the cut. You can easily file the blade with a grinder or a metal file, or have it done professionally. If you have an old-fashioned reel mower, then you may have to have it professionally done anyway. Fortunately, though, it’s not a hard process, and once it’s done, your blades can generally stay sharp for quite a while (unless you frequently hit sticks or other hard objects in the way – then you may need to sharpen your blades more often).

Cutting Too Much Grass at Once

One major problem that people have is that they mow their grass too much. A lot of people think that they should only cut off about a third of their length of grass to avoid straining the lawn overall. This is actually one of the most popular rules of thumb though. By not cutting off too much grass at a time, you can actually not pull on your grass roots as much, or expose too much grass to the sun which can harm and burn it. Cutting too much off at once can also create clumps, which you want to avoid because of how it can harm your lawn more too.

Cutting Patterns Need to Be Different Too

Depending on the type of lawn, you’re going to want to change up your patterns. With a rectangular, more normal lawn, you want to mow in straight lines until you get to the other side, then come back. This is one of the most popular ways that lawns are mowed.

Then there’s the method that is “circular”. When you have odd shaped yards or a lot of obstacles in the way, then you want to mow from the center or from the outside around the perimeter – making your way inward or outward accordingly. 

Now here’s the real kicker. One of the things that can greatly benefit your lawn is to alternate the pattern. You want to do the opposite one week if you mowed it a certain way the previous week. This means if you went one way mowing straight, the next week, cross that path, the next week go diagonally, and the next go the opposite day diagonally, then start over again. If you don’t, you’re going to deal with what’s called “leaning grass”. By going criss cross and changing it up each time, you will knock it a different way so you can keep your grass from leaning, which helps with the health of it just as much as the way it looks. It may be hard to remember, but try to keep a mental note on how you cut the grass the previous time when you cut it again.

Always Make Sure You Use Mulching Blades and Leave Clippings

This one actually has a few points in it, but they are all super important. Some people think that the break of dawn is the best time to mow, but it is possibly the worst. The grass is wet. You don’t ever want to mow your yard when it’s wet. The reason is because of how you can damage the soil and roots underneath. You also always want to attach a mulching blade to your lawn mower, even if it’s a push mower. The reason is because it will cut your grass clippings much smaller so they’ll drop in between healthy blades of grass.

This helps them to be basically compost to your lawn, as well as helps to reseed it on a regular basis. Some people don’t like the way grass clippings look, and it’s understandable if you have tall grass. However, if you do the one third rule as mentioned above, you won’t even notice them so much. You can get clippings out if the grass is too long, but you want to at least do something with them to make them compost. Also, you can mow over them more than once on each pass (or do the half and half swipe to do this). The half and half swipe with a mower is having only one half of the blade mow the grass, while the other one is handling the previous spots clippings, and chucking them out after cutting them finer.


Even if you have different types of grass to mow, just follow the previous steps listed above, and you should be alright. Also be sure to not make the mistakes mentioned so you can have a happy mowing session and a full and happy lawn! Happy cutting!