Mowing Tips & Tricks from P&K

posted on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 in Expertise & Insights

Spring and summer months are right around the corner for us here in Iowa.  As the grass has greened up and the flowers are blooming- it’s time to start thinking about yard work, and more specifically, your lawn care.  You’ve probably already given your grass the first few cuts of the season… but as it keeps growing and you start mowing more frequently, there are a few important things to keep in mind. 

Make sure your mower blades are sharp and that your mower is in good operating condition. Dull blades or improperly adjusted equipment will bruise the leaf tips, reduce growth, and often cause the lawn to have a silver-tinted appearance because the edges of the grass blades will be frayed. 

Follow the one-thirds rule, never removing more than one-third of the grass blade in any one cutting. This will create more dense, much healthier lawn.

Vary your mowing patterns throughout the season. This distributes the wear and tear on your grass, reduces soil compaction, and improves the overall health and appearance of your lawn. 

Ensure that each lap with the mower slightly overlaps the previous one, so that the tires don’t go along the same path each time. This will help further prevent ruts in the grass.

Mow slopes and shady areas one setting higher than the rest of the lawn. Because shady areas are protected (and not able to absorb normal amounts of nutrients from moisture and sunlight), and because sloped areas tend to dry faster (and thus also have trouble absorbing nutrients), these areas need to be mowed at a slightly higher setting.  This will leave more surface area on the blades of grass, thereby allowing for more nutrient absorption. 

At the end of a lap, make turns on sidewalks and driveways whenever possible. And when space doesn’t allow for it, simply make wider turns as opposed to tighter ones.  Again, this will alleviate any extra wear and tear on your grass, and will prevent ruts.

Avoid mowing wet grass whenever possible. Wet leaf blades clump together both underneath the mower deck and on the lawn itself.  When that happens, it makes it more difficult to obtain an even, quality cut.  But we all know mowing conditions in Oklahoma are not always ideal and we’ll take the rain/moisture when we can get it!  So if you must mow in wet/damp grass, here are a few helpful hints:

  • Drag a hose across the grass before mowing. This will have a squeegee effect and will eliminate some of the rain or dew. 
  • Raise the mowing height.
  • Slow down the mower speed (not the blade).
  • Empty the bagger more often.


When applied to your lawn care practices, these simple tips will make for a productive mowing season and they’ll ensure the health of your lawn for seasons to come.  Of course, if you have any questions about your mower, the blades, and what will work best on your property, you can always give us a call at P&K.  We’re proud to be your local John Deere experts, providing you with all of your lawn and garden solutions!