How to mow a lawn

Anyone can mow a lawn, right? You drag the mower out from the shed or from  under the house, check that it has fuel or the battery is charged, and away you go. A couple of laps around the edge, then you whiz  up and down, back and forth, and the job’s done! And yet, for all that effort, it doesn’t look that great does it? The edges haven’t been done so there’s a grassy beard around the fence. And if you did do the edges, there are grass clippings all over the paths and out on the road. What a mess!

I estimate that I’ve mowed about 7,000 lawns in my time as a professional gardener. Thankfully, I was taught a few tricks very early on:

Always do the edges.

Always do the edges first, BEFORE you mow.

After edging the lawn, use a blower (sometimes somewhat pompously called an “air broom”) to blow the clippings back onto the uncut lawn. They’ll end up in the catcher when you mow.

Now, mow the lawn, being careful not to cut the lawn too low to avoid “scalping”. Remember, it’s not the “shortness” of a well-cut  lawn that makes it look so good, but the uniformity of the height. A lawn cut on setting 5 looks just as good as a lawn cut on setting 3, without the scalping! Go twice around the edge of the lawn, then mow lengthwise, in straight lines where possible.

Blow the area to clear the few remaining clippings.

Stand back and admire your handiwork.

Time for a cuppa…