More than Just a Lawn Mower
The lawn tractor, along with the myriad of attachments that can be connected to it, is a true thoroughbred when it comes to a year-round work horse. Fitted with the right implements, It can aerate, haul, spray, collect leaves, plow and more.. Take a look at this video to see just how versatile this four-season machine can be.
While it’s true the lawn tractor can handle a great many lawn and garden jobs, probably the one that it will be asked to tackle most often is lawn mowing. In fact, a ride-on mower not only makes the task go faster, but can also make it almost enjoyable.
Five Common Mowing Mistakes
Having the right equipment does go a long way toward getting a great looking lawn, but it’s not the only factor. John Deere, the folks who make one of the best know machines on the market have put together a list of five mistakes you’ll want to avoid when it comes to mowing and lawn care.
1. Cutting too short – Each time you mow only remove about 1/3 of the grass blade. This will help the clippings break down into the soil, while still allowing the grass to breathe. If you cut too much at one time, the long clippings can cause stress on the grass, inhibiting healthy growth. Mowing frequently, but removing only a small amount of the blade, is a good practice and will give you the best quality turf.
2. Mowing pattern monotony – We all have our habits, but mowing your lawn the same way all year is one you need to break. Mowing grass in the same direction all the time mats down the blade and can inhibit growth. By varying the pattern in which you mow your grass, you can increase aesthetics, avoid missing or double mowing areas, and reduce wear on the turf.
3. Bagging it – Though bagging may help aesthetics, mulching is much more beneficial to your lawn. Mulching returns essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, back to the soil. As noted above, frequent trimming produces shorter clippings that can decompose more quickly and discourages the development of fungus diseases. If you do decide to bag, be sure to compost your clippings and reuse on site.
4. Ignoring the roots - A common lawn care mistake is only managing the parts of the lawn you can see. Caring for the grass roots and soil is one of the most important things you can do now, to ensure healthy growth year round. Consider having a local university extension program, or your local landscape feed supplier do a soil test. The test will give the pH of your soil and can help determine the best type of fertilizer to use throughout the year.
5. Blunt blades – A dull blade will shred the grass creating entryways for disease. Sharpen the blade to a thickness of about 1/64 of an inch to keep the blade strong and not too razor sharp. Be sure the blade is balanced to warrant a clean cut and avoid damage to the mower.