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How Should I Mow?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Seems like a simple question, right? Well most people seem to think so until they find out the proper way to mow. The problem is most people seem to mow in the same pattern and direction each time. By doing so, they create streaks and striped lines that grow back irregularly and look rather unsightly. To keep your lawn as healthy as possible, it is important that your lawn is not trampled or continuously matted to the point were it is not allowed to grow properly. To help avoid this problem, it is best to change your mowing directions each time you mow. You should either cut cross-diagonally or in the opposite direction each time you mow as shown:
First Mowing
First Mowing
Second Mowing
Second Mowing

Follow the first mowing pattern the first time you mow, the second mowing pattern the second time. and so on. You might be amazed at what a simple process like this can do to the appearance and health of you lawn!
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Do not cut more them 1/3 of the grass off during one single mowing. If you've just got back from a long vacation and the lawn is longer then usual, reset your mowing height so you do not cut more then 1/3 of the grass blades. After this "high" mowing, come back a few days later and cut again to get it down to its normal cutting height.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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