I know, many of you out there just hate to mow.

It’s hot, it takes too long, and there are a million other things you’d rather be doing.

Many will resort to a mowing service and are more than willing to pay for the convenience. Or it’s possible many cannot mow anymore because of physical limitations or time/work requirements and travel.

There’s nothing wrong with that.

But there are some schools of thought that believe there is a right way and a wrong way to mow a yard.

You can get the job checked off your list or you can do it in a way that beautifies the look of your lawn.

I thought I would go through the procedures of a manicured lawn, just in case you weren’t aware of some of the things mowing can accomplish to make your yard a masterpiece, not a “mess”terpiece.

One of the most important things to remember is to only take off one-third of your grass blade each time you mow. That does mean mowing more often rather than letting it grow really tall and then cutting it low so you don’t have to mow again for two weeks. Mowing low or taking a lot off the length actually damages your grass blades and weakens the health of your lawn.

Another important tip is to service your lawn mower annually, especially the blade.

A dull blade tears the grass rather than cut it, which makes your lawn more vulnerable to pests and fungus, not to mention unattractive.

Finally, change up the direction you mow. There are four different cuts to alternate: vertical, horizontal, diagonal left and diagonal right.

If you do this, the lawn will appear more manicured, the blades will be more even, and you won’t have that unsightly bend on your grass blades.

If you have a lawn service maintaining your yard, request that workers alternate the direction they mow each week.

Their larger, heavier mowers not only make tracks if they mow the same direction but your grass will bend to the point that it looks like it is laying over rather than being cut.

Mowing can be an art, and you’ll notice the difference if it’s done correctly. A little effort can not only improve the look but the health of your yard as well.

Darla Horner Menking is a Texas Master Gardener and Master Naturalist. Contact her at darla.menking@gmail.com

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