Great lawns don’t just grow, they have to be cut regularly. If you mow your own lawn, you should know that how you cut your lawn plays a big part in the health and appearance of your lawn. Don’t just assume that because you’ve been doing it this way for years and years, that you’re doing it right.

Beautiful, healthy lawns really set off everything about your home and landscape. Achieving that quality lawn does require a little extra effort, but the results are well worth those efforts. One place where you can make a big difference is in the way you cut your grass. The following are some great tips that will go a long way to improving your lawn’s health and appearance:

Don’t cut your grass too short, particular for our cool season grasses. Higher heights usually provide for a deeper root system, looks better, and is less likely to have weeds invading, particularly crabgrass.

Don’t remove any more than one-third of the grass leaf at any one cutting. If circumstances arise that a lawn gets too tall and you just have to lop off a bunch to get caught up, bite the bullet and break it down into several mowing’s to get caught up with 3 or so days between cuttings.

Try to avoid mowing when the grass is wet.

When mowing only a third with each cutting, you can safely leave clippings that will quickly decompose and add nutrients back into the soil. Contrary to popular opinion, grass clippings do not add to thatch buildup. Grass blades are made up of about 75% water.

Mow your lawn in a different direction with each mowing. Altering the direction ensures a more even cut since grass blades will grow more erect and less likely to develop into a set pattern.

Keep your mower’s blade sharp, which means having it sharpened several times during the mowing season. Keep several blades around so you’ll always have a sharp one on hand.

Don’t forget to change your mower’s oil at least once during the mowing season.

If you didn’t drain your gas tank in the fall, or use a fuel stabilizer, don’t use that old gas, it can cause a number of problems. Better to use fresh gasoline to begin the new mowing season.

In the fall continue mowing as long as the grass is growing. With falling temperatures, begin to drop the mowing height and make the last mowing around 2″. This helps prevent grass from laying over or matting during the winter and becoming susceptible to fungal snow mold.