The Proper Way to Cut Grass


Cutting grass may seem like a simple task, but mowing your lawn incorrectly can open it to encroachment by weeds, insects, fungus and a host of other problems. Mowing increases turf grass density, which will crowd out weeds. The right tools, maintained in good working order and set to mow your lawn at a healthy height, are required for proper lawn care.

Things You'll Need

  • File
  • Lawn mower
  • Lawn rake
  • Sharpen your lawn mower blades with a file after every third time you mow your lawn. Mowing your lawn with sharp mower blades will cut the grass blades evenly and avoid damage that can weaken the plants and allow disease to establish a foothold.

  • Pick up all stones, sticks and debris to avoid damaging your mower. Mark obstacles to avoid, such as sprinkler heads, with a piece of survey tape.

  • Set your lawn mower deck at a level that will shorten the grass blades to the plant variety’s optimal height. Most grass lawns thrive best if grass height is maintained at between 2 and 3 inches. Mow often enough to keep the grass at that height. Never remove more than one-third of the plant’s overall length at any one time. Frequency of mowing is determined by the plant’s growth rate. Grass grows faster or slower depending on rainfall, temperatures and time of year.

  • Position your lawn mower at one end of your lawn before starting the mower. Push the lawn mower over the lawn in a grid pattern to ensure that you do not miss any part of the lawn. Mow your lawn in a different grid pattern each time you mow in order to prevent wear patterns.

  • Leave clippings on your lawn so they will decompose and return nutrients to the soil. Grass that is frequently mowed will have few visible grass clippings. Distribute clipping clumps over your yard with a rake.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not mow your lawn when it is wet. Wet turf is difficult to cut and clogs up a mower.

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  • Photo Credit gazon image by Claudio Calcagno from
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