How to Mow a Cemetery

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Cemeteries need to be landscaped regulalry.
Cemeteries need to be landscaped regulalry. (Image: Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Cemeteries are places of eternal rest for the dead. They also provide a place where living relatives can commemorate or visit their lost loved ones. Mowing and landscaping are important parts of cemetery maintenance because they provide a serene and peaceful place for mourners to visit. Cemetery landscaping, however, provides a unique set of challenges you may not face when simply mowing your lawn. Careless mowing is the single most damaging activity that can harm marble and granite tombs and headstones.

Things You'll Need

  • Push mower
  • Gasoline
  • Lawn trimmer with light gauge wire (0.09 recommended)
  • Hand sheers

Consult first with cemetery owners to determine the best time to landscape inside the cemetery. It will likely vary with different cemeteries, but operators will probably prefer that lawn maintenance be done inside the cemetery during hours when it is closed to the public.

Adjust the height of the mower's wheels for the grass inside the cemetery. A general rule for mowing heights inside cemeteries is to adjust the wheel so no more than a third of the lawn's height is cut. Use the accompanying chart to determine the ideal height for different styles and types of grass.

Use only push mowers inside cemeteries, as they provide the landscaper a greater amount of control than riding mowers. When mowing, maintain a distance of at least 1 foot from all grave markers.

Check to make sure the bumper guard on your mower is intact and firmly attached to the body of your mower.

Use care when mowing near gravel or stone pathways if they are present inside the cemetery you are landscaping, as mowers can throw rocks a great distance and could chip headstones.

Use a lawn trimmer to cut grass and weeds within one foot of grave markers. When using a trimmer, care must still be taken. Use the lightest gauge nylon string you can in trimmers. The trimmer line gauge should never be any heavier than 0.09 of an inch. Hand shears can also be used to do finishing work around the tombs and headstones.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not use spray herbicides to control growing weeds around headstones and markers, as many contain salts that are acidic and could cause severe harm to limestone and marble.

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