Preparing For Your First Mow

Sometimes cutting the lawn is as easy as firing up the mower, but when it comes to the first mow of the season there are a few things to consider. You may have some questions like when is the right time to start mowing? Should I mulch or collect my clippings? Or how do I sharpen my mower blades?

The good news is you don’t need to be a turf expert to have a beautiful and resilient lawn. Before you mow, follow these steps to make sure you start the year off right.

Clear the Debris

Typically between late March and early May, depending on your climate, turfgrass will come out of dormancy and begin growing again. But before you can see if grass is ready to cut, you have to clear any debris left over from fall and winter. 

The first step is to rake. This will help your clear dead grass, leaves and sticks. Once cleared, you’ll be able to get a good look at your lawn.

Check Grass Length

Once you are sure that your grass is actively growing and no longer dormant, measure your lawn to make sure that your grass is longer than the recommended mowing height. If you aren’t sure what your ideal cut length is, check our mowing height chart to be sure that your lawn is ready to start mowing.

Let your lawn grow just beyond it’s recommended height before the first cut. Remember, don’t cut off more than one third of your grass length when you mow.

Sharpen Your Blades

Shape blades make clean cuts. Not only will sharpening your mower blades prevent leaf tearing which can cause unnecessary stress to your lawn, but it will keep your mower working efficiently which will save fuel and time. Follow the steps below or watch our Chief Scientist, Frank Rossi show you how

How to Sharpen Mower Blades

  • Make sure the gas cap is tight. 
  • Tilt your mower on its side. 
  • Unbolt mower blades.  (Be sure not to lose any hardware.) 
  • Use a sharpening stone or filing tool to sharpen blades. 
  • Put the blade back on as they were before sharpening. 

Start Mowing

Your lawn is clear of debris, your grass is the right length, and the blades are sharp, it’s time to get out there and start mowing. For best results, make sure to try to avoid cutting right before or right after a heavy rainfall. 

We recommend grasscycling whenever possible. It is a great way to turn those clippings into much needed organic matter that will benefit your soil health. If grass clippings start to pile up on top of the lawn, it might be necessary to bag your clippings. 

Be sure to rotate mowing patterns to prevent compaction or divots and make sure that your grass blades are being cut evenly throughout the lawn. For more information on the ins and outs of mowing, follow these Do’s and Don’ts of Mowing