There are a lot of misinformed Americans out there who are unaware that a push reel mower is not as difficult as they’ve been told or have previously seen. Today’s push reel mower is smoother, lightweight, simple to use and in many cases, practically maintenance free. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to get the best cut using a push reel lawn mower.
One of the biggest complaints of using a push reel mower is that it does not always cut thoroughly in the first pass. In this case, it is best to experiment with different mowing patterns to see which works best for your grass. For example, mowing to create a checkerboard pattern is often recommended as one of the best solutions.
A second complaint is grass length. Should you allow your grass to get too long, it will not cut properly during the first run through. It’s best to cut your grass before it reaches a height of approximately 4 inches. Generally, 3 inches in height is the ideal time to trim the grass using a push reel mower. While cutting, try to use the shortest setting on your mower. This will ensure that your grass doesn’t grow back too quickly, forcing you to mow multiple times a week. Generally, a once-over every week or every week and a half is sufficient when using a push reel mower.
When pushing the mower, always keep a steady pace. Sudden changes in pace can cause your mower to miss patches of grass. The best pace is a steady walking pace, rather than a hurried-get-the-lawn-done-so-I-can-watch-baseball pace.
While mowing, always overlap a few inches to make up for the wheels at either end of the mower. By overlapping, you can ensure that you don’t behind any funny looking thin strips of uncut grass.
After you’ve finished mowing, it’s actually better to leave the clippings on the lawn rather than raking them up and composting (or throwing them out in your lawn-trimmings approved container.) The clippings will actually help nutrients return to the soil, essentially providing it with it’s own fertilizer and helping the grass to be fuller, greener and generally more lush. In short, the Joneses will be keeping up with you and not the other way around.
Lastly, if at any point, your push reel lawn mower does not seem to be doing its job, check to see if the blades need to be sharpened. Sharpened blades ensure that your lawn will continue to get cut easily and properly.
Planet Natural: Mowing Tips
CBS News: Stripe Your Lawn Like a Pro