Definition of Mowing the Lawn


Mowing the lawn is the process of using a mower to cut down the growth of tall grass. Mowing is not simply passing a mover over the grass. Rather, it is a skill and a technique that involves maintaining sharp cutting blades, setting the blade to the correct height and cutting the grass at regular intervals to maintain a healthy lawn.


Whether using a mower powered by gas or electricity, or using a manual push mower, the key to getting even cuts across your lawn is to have sharpened and straight blades. This is a given when using new equipment, but from season to season, give your blades a sharpening for the best performance.

Cutting to the Correct Height

While there are several types of lawn grasses, and varied growth patterns, a rule of thumb is to not cut the grass below 2 inches. Three inches is even better. The disadvantage of cutting the grass this high may seem that you will have to mow the grass sooner than with a lower cut, but this height helps control weeds. New weed seeds need sunlight to emerge from the ground, and a 2- to 3-inch mowing height will leave enough grass blades to cover the underlying soil and prevent new growth from emerging--much like a mini rainforest floor that receives minimal sunlight.

When to Cut

From spring through fall, grass grows at a faster rate. During this period, weekly mowings are necessary to keep the length of grass cut to only one-third of the total grass height, according Michigan State University Turfgrass Science. Mowing your grass at a higher cutting height lessens the mowing frequency when you maintain a one-third-cut mowing height. Higher grass cuts means more time to enjoy your lawn.

Mowing Directions

Some may find it easy to follow the same mowing pattern each time as a mowing task routine, but this method is not beneficial for your lawn. Mowing in the same direction each time may bend your grass and cause it to grow at an angle in the direction of the mowing force. The best method for mowing your lawns is to alternate the mowing pattern each time you mow the lawn. Try mowing your lawn parallel to your house one week, perpendicular to your house the next week and then at an angle the following week.

Mulching and Composting

When you cut your lawn frequently to the recommended height for your lawn, the mowing process will yield short grass clippings that can act as an instant mulch and fertilizer for your lawn. Let the grass clippings fall to the ground during the mowing or collect them for compost to use in other parts of your landscape.

Keywords: mowing the lawn, lawn mowing basics, lawn maintenance

About this Author

Naima Manal's articles on health, diet, nutrition, alternative medicine, education, parenting, crafts, travel, home and garden and home improvement have appeared on eHow, Garden Guides, Trails, ConnectED, Helium and others. Manal received her B.S. degree in biology/pre-medical studies from Molloy College in 1994 and has been a freelance writer, teacher and homeschooling mom since 1993.