Mowing is an exact science, requiring a good knowledge of the grass variety in the lawn as well as its specific needs. A properly cut lawn prevents disease and grows a lush turf. Edging the lawn with proper mowing practices adds a touch of finesse, creating sharp angles and clearing sidewalks of stray strands.
Mowers are available in many varieties, the most common being riding mowers and push rotary mowers that run on gas. Rotary mowers compost the grass as the blades run or have a bag that catches clippings. Composting mowers chop the clippings into fine pieces that return to the grass.
Cutting too low will burn the grass in the sun and reduce the root system. Cutting a turf grass too high will create a blanket that traps moisture and breeds disease. Grass generally requires a height of 2.5 to three inches, says the Ohio State University Extension.
When to Mow
Lawns require a mowing regularly. No more than one-third of the grass blade is removed at a time. Removing more than that stresses the turf, reduces root development and thins out the lawn. During the turf's growing period, it may require more than one mowing a week.
Edging with a Weed Eater
Edging is performed using an edger or a weed eater, a device run by a two-cycle gas engine or by electricity. A spinning blade or twine sits at the head of the device. A spinning blade cuts grass and will remove it completely when the edger is turned to its side and the blade is touched to the soil.
An edger may spit grass clippings onto walkways as it cuts. Clean up these grass clippings immediately to prevent them from blowing away. Grass clippings contain nitrogen which can cause an imbalance of nutrients in bodies of water. Allow grass clippings to stay in the yard, however. According to the University of Missouri Extension, small grass clippings will decompose quickly, returning nitrogen to the turf.