Lawn mowers mowing grass. Grass Cutting Height Chart: How High to Cut Your Grass

Grass Cutting Height Chart: How High to Cut Your Grass

David Beaulieu is a landscaping expert and plant photographer, with 20 years of experience.

Sonya Harris is an award-winning gardening expert with two decades of experience teaching and sharing her extensive knowledge about small space gardening. She is a Master Gardener and founder of the award-winning Bullock Garden Project in New Jersey. Sonya has written for Martha Stewart Living, won South Jersey Magazine’s One to Watch Award, and is also a member of The Spruce Gardening and Plant Care Review Board.

Finding the optimal grass cutting height is important to maintain your lawn’s health. If you mow the lawn too short it can damage your lawn. But cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses also require different cutting heights. Below, review our grass-cutting height chart for types of grasses and learn how high to cut grass in the spring, summer, and fall.

How High to Cut Grass in Spring

In the spring, cut cool-season grasses to 3 or 4 inches. Once your grass reaches a height of about 6 inches tall, it’s time to mow. Warm-season grasses should be cut to 2 or 2 ½ inches, and you’ll know it’s time to mow once these grasses reach about 4 inches tall.

Grass starts growing quickly in the spring, especially after rain, and can be cut shorter at the beginning of the growing season to help remove winter debris and encourage new growth. It’s tough to know how often to mow because it depends on several factors, including rainfall amounts, grass type, and soil health.

How High to Cut Grass in Summer

In the summer, keep both cool-season and warm-season grasses slightly taller. Cut cool-season grasses to 3 or 3 ½ inches. Mow warm-season grasses to 2 or 2 ½ inches. In summer, grass can be kept a bit higher to prevent weeds, help shade the soil line, and maintain water in the soil.

How High to Cut Grass in Fall

Cool-season grass can be mowed down to about 2 ½ inches before winter’s first frost. Warm-season grasses can be cut to 1 ½ or 2 inches in the fall before cooler weather appears.

In fall, grass should be cut to a medium length to keep it at a reasonable height over winter but to keep the roots protect during winter. Finding that right height is a little tricky because grass that’s too tall in the winter tends to become matted and prone to diseases.

A Trick to Help You Remember These Measurements

Draw a line across one of your lawn mower tires that stands 3 2/3 inches above surface level. Draw an arrow, as well, to indicate which direction is up/down. That way, you’ll see where the grass level stands in relation to the line so you’ll know when and how much to mow your lawn. It can take some experimenting to see what mowing height you need to set your mower to and then you can mark that slot to find it quickly.

Different types of mowers have different ways to set the height so it’s best to consult your owner’s manual. You can typically use the mower’s levers or gears to set the correct height according to the type of grass you have.

The 1 out of 3 rule refers to the preference that you should never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blades every time you mow your lawn. For example, if you are cutting your lawn and it has grown 3 inches tall, do not cut more than 1 inch off of the blade, which is 1/3 of the total height. Cutting only 1/3 of the blade keeps the grass healthy without damaging its growth.

One of the biggest mistakes people make is mowing the grass too short in the summer. Keep the grass slightly longer in the summer so the longer blades can protect the roots from the harsh summer sun.

The Spruce uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

How To Cut Grass Like A Pro Using Lawn Mowing Patterns Techniques

Using lawn mowing patterns to cut your grass is beneficial, and makes the chore of cutting it more fun. In this post, I’ll tell you all about how to use different grass cutting techniques to create those nice straight lines in your yard, just like the pros.

Learning the basic lawn mowing patterns will make your yard look amazing, and it’s also better for the grass too.

You don’t need to spend tons of extra time learning how to cut grass like a pro, it’s all about being intentional with the way you mow.

When you are more intentional, it becomes much easier (and more fun!) to maintain a healthy lawn.

In this detailed guide, you’ll learn all about the different grass cutting techniques and patterns, and how to easily use them to make nice designs in your lawn.

Why Use Lawn Mowing Patterns?

You don’t need to be completely obsessed with having the perfect lawn to use mowing patterns. Some people totally geek out about it, and that’s cool.

I’m not one of those people, but I do like to maintain the grass and keep it looking nice (after all, it is often the backdrop for my gardens in photos).

Being intentional about how I mow, and using simple grass cutting patterns, makes it much easier to maintain a healthy lawn.

Even if you could care less about creating perfect stripes or patterns in your grass, it’s still important to pay attention to the way you mow.

Not only will your yard look nicer, your grass will be healthier, have less weeds, and be easier to maintain.

Mowing a criss cross pattern into my lawn

lawn, mowers, mowing, grass

Benefits Of Grass Cutting Patterns

Here’s the deal, if you always use the exact same pattern every time you mow, the tire tracks will start to wear out areas of the grass. This can cause ugly dead spots, which invite weeds to grow.

Using the exact same cutting pattern over and over will also compact the grass over time, making it harder for healthy new blades to grow.

Switching up your routine on a regular basis minimizes the wear and tear damage caused by the mower tires.

Alternating mowing techniques also keeps the grass from becoming compacted, allowing plenty of airflow, and keeping it looking its best.

Plus, you need to mow it a little taller in order to get the right effect, which is better for the grass too (but more on that later).

And, as an added bonus, mowing patterns into the grass also helps to hide the weeds, giving the illusion of the perfect lawn.

Lawn mower tire tracks damage to the grass

Professional Lawn Cutting Techniques

If you want to mow your lawn like a professional (or just maintain a healthier yard), then learning the basic patterns is key.

There are a few simple techniques you can play around with to see which ones you like.

The easiest one to start with is creating stripes in your lawn. Once you get the hang of that, it will be simple to create other designs.

Other common designs are the checkerboard pattern, straight diagonal lines, a criss-cross diagonal pattern, and diamonds.

It might sound like things just got complicated, but all of these fancy designs are just variations of the simple striping pattern.

What Pattern Should I Use To Mow My Lawn?

There is no perfect pattern to use on every lawn. I personally like to mix it up, and use a different one every time.

But I have a large yard that is pretty square, so I have plenty of room to experiment. If yours is oddly shaped or small, you might find that only one or two of the designs will work.

Once you figure out the ones that look the best in your yard, and are the easiest to create, mowing actually becomes kind of fun.

Basic checkerboard lawn pattern

How To Cut Grass Like A Pro

Making lawn striping patterns won’t add any work, it just takes a little extra thought and a bit of planning at first, so you can visualize what you want to do.

You don’t have to mow over and over again, spending extra hours to create the stripes and patterns. It’s all about how the grass lays after you cut it.

As your mower goes over them, the blades of grass will bend in that direction. Then when you go the other way, the grass bends in that direction.

The light reflects off of the blades differently in each direction – and that’s what makes the lines.

Mowing the grass taller (raising the lawn mower height) will make the stripes show up better, because longer blades bend more than short ones.

How To Mow Patterns In Your Lawn Step-By-Step

You don’t need any special equipment to create the professional look in your own yard, any push or riding mower will work. Here’s how to create those pretty lawn stripes…

Step 1: Cut the outside edges – Mow around the outside edges of your yard first (just like when a Zamboni starts cleaning the ice).

This is where you’ll turn your mower as you’re cutting the rest of the grass. Having a few feet of turning space makes it much easier to create straight lines.

Cutting around the lawn edges like a zamboni

Step 2: Line up the first stripe – Make your first stripe using a landmark to keep it straight. I use the edges of my garden beds to help me get a nice straight pattern that matches the lines already in my yard.

You could also use a sidewalk, driveway, patio, or some other straight-edged hardscape in your yard as a guide.

Lining up my mower with a straight edge

Step 3: Use the first stripe as your guide – After you make your first stripe, turn your mower around on the outside edge of the lawn where you’ve already mowed.

Line your mower up so that the wheels are on the edge of the line you just created. Then follow that line to create your next stripe.

Mowing patterns into my lawn

Step 4: Repeat the same pattern – Continue going back and forth over your lawn, lining your mower up after each turn with the last stripe you created.

Each new stripe you make will be in the opposite direction of the last, creating those nice clean lines. If you end up with a crooked line, just mow back over it in the same direction to fix it.

Speedfeed or Head Swap, What’s Better/Faster? �� #lawncare #grass #mowing

Step 5: Go over the outside edges again (optional) – Once you’re done creating your lawn stripes, go back around the perimeter of the yard again.

This will get rid of any turn marks left over from your striping, and any unsightly clumps of grass that were dropped by the mower.

Taking this extra step gives the lawn a more finished look, but it is totally optional. If you’re already happy with the way it looks, then you can skip this step.

Once you get some practice making nice straight lines, play around with other patterns and designs to see which ones you like the best in your lawn.

How Grass Type Affects Lawn Mowing Patterns

It’s important to note that the type of grass you have can make a big difference in how dark your stripes will be.

We have Kentucky Bluegrass, which is a variety that does better in cooler climates (like we have here in MN). It has a longer blade, and is thicker and lusher than those you’d find in warmer climates.

If you live in a hot climate, have a shorter variety, or one that has a more stem than blades, it won’t bend as nicely as the longer grass types.

In that case, the patterns won’t be as prominent, or your mower may not leave any lines at all.

A simple lawn striping pattern

Lawn Mowing Patterns Tips Tricks

Creating stripes and designs in your lawn is easy, and it won’t take you any extra time to mow once you get the hang of it. Here are a few tips and tricks to remember when you’re just getting started…

  • Try to use a different pattern or change the direction of your stripes after every 2-3 mows. This will keep the grass growing its best, and avoid wear and tear damage caused by the mower tires.
  • The trick to creating darker lawn stripes is to mow the grass taller, because the blades don’t bend as well when they’re cut short.
  • Use a sidewalk, driveway, or other hardscape in your yard as a guide to keep your lines straight.
  • Experiment with different cutting patterns to see which one you like, and what looks best in your grass.

Beautiful straight lines mowed in the grass

General Tips For Mowing The Lawn

  • To help with weed control, don’t cut the grass too short. Weeds have a harder time establishing themselves in a thick, healthy lawn.
  • Cut the grass lower in the fall, and make sure it’s short before snow covers it. This will help to avoid dead spots caused by winter damage, and also prevents mold growth in early spring.
  • Remove all the leaves and other debris from your lawn before winter to avoid dead spots in the grass come spring.
  • Keep your lawn mower in tip-top shape, and always be sure the blade is sharp for a clean cut.
  • To avoid ugly clumps of grass messing up your lines, raise the mower height. Then gradually lower it when it’s time to cut your grass shorter. Mowing more frequently, and only when the grass is dry, will also prevent unsightly boogers.

When you learn how to use lawn mowing techniques and patterns, your grass will be much healthier and easier to maintain. Plus, it will look amazing too.

Yard Care Tips

Share you favorite lawn mowing patterns or tips in the Комментарии и мнения владельцев section below.

About Amy Andrychowicz

I’m an author and expert gardener who loves growing ALL of the plants. From vegetables, herbs, and flowers to cacti, succulents, tropicals, and houseplants. you name it, I’ve grown it! My green thumb comes from my parents, and I’ve been gardening for most of my life. Read

Комментарии и мнения владельцев

I started mowing a different pattern when I saw the tire marks before I mowed. Now I start the season mowing north and south, and rotate 45 degrees clockwise with each successive mowing. A little OCD, I know, but I think it looks better. I mow about 3/4 acre, so th pattern shows up.

Awesome! I feel OCD about using mowing patterns too, LOL! But it looks so much nicer, and it’s better for the grass too. Great work!

lawn, mowers, mowing, grass

All great tips. didn’t know to lower deck before winter. Also, sharp mulching blades make a nice Clean cut. Cleaning up edges after mowing inhances the Effort you’ve put into job. it doesn’t take a lot of time to go that extra mile to show off your pride of work ! Thanks for all the great tips ! Brendan ?

Thank you for all te wonderful tips on how to mower like a pro. I will make sure my hubby read this post so he can start mowing like pros.

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Manage Tall Grass: How Tall Of Grass Can a Lawn Mower Cut

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Are you a new homeowner who wants to learn more about lawn care? If so, you may wonder how tall grass your lawn mower can cut.

Knowing this information is important for ensuring that your grass stays healthy and taken care of and for understanding when it’s time to break out the clippers or buy a bigger mower.

The good news is that with some basic knowledge of the subject and perhaps even a straightforward test, you can determine precisely how tall your lawnmower can safely handle it!

In this blog post, we’ll walk through what factors go into determining maximum cutting height and talk about strategies for successfully managing taller grass.

How Tall Grass Can Lawn Mower Cut

Mowing your lawn can be overwhelming, especially for those with yards full of tall grass.

While most lawnmowers have a maximum cutting height of four inches, there are ways to extend this to accommodate taller grass.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the ideal height for cutting grass, the maximum height your lawn mower can cut, the benefits of keeping your lawn at a reasonable height, and the types of lawn mowers that can cut taller grass.

lawn, mowers, mowing, grass

We’ll also look at safety tips and the best time to cut your tall grass with a lawn mower. Finally, we’ll offer some tips on maximizing efficiency when cutting tall grass with a lawn mower.

What is the Ideal Height for Cutting Grass?

The ideal height for cutting grass depends on your grass type. For cool-season grass such as Kentucky bluegrass and fescue, the general rule of thumb is to cut the grass to a height of two inches.

The ideal height for warm-season grass such as Bermuda and zoysia is slightly taller, usually between three and four inches.

Keeping your grass at an appropriate height helps maintain a healthy lawn and allows more air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots.

What Are the Benefits of Cutting Grass to a Specific Height?

Cutting grass to a specific height has several benefits.

First, it helps to keep weeds from taking over your lawn. Weeds thrive in taller grass, so keeping the grass mowed helps to suppress weed growth.

Additionally, cutting the grass to a specific height can help promote healthier and more vigorous growth.

Different grass varieties have different optimal heights for mowing; however, the general rule of thumb is to cut no more than one-third of the grass blade at any given time.

Cutting your grass too short can rob it of food-producing chlorophyll, weakening plants, and possible disease.

Lastly, cutting your grass to a specific height is essential for aesthetic purposes. A well-maintained lawn can add curb appeal and value to your home.

What is the Maximum Height Your Lawn Mower Can Cut?

It is important to know the maximum height your lawn mower can cut before attempting to cut tall grass.

Generally, the top setting for most mowers gives a cutting height between 3.25 and 4 inches.

This is the ideal height for most grasses, and cutting no more than one-third of the grass at a time will help keep your grass healthy.

However, if your lawn is taller than this after the initial trim, it is possible to cut through dense grass with a mower like this Makita commercial strength set to the highest position possible.

Riding mowers like this Husqvarna below are designed to cut grass up to 8 inches tall, while robotic mowers can handle heights up to 4 inches.

Every variety of grass has an ideal cutting height; however, a common mistake people make with their lawn is thinking they have to mow all the grass down to the same height.

Inching into fall, mid-length grass is the preference. In winter, tall grass can get matted down by snow and will not suffer from being left in a slightly longer state.

By knowing your lawn mower’s maximum cutting height and familiarizing yourself with the specific needs of the grass in your yard, you can ensure that your lawn looks its best regardless of the season.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Lawn at a Reasonable Height

Keeping your lawn at a reasonable height has many benefits. Mowing your lawn regularly helps to maintain its overall health by promoting grass growth and preventing weed growth.

Your lawn will also look more aesthetically pleasing when mowed to an appropriate height, as it will appear well-groomed and manicured.

Additionally, cutting your lawn at a reasonable height helps to reduce the risk of pests and diseases taking hold, as long grass can become a breeding ground for harmful pests and diseases.

Lastly, keeping your lawn at a reasonable height will help promote water retention in the soil, reducing the need for water during dry periods.

The Pros and Cons of Cutting Taller Grass with a Lawn Mower

Cutting taller grass with a lawn mower has both pros and cons. On the one hand, it can be done in a pinch if you don’t have access to a larger mower or trimmer.

Additionally, it is easier to maneuver a lawn mower than other mowers, making it well-suited for cutting taller grass in small areas.

On the other hand, cutting taller grass with a lawn mower is more labor-intensive than with other mowers.

Then it would help if you considered that your blades may not cut through the grass evenly, and the cut pieces may be uneven and patchy.

Further, it is more difficult to make tight turns when cutting tall grass with a lawn mower, making it more challenging to achieve a uniform cut.

How to Adjust the Height of Your Lawn Mower Blades

Cutting grass to an ideal height is an integral part of lawn care, and adjusting the height of your lawn mower blades is easy and can be done quickly.

Most modern lawnmowers have a lever or knob that adjusts the height of the blade.

Check your mower’s manual for specific instructions on adjusting the blade height. Generally, you can adjust the blade height by adjusting the lever or knob on your mower.

Once you have adjusted the blade height, ensure all four wheels are on the same level before you mow. This will ensure that you get an even cut across your lawn.

Also, ensure you use the proper settings for your particular type of grass. Some grasses need to be cut higher than others.

For example, cool-season grasses should be cut at two inches, while warm-season grasses should be cut at the height of three inches.

Types of Lawn Mowers That Can Cut Taller Grass

When cutting tall grass, your lawn mower can make a big difference. Reel mowers and electric mowers are designed for cutting grass up to 6 inches tall while riding mowers are designed for grass up to 8 inches tall.

  • Reel mowers, like this Fiskars brand, are an excellent option for small yards, as they’re lightweight and maneuverable. They’re also quieter than their electric counterparts.
  • Electric mowers, like this Makita brand, are ideal for larger yards, as they’re more powerful and can easily cut through thicker grass.
  • Riding mowers, like the Husqvarna one above, are the best for yards with tall grass, as they can cut through up to 8 inches tall.

However, they are more expensive and require more upkeep than a reel or electric mower.

When choosing a lawn mower, consider the height of the grass you’ll be cutting and the size of your yard.

Determining the Height of Cut on Your Mower

Safety Tips for Cutting Tall Grass with a Lawn Mower

When cutting tall grass with a lawn mower, safety is essential. Always wear safety goggles and long sleeves to protect yourself from flying debris.

Take your time while mowing, as tall grass can be challenging to maneuver. Clear any obstacles, like rocks or sticks that may be in the way before mowing.

Inspect your lawn mower blades before using them, as they may become dull over time and require sharpening for optimal results.

It’s also important to pay attention to the weather conditions. Avoid mowing when wet or rainy, as this can be dangerous and lead to slippery surfaces.

Finally, always use caution when operating a lawn mower and read the user manual for instructions on proper use.

The Best Time to Cut Your Tall Grass with a Lawn Mower

The best time of year to cut your tall grass with a lawn mower depends on the type of grass that you have.

Cool-season grasses, such as fescues and bluegrasses, need to be cut at a higher height during winter. In spring, these grasses should be mowed at a height of about three inches. Your tall grass should be cut to about two inches in the summer months.

Warm-season grasses, such as bermudagrass, St Augustinegrass, and centipedegrass, should be mowed at a higher height during summer. In spring and fall, these grasses should be cut to a height of about three inches. During winter, your tall grass should be cut to about two inches.

It is important to note that the ideal mowing height for your lawn depends on the type of grass you have and the current weather conditions.

Check with your lawn care professionals to determine the best mowing height for your grass type and weather conditions.

Conclusion: Maximizing Efficiency When Cutting tall grass With a lawn mower

When cutting tall grass with a lawn mower, it is essential to adjust the blade height and the type of mower for the best result.

Knowing the ideal cutting height for your particular type of grass is critical, and understanding the pros and cons of cutting taller grass can help you make an informed decision.

Additionally, selecting the correct type of mower and following safety tips are also important factors that should be considered.

By taking these points into account, you can maximize efficiency when cutting tall grass with a lawn mower.

Posted on Published: December 29, 2022. Last updated: April 29, 2023

Mowing the lawn: All you need to know plus tips and tricks

Once the gardening season gets going, it’s that time again – a spring clean of the garden lies ahead of you. And there’s lots to do! This is when bushes and hedges need to be supported and trees cut back. You should pay particular attention to the lawn, as it requires a lot of maintenance in spring and in the following months in order to remain green over the entire season. What are the typical questions and focal issues when it comes to mowing the lawn? A guide to the perfect lawn.

Five frequently asked questions on mowing the lawn

Every amateur gardener knows that you’ve barely left the garden for a few days before the lawn starts sprouting like wildfire. But simply mowing straight off without taking note of any tips and regulations would not be Smart. Many circulate half truths when chatting with a neighbour or at a regular group meet-up, but what is really true?

Mowing the lawn in summer: Should you mow the lawn when it’s hot?

That is not advisable. The lawn should not be mown too intensively during hot and dry periods in the summer. The reason is that longer blades of grass protect the ground and grass roots from drying out too much and thus ensure healthy plant growth.

Mowing the lawn and seasons: From when and how often to mow the lawn

The lawn should be mown for the first time when the gardening season starts in spring. From then on, ideally mow the lawn once or twice a week until the autumn. Grasses grow especially quickly between May and June; in this period, you should definitely mow the lawn once a week. In winter, the lawn does not grow due to the cold temperatures, so nor is there any need to mow it.

Is it advisable to mow a wet lawn?

No, you should not mow a damp lawn. This is because the blades of grass are not cut off cleanly when they are damp and consequently stick together. This leads to an uneven cutting result. effort is required as the cutting material clumps instead of spreading or flying completely into the grass catcher bag.

How do you mow a lawn correctly?

For a uniform, streak-free cutting pattern, the lawn mower should protrude the width of approximately one wheel into the mown area. You should also always mow slopes horizontally across the incline. Then there is no risk of injury from the lawn mower if you slip. The edges of the lawn can be left and then trimmed to perfection with manual shears or with a battery lawn trimmer.

Should the mown grass stay there?

A much-discussed issue. There are advantages and disadvantages both when mulching (with Kärcher, a mulching kit is included in the scope of delivery of battery lawn mowers) and when mowing the lawn in the traditional way. The advantages of mulch mowing are less lawn thatch, no disposal of cutting material and less use of fertiliser. But you must mow more frequently, and can also only do so if it is dry. The advantages of mowing the lawn in a traditional manner are a clean lawn area, less frequent mowing and that the lawn cuttings can be used as a fertiliser for flowers. The disadvantages of this method are that more nutrients are lost, a mown lawn must be fertilised and additional work arises when it comes to disposing of cutting material.

Mowing the lawn: The right cutting height for the lawn

The principle for the cutting height of the lawn is not too short but also not too long. That sounds vague, but how short or long the lawn should be mown does indeed depend on a few factors. Cutting it too short damages the lawn and even the grass roots – especially at dry and hot times of the year. The consequence is then brown patches. Or in other words: (Too much) direct sunlight is toxic! If the lawn is too short, it is hit hard by sunlight and loses strength. This can lead to weeds spreading and taking over the lawn little by little. This can in turn also happen if the grass is too long. For the lawn to be at optimal cutting height, lawn mowers can be manually adjusted to various cutting heights.

The one-third rule and what is known as the vegetation point are of significance in this context. This can be found at roughly mid-height of a blade of grass. If you mow down more, it takes quite a long time until the sprouts have recovered from this – healthy grass growth is hardly possible, particularly as the increased sunlight also bothers the mown lawn. What does that mean in concrete terms? A lawn should only ever be shortened to a third of the height to which it has currently grown. This means that two thirds remains, which is perfectly in line with the respectively recommended cutting height. Supposing that you go on holiday and the lawn grows 15 centimetres in this time, then you should trim it by only approximately five centimetres, i.e. not shorter than 10–11 centimetres. The expert tip is as follows: For a healthy lawn, it is better to mow a little less per use, to do so regularly and to take into account the weather and the condition of the blades of grass.

A trick for an even lawn cutting height is not to enter the unmown lawn areas, as otherwise the blades of grass fold over and do not stand up again immediately.

Mower, trimmer, robot? Mowing the lawn depending on requirements

Many amateur gardeners ask themselves which garden tool will make the lawn perfect. Do you use a classic lawn mower with a collection basket, a lawn mower for mulching or a 2-in-1 solution with a mulching kit (with Kärcher, included in the scope of supply)? Or rather a trimmer – and if yes, should this be battery-powered or not? over, there are robotic lawn mowers that take over mowing work completely, while you can sit back in your garden lounger. The old lawn mower with a power cord may still be in the arbour, but mowing the lawn with it isn’t really much fun – too bulky, too heavy and too little power! Many questions and options that can quickly confuse you.

The selection of a device depends on a few quality features in addition to the profile of requirements for your own garden and personal taste. First and foremost, the new device for mowing the lawn should work reliably. If you decide on battery-powered devices, you should be able to work with the battery for as long as possible. So what is known as the area performance (m² per battery charge for lawn mowers; m per battery charge for lawn trimmers as well as grass shrub shears) specifies the runtime of the device. The area performance can vary depending on the quality and profile of the lawn. You should also have the cutting width and height at the back of your mind. Especially when it comes to the cutting height, it depends on what the conditions in the garden are like. Is the lawn flat or are there undulations?

The classic for mowing the lawn: The lawn mower

You essentially have the choice between lawn mowers with a cord, as a petrol-powered model or with a battery. Which is better? Modern battery lawn mowers are in no way inferior to petrol-powered lawn mowers. On the contrary! With regard to volume, setup time and maintenance, more and more amateur gardeners are choosing battery-powered lawn mowers. The fact that these have the advantage over older lawn mower generations with power cords can be quickly explained as follows. They are both lighter and quieter – and are not a tripping hazard due to their lack of cord.

When it comes to the issue of handling, in particular, you should consider precisely which properties you do not want to do without. Should the lawn mower be as light as possible, so that it is easy to push and easy to stow? Should it also be foldable, as well as having a handle for carrying and for convenient cutting height adjustment? Compact 18-volt lawn mowers with cutting widths of up to 36 centimetres are suitable for small lawn areas. If larger areas of lawn need to be mown, 36-volt devices with cutting widths of up to 46 centimetres can be of advantage in order to save time.

Isolated and uneven patches of lawn? A battery lawn trimmer helps.

The secret to perfect lawn edges: For inaccessible areas of the lawn, you can’t get around with a battery lawn trimmer. Equipped with a quickly rotating plastic trimmer line or plastic blade, it reliably trims grass and weeds.

Due to their battery operation, trimmers are very quiet, and the operating noise can be reduced even further through the use of plastic blades. When it comes to handling, a shoulder strap included in the scope of supply as well as rotatable trimmer knobs and height-adjustable handles make work considerably easier.

As the trimmer lines rotate at high speed and parts of the lawn or pebble stones could skid around where possible, it is essential for you to wear safety goggles and strong footwear. Likewise, you should keep a distance from trees and ornamental plants as well as wooden patios in order to avoid damage.

Very practical: You can obtain trimmer lines available by the metre in a DIY store if they become worn, and wind into the trimmer line spool quite easily by yourself in this way.

Small but powerful! Robotic lawn mowers are on trend.

In recent years, robotic lawn mowers have become more and more popular. The motto is clear: The robot does the work, you sit back and enjoy a break. But what does automatic lawn maintenance depend on?

Depending on how large your own lawn area is, it may be worth looking at the precise size and battery runtime of the respective model. If the garden is rather narrow and winding, the ideal selection is a small robotic lawn mower. When it comes to cutting work, a distinction is made between rotary mowers and sickle bar mowers. The latter have larger blades, and are therefore suitable for thick grass, on which fallen fruit or limbs may sometimes lie.

The principle can be quickly explained. There is a charging station from which the robotic lawn mower starts (and where it is automatically charged). Most models mow at random. It’s true that there are also devices that mow along set paths, but sometimes that works well and other times it works less well. One way or another, the grass is mown after a few days – without any effort on your part.

Mowing the Lawn Without Pollution

To many Americans, the perfect lawn symbolizes success, time for leisure, social gatherings, and family fun. Unfortunately, keeping that grass perfectly green and well-maintained is resource-intensive. It requires irrigation, weeding, fertilizing, and mowing. And as lawn technology — including tools, fertilizers, pesticides, and watering systems — improves, we dedicate more resources to these highly manicured monocultures.

A considerable amount of gasoline is consumed to power two-stroke gas mowers, which spew out emissions that account for up to 5% of the United State’s total air pollution. This figure doesn’t include gas-powered leaf blowers and edgers, which are also known to cause considerable pollution. Keep this in mind the next time you shop for yard equipment: Using a gas-powered lawnmower for just one hour generates as much air pollution as driving 350 miles.

Thankfully, these air quality issues can be largely solved by using alternative techniques and mowers. Push mowers and scythes are both good options, depending on your lawn’s size, interest in learning a new skill (scythe), and terrain. Let’s explore some of the possibilities.


Push-Reel Lawn Mowers

These mowers are human-powered and turn a spiral of several blades that rotate when pushed, cutting the grass.

Pros: These mowers don’t use fuel and generate no exhaust. They are quiet to operate, so you won’t annoy the neighbors if you are an early bird in the yard. Push lawn mowers are lightweight compared to gas-powered units, making them easier to lift and maneuver. They are simple, cheaper, and don’t need to be powered up. When properly maintained, they can last a long time.

Better yet, a push mower is also a good form of exercise.

Cons: Push mowers don’t always cut every blade of grass, and most aren’t suitable for very tall grass. Many push-reel manufacturers recommend taking two passes at the lawn, which is more time consuming, especially for larger lawns.

The blade needs to be sharpened, requiring occasional maintenance. As the name implies, some physical exertion is required, making them a poor match for people with physical limitations or large lawns.

Mowing with a Scythe

A scythe is a curved blade attached to a long handle that is commonly used to cut grass, wheat, and other crops. Scythes were used extensively in Europe and North America until the beginning of the 20th century. They can be used successfully on sloped landscapes and have been experiencing a revival recently in certain places. The ideal time to mow is early in the morning when the lawn is covered with dew. The blade needs to be sharpened and then honed with a whetstone.

Pros: Scythes are suitable for hilly and rocky terrain, and they can cut very tall grass that isn’t suitable for gas or push mowers. Some people find it quite gratifying to use a scythe — even meditative. The scythe is human-powered, so it requires no fuel is required and it generates no emissions.

Like the push mower, the user gets a workout, which is a pro or con depending on your perspective.

Cons: Mowing with a scythe requires physical exertion and there is a learning curve involved in getting started. Proper technique is essential, yet this is not a widespread skill. The blade needs to be kept sharp to cut properly.


Electric Lawn Mowers

These mowers use either batteries or a long cord to provide power instead of gasoline. The battery capacity limits the run time on a battery-powered mower. When deciding between a gas versus an electric trimmer, many of the same benefits and drawbacks exist.

lawn, mowers, mowing, grass

Pros: Although electric mowers don’t require fuel or directly create emissions, they do still consume electricity. Their environmental friendliness depends partially on the type of fuel used to generate that electricity, so it’s good to know what energy sources your local utility uses. Electric mowers are economical to maintain because they don’t need oil changes, spark plugs, or air filters, although replacement batteries (if needed) can be expensive. Electrified mowers are lighter in weight than their gas-powered counterparts, making them easier to carry and maneuver.

Cons: If you want a long run time — greater than 60 to 90 minutes — a battery-powered mower might not be the ideal option unless you have spare batteries. However, it can be difficult if not impossible to mow a large yard with a corded mower, especially if there isn’t an outlet near the lawn. Also, beware of tangling the cord into the motor. If much of your power comes from dirtier sources such as coal, the environmental benefits of an electric mower decrease.

This article was originally published on August 18, 2020.

By Sarah Lozanova

Sarah Lozanova is an environmental journalist and copywriter and has worked as a consultant to help large corporations become more sustainable. She is the author of Humane Home: Easy Steps for Sustainable Green Living, and her renewable energy experience includes residential and commercial solar energy installations. She teaches green business classes to graduate students at Unity College and holds an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School.