Is mowing tall grass a pain in your neck? Are you wondering why they grow so tall in the shortest time possible?
The cutting overgrown lawn might be a strenuous undertaking. But with the right gardening tools and equipment by your side and bucket loads of elbow grease, you can tame this wild herbage.
Your tall grass lawn might look discouraging, but do not give up. There are many excellent ways to cut them, and soon you will find out which alternative will suit you best.
The perils of mowing tall grass
Before learning the methods and the best tools for cutting tall grass, you have to learn about the risks involved. If you’re reading this, things might have gotten out of hand, and you’re still hesitant to cut them.
As you might be aware already, your high grass has a laundry list of issues. These not only relate to the health of the lawn itself but concerning the safety of people that live near it.
Think of it as a mini-jungle, where many wild creatures thrive like snakes and bugs. There are also pests like ticks, fleas, and rats that may make their appearance when it becomes taller.
Also, you have to be aware that an overly grown lawn will hinder the safety procedures of lawn mowing. It hides any possible obstruction in the way like sharp rocks, which might get sucked in and flung outwards like arrowheads.
It also highlights the issue of cleaning rubble off the yard before mowing time. This act is oftentimes disregarded by many homeowners.
Another safety issue deals with the level surface of a particular lawn. The high grass stalks will make it difficult to grasp the sense of terrain and might end up going through dangerous holes and deep divots.
Measurement in cutting high grass
How high should you cut it?
As you might be aware already, cutting tall grass is a fragile process. You want to mow as much as you can. But you do not want to take too much off the top to hurt its development.
There’s a general rule of thumb when it comes to grass cutting. The optimum length of grass growing in a cool springtime climate is about two and a half inches.
In each mowing session, you should only cut about one-third from the top of each blade of grass, an appropriate time to get lawnmowing done when it is about three and two-thirds inches high.
When summer comes, and the grass won’t grow too high due to the heat, you can make the mower settings a little higher.
In the arrival of autumn, when the weather will be a bit cooler, you can revert to the original setting. And make sure it’s only one-third like the previous.
You might be wondering: why the best way to cut very tall grass should have the optimum height of two and a half inches? What you should always strive for in grass cutting is balance.
There’s also an added benefit in mowing: it is similar to pinching a plant to arouse strong growth.
If you allow your lawn to get tall, it means you haven’t mowed in a while. You are not allowing the grass to stimulate strong development, which should have enabled it to be healthier and prettier.
However, if you do mow it but cut it too sort, you will strain it. It is called scalping, which shouldn’t be attempted.
Also, the grass’s height is the determining factor of when is the appropriate time to mow. If the lawn can talk, it is its way of saying to you that it needs cutting.
It is also not advisable to set a schedule that will be based on how long the time spent in between cuttings.
It means mowing once a week does not bring into account the conditions of growth during that time. Rainfall, either the absence or the presence of it, is a chief factor in stimulating lawn development. So it will favorably impact how many times you should mow.
A few experts recommend keeping the grass about three inches during the summer season and springtime. At this time, crabgrass (which is a pest for lawns) tends to prosper and steals space and nutrients from your yard.
The extra three inched shadings provided by your yard will suppress the growth of the crabby crabgrass.
When fall comes, you can revert to the two and a half grass length. Since then, the crabgrass has probably disappeared.
There is a tip to not forget this rule of thumb, wherein you’re going to draw a line on one of your mower tires at three and two-thirds inches above the surface. Make sure to draw an arrow to point which direction is up or down.
This way, when bringing out the mower and the length of the grass is about to reach that spot in the wheel, then it will tell you it’s time to cut it.
After you’ve mowed a while and judged the ideal height of the grass (which should be about two and a half inches), change the line drawing to indicate as such.
Tips on cutting long grass
Cut small portions at a time
You might think that mowing grass is just straightforward, but it’s not entirely true. It’s a complex process catered to the needs of the lawn because it tends to be temperamental and sensitive.
So the best way to mow long grass is not to cut it to the preferred height straightaway. It might be a time-saving procedure and will damage the grass in the long run.
It will also clog up the blades and make them unusable for a while because you have to de-clog them. Your mower will probably malfunction and cease to operate.
Experts recommend spreading out the mowing sessions for a few days. The topmost layers of the grass are trimmed first, then mow again in a few days to cut your preferred length.
If your lawn has the encompassing expanse of a far-reaching meadow, use handheld garden tools like a scythe, weed wacker, or a string trimmer. Let it rest for a couple of days, then do it all over again to get your ideal length.
If you sever more than one-third at a time, you’ll hurt the overall health of the yard. Resting for a few days enables the grass to heal and recover from the stressful cutting.
If you lack time and need to cut your preferred length immediately, it’s usually alright if you’re going to use a string trimmer only. As mentioned earlier, it will cause congestion to your mower if you cut long grass with it directly.
Be sure to collect the clippings in a bag or rake them to a corner. Experts recommend halting mowing once the grass is standing in an erect manner, not drooping.
Maintain it at the preferred length
After mowing your lawn, it does not mean you will be doing it again next year. Experts recommend cutting it in about one week after the first trimming.
You can use a string trimmer for this task, or a mower can also be utilized. As long as you set the blades to the highest setting, for trimming only.
Most mowers have the highest setting in four inches. If you trim it and the grass is still taller than this, use a string trimmer before the mower. Remember to cut only one-third of the length of each blade of grass at a time. The remaining two-thirds will grow up healthy.
Take it slow
Caring for a lawn is a sensitive and time-consuming process, which means you need to be patient and don’t rush into things. You might be tempted to run it in full throttle, which will cause more harm than good.
You’ll need to take things slowly and leisurely. Do not stress the lawn so that it will grow lush and beautiful and the envy of your neighborhood.
Mowing tall grass with a riding mower
Cutting long grass with a mower might be the easiest gardening task there is. You’ll think you only need basic steering maneuverability and being able to tolerate the smell of freshly cut grass and potentially harmful exhaust.
In truth, it’s the best way to do it, especially using a riding mower. However, you might think there won’t be any difficulty in cutting overly-grown turf grass, but you are wrong in this regard.
The process would not be as easy as you think. Harmful debris like cut grass and such will be shot out from the side chute like shotgun pellets, which might accidentally hit someone’s eyes.
Also, yard rubble might end up congesting and sticking the mower’s interior components, which will take a while to decongest.
Fortunately for you, there are tips on cutting long grass without putting any risk to anyone, including your mower.
Factors to consider
Before beginning your journey in learning about how to mow an overgrown lawn, there are a few stuff you need to think about:
- Experts recommend mowing overgrown grass in the summer and spring seasons. These are the best possible times to do it if you want any damage from happening in the colder months.
- Avoid mowing if the lawn is wet from raining or newly watered by sprinklers. Humid and moist conditions aren’t good for you and your mower. Wait for the sun to shine or any dry day as forecasted by weather reports.
- To prepare your mower for the difficult task ahead, sharpen the blades so that grass-cutting will on smoothly.
- Its engine will overheat if strained too much due to overuse. To prevent this from happening, cease operation once in a while to let it rest and recuperate.
- It is ideal for attaching the bagging or a mulch collector on your mower. It will assist you a great deal in collecting grass clippings so you can go on with the task at hand.
- Your lawn mower mowing tall grass will take up to one day to one week, depending on how big the property is. Sensitive lawns might get harmed if you mow more than one-third of their length all at once.
- With many things to consider, be sure to plan before starting the mowing task.
Tools for the task
- Riding mower
- String trimmer
- Mulch collector or grass bagging
- Safety eyewear
- Work gloves
Steps in cutting tall grass with a riding mower
Once you have the things you need, then you can begin using your tall grass cutting machine, aka riding mower, to cut that tough turfgrass:
- Make ready the field for mowing- Before beginning the task, preparation is the key, not only to yourself and the mower but the area itself. It will forestall any unnecessary equipment casualty and make the entire chore go smoothly.
First, wear work gloves. Your hands are the most crucial body part for this situation. Do a quick survey for any tree branches, large rocks, or any larger objects, and pick them up to get them out of the way.
Remove any gardening tools and devices in the vicinity, like hoses or sprinklers. Also, take out any potted plants nearby. All of them might cause accidents.
If there is mulch covering the lawn, remove it because it might get stuck on the blades.
Be sure to remove everything that may cause potential hazards for the mower.
- Cut the top layer- Before utilizing the mower, trim off the top layer of the tall grass first since you’re probably going to cut over two feet.
Put on the safety eyewear and take the string trimmer to cut about one foot from the top of the grass. Don’t cut too much, or you might harm it.
The purpose of this to leave about one-half foot of grass so that the riding mower won’t have a hard time moving it.
After trimming, remove the clippings left behind with rage and an empty bag or sack.
Trimming first will hinder any probable congestion occurring inside the mower by the cuttings. Also, this will make the lawn be more leveled out.
- Let the trimmed grass rest a bit- If you want to do the right thing for your lawn, you should let it rest for about two days after trimming. It prevents any damage for perhaps a sensitive grass species. Thus making it easier to mow when the time comes.
Water the whole trimmed area and do the same thing the next day. Avoid stepping on it so that it can recover from the stress of being trimmed.
After a few days of recuperating, it will be ready for being mowed.
- Prepare the mower- First, be sure that the mower has the bagging for grass collection installed. You don’t need to do this, but it will assist you if any congestion takes place.
Get on the mower, take a seat and be sure to set the parking brake. This way, the mower won’t accidentally move. And after, put the gears in neutral.
Make sure that the throttle is in the slow setting for minimum speed. Go through the mower’s user’s manual to know how to lower the throttle.
Switch on the mower and observe if it sounds and runs as it should be. Set the mower deck on the highest position. If you are uncertain how any functionalities of the mower work, check on the user’s manual.
Maneuver the mower towards the area you’re going to mow. Switch on the clutch lever to rotate the blades.
- Begin to mow- If you have driven and mowed it before, then no problem. But if you don’t and it’s your first time, read on.
Press firmly the throttle pedal. It will enable the mower to move the mower forward. Be sure it’s in low throttle so it will be slow.
If your feel that the engine is resisting, let lose the accelerator and put it in reverse. Then set it back to drive so that you can continue. This little exercise forestalls any clogging from happening to the engine.
To make sure that the lawn will be cut evenly, go back to the area you’ve mowed the first time to trim the remaining uncut grass blades. Always set the mower deck on a level high.
Also, make sure the entire area is mowed evenly, which means you have to go back to the previously cut areas. Also, let the engine rest every ten minutes to let the engine breathe and not get overheated.
- Let out the contents of the bag- After mowing, let out the bag’s contents. Check if the grass is cut about the same height. If not, get back to the same spot to do it one more time.
Be sure that the clippings are situated in another area away from the freshly cut lawn. If you want to mow through the lawn another time, wait for one to two days. It prevents any harm to occur to the lawn itself.
- Mow again- After mowing the second time in, you will need to mow the third time to make it look cleaner and pristine.
Wait for one to two days again. When you’ll mow again for the third time, set the mower deck on your desired length.
The throttle should be on the lowest level. Don’t put it on high and run the risk of cutting the grass unevenly.
Start mowing as you did for the first and second time. Don’t worry about clippings congesting the mower’s interior. If you find any grass cut unevenly, mow it again.
By now, your lawn has a well-manicured aesthetic. The long grass is long gone, and you can now show it off to your friends.
How to cut very high grass with a push lawn mower
If you want to know how to cut tall grass with a push lawnmower, the first thing you’ll need to know is it will not be as easy as the riding mower. It’s going to be twice as hard because it requires a significant upper body strength to do it.
Mowing space will also play a significant factor. The more area you’re going to mow, the more tiring it would be.
If you have the strength and endurance to take on this arduous task, then prepare yourself. You can finish the chore in only one afternoon, and you will most likely face a congested mower blade and unending frustration.
Make yourself ready for the task at hand, so here are a couple of steps to make it easier for you:
- Before utilizing the push mower in cutting foot tall grass, you have to service it first. Take out its blades and use a file to make them as sharp as they could be.
Its sharpness is essential for the length it will be cut and makes the job not as back-breaking as it is, thus cutting down on your pushing energy. If the blade is old, damaged, or full of rust, purchase a new one.
- Before mowing, survey the whole area first. Look for any possible obstructive and dangerous materials like large rocks, tree branches, or kids’ toys that are hiding underneath the wild shrubbery.
Doing this will prevent any damage that might happen to the mower blades and potentially to others in the immediate vicinity because of those objects. After getting accidentally mowed, it will be flung violently and might hit someone’s eyes.
- Don’t start moving yet. You have to use a string trimmer to trim the edges off and make sure to leave about four to five inches.
It is a crucial step because your push mower won’t be able to mow the grass more than four to five inches, thus saving it from destruction.
- Set the blades to the highest setting and adjust it further to enable the bagging and mulching task. Go to the smaller rows first and steadily push to make sure the leaves are cut properly.
Stop intermittently and clean and de-clog the blades. Experts recommend overlapping every single passing by a few inches to make sure that the whole yard is mowed.
- After finishing the whole yard, let it rest for about two to three days. It will enable the grass to heal itself from the stress that had occurred.
On the second or third day, adjust the blades to your preferred height and do the same procedure as you did before. Experts recommend Bermuda grass’s ideal height of one-half to one inch and St. Augustine to be one to two inches.
Now you know the proper way to cut tall grass. Take it one step at a time, and don’t rush it. Your lawn is an important aspect of your home aesthetic, so treat it with all the love and care that it rightly deserves.