Every grass type has an optimal cutting height, and you're better off on the high side of that height. Here are a few reasons. The grass blade is the food factory of the plant. Short blades just can't generate as much food as long blades. Long blades also shade and cool the soil. That means weed seeds are less likely to sprout, and you won't have to water as often because water won't evaporate as fast. Not sure what type of grass you have? Take a sample to a garden center for identification.
Don't capture the clippings in a bag; let them lie. They'll release nutrients into the soil and form a mulch to help keep moisture in the soil. The only reason to capture the clippings is if you've waited too long to mow. Piles of clippings created from cutting long grass can smother the grass beneath.
Pushing a lawn mower is great exercise, but if a finely manicured yard is more important than losing your beer belly, you'd be better off with a self-propelled model. Self-propelled mowers deliver a smoother cut because the cutting speed stays consistent, and all four wheels are more likely to stay on the ground when hitting a bump or going up hills.
Dull mower blades rip through the grass blades instead of slicing them cleanly, and that stresses the plant. You can always tell a lawn that's been mowed with a dull blade because it looks brown on the top. Get on your hands and knees and you can actually see the damage.
Just this one time of the year, set your mower to cut 1-1/2 or 2 in. and mow your grass short. That'll do a couple of things. First, it'll lessen the likelihood of snow mold. And second, tall grass blades won't lie down and smother the new grass next spring.
Zero-turn mowers work great if you have a large yard or a whole bunch of trees to mow around. Because of the caster wheels on the front, zero-turn mowers have a “zero” turning radius, and that makes it easy to zip around trees fast. Zero-turn mowers speed up your mowing because of the tight, efficient turns you can make at the end of each row. The Husqvarna Z246 shown here features LED lighting.
If you came back from a vacation and the neighbor kid neglected to mow your yard, don't try and mow it down in one day. Cut off some of the length and then wait a couple days and mow again. This will cause less stress on the grass. You may need three passes depending on how long the grass grew.
Mow in a different direction every time: front to back, back to front, diagonal, etc. Repeatedly mowing the exact same way will cause the grass blades to grow at an angle, and you may develop permanent tracks from the mower wheels.
Mowing wet grass can cause the mower wheels to leave ruts in your yard, and you could leave behind giant clumps of clippings that could smother the grass beneath. And the wet grass will carpet the underside of your mower deck with a thick mat.
Having trouble getting straight lines in your yard? Here's an old trick used by farmers to form straight rows in their fields. Pick a spot across the yard, like a fence post or tree, and start walking straight at it: Don't look down; don't look back; just concentrate on that spot ahead. Use that line as a guide for the rest of the rows.