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 Safety Tips & More for a Healthy Lawn


Story:
Before you start mowing, it’s always a good idea to walk across the yard looking for sticks and rocks and other debris just to make sure that you don’t hit those with the lawn mower.  It could injure the lawn mower or people standing nearby. 
 
You should refer to your owner’s manual.  Most lawn mowers will require you to wear eye protection and some will require you to hearing protection.
 
Grasses have a range of recommended heights.  The higher end of the scale is for mowing in the summertime, and the lower end of the scale is for mowing in the spring or in the fall.  You can mow it at the higher end all year round.  But, if you like to mow your yard shorter because you like the way it looks when it’s shorter, then you can mow it at the shorter end of the scale in the spring and fall.  And raise it up during the summertime.
 
Raising the height up in the summertime can help improve the health of the grass.  It gives the grass a little more leaf material, which will cool the soil and help the roots stay healthy.  It also allows the plant to have more leaf area to absorb sunlight and grow well during the summer.
 
Another safety consideration is when to refuel the lawnmower after you’ve been mowing.  It’s recommended that you wait at least five minutes to allow the engine to cool down before you add any fuel.  This assures that any spilled fuel won’t catch on fire.
 
It’s important to have a sharp lawnmower blade.  Sharp blades cut cleaner and more efficiently.  Dull blades can damage the grass and stress the lawn.  If you read your owner’s manual, most lawn mowers will need to have the blades sharpened after ten hours of use.  A good place to start would be to sharpen your lawnmower blade at least once a year.
 
Periodically throughout the year, you’ll need to inspect your lawnmower blade for cracks and nicks, or even bent blades.  You should replace those blades when necessary.  To check the lawnmower blade, you can just tip the lawnmower over and take a look at the lawnmower blade.  This one has several nicks.
 
This feature story prepared with Rodney St.John, Kansas State University Research and Extension, Turfgrass. For more information, visit your local county extension office or visit our website at KansasGreenYards.org.