How to Mow Your Lawn with a Push Mower

How do you mow your lawn with a push mower? We'll guide you. Read about how to use a push lawnmower to make your lawn look better.

A blue push mower sitting on a lawn

Mowing Your Lawn With a Push Mower: How-To Guide

Push mowers are made with a wide variety of features and options. The type of push mower a buyer decides to purchase can determine how they will mow their lawn. Push mowing a lawn can be a quick, efficient process if the user properly prepares their machine and their lawn for the task.

Step 1: Determine a Mowing Pattern

It is important for a user to decide how they want to mow their grass before they begin cutting. Before firing up the push mower, users should take any obstacles into consideration, such as flower beds, fencing, hills, or lawn decorations that could obstruct the mower’s path. Having a plan of action not only produces an attractive, evenly-cut lawn but also reduces the amount of time spent on the task.

A popular mowing pattern choice is the “stripes” appearance. This method of cutting grass appears as a set of alternating lighter and darker stripes across the lawn after mowing is completed. The appearance of lighter and darker stripes is caused by differences in the way sunlight hits each stripe in the grass. When the push mower alternates directions when mowing each of the stripes, it affects the direction the grass is pushed away from the ground. This technique is simple to do and works for many lawn types.

Step 2: Ensure the Push Mower Is Prepared

Different push mower types require different prep work before using them. For example, if the push mower has a battery, it will need to be fully charged before it can be used to mow an entire lawn. Sometimes, a push mower’s battery may require hours of charging beforehand, so the user will need to plan accordingly in order to mow the yard in one session.

Gas-powered mowers require fuel to operate. The user will need to make sure they have enough fuel to power the motor long enough to mow an entire yard. Push mowers needing fuel also need other items

Step 3: Complete a Quick Safety Inspection of the Lawn Before Mowing

A small object hidden in the grass can become dangerous if hit by a push mower. Rocks, toys left behind by children, or debris blown into a lawn can be dangerous if ricocheted off the mower’s powerful blades. Many accidents involving objects thrown by push mower blades occur every year, injuring many people’s legs and feet. Besides causing serious injuries, these small objects can also cause serious, expensive damage to a push mower’s blades. It is crucial to take a quick walk through the lawn before mowing and remove any of these potential hazards.

People should also search for any wet spots in the grass during a safety inspection. Electric push mowers should never come in contact with moisture due to the risk of damage to the machine. Mowing in wet grass can also lead to accidental slips and falls. Mowing wet grass can also cause the lawn to look misshapen and unevenly cut once it fully dries. For the sake of safety and an attractively cut lawn, it is best to wait until the entire lawn is dry before push mowing.

Step 4: Adjust the Settings on the Push Mower to Suit the Lawn

Before mowing, the user should set the push mower’s blades to only cut the top third of the grass’ height at any given time. Although this may result in more frequent mowing, it leads to better overall grass health. Because the grass isn’t getting “scalped,” or cut too close to the ground, it gives the grass a chance to develop a deeper, healthier root system.

If the push mower operates on variable speed settings, the user should select a speed that is most comfortable for them. Determining a speed is crucial and can not only prevent an accident from the mower moving too quickly but also prevent the lawn from being mowed unevenly by moving at a set pace.

Step 5: Clean Up and Store the Push Mower Safely

While it is fine to leave the loose grass clippings on the lawn itself, any excess clippings on driveways, sidewalks, or roadways should be blown back into the lawn. Slippery grass clippings can be dangerous to motorcyclists, walkers, and bikers.

Cleaning the push mower itself is also important. Excess dirt and grass clippings left on the bottom of a mower can cause rust and corrosion over time. Taking a moment to wipe off the mower can help extend the machine's life.

The final step in the clean-up process is safely storing the push mower until the next use. It is highly recommended that push mowers be stored in a safe, covered area, away from the elements. Leaving push mowers outside can expose them to water, causing damage.

Resources— Planet Natural Research Center, Get Busy Gardening, Scotts