While getting the right grass in place, keeping the weeds out, fertilizing and water are all important, the last piece is the mower, how it is set up, and how you use it. Mess this up and your yard will always look a little browner than the yard down the street.
- This should go without saying, but you need a sharp blade.
- The mower needs to be set up so that the front is the lowest point. You only want the blade touching the grass once, if it gradually keeps cutting it shorter as you move across it you'll generate more heat usually burning the cut edge slightly.
- The deck needs to be level, many less expensive walk behind mowers can't be truly leveled, if that's your mower, the best you can do is try to level it by taking advantage of whatever height adjustments you have. Sometimes you can set them at different points on the choice of adjustments and get things closer. On riding mowers there should be an adjustment. Lookup your owners manual and the adjustment procedure should be in there. Keep in mind, a bent blade can really foul this adjustment up, the blades have to be true.
- A riding lawn tractor style mower will never give you the finish of a Zero turn mower. Every time you run over a blade of grass you do a little damage to it. A zero turn mower not only gets the job done faster but once you get the hang of it, you'll find you aren't spending as much time traveling across the same grass to turn around or get around obstacles.
- Pay attention to how fast you are going. On a real smooth lawn you can go pretty quick, but it you go fast enough that the deck starts bouncing around, it will affect the finished appearance.