In this video, I show you how I mow long grass with my push reel mower. I set the cutting height as tall as possible to achieve a good ratio of clippings to grass. I mow when the lawn fairly dry and not wet. I will then pass over the lawn three times.
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Let me explain each of these steps in greater detail.
1. Set the cutting height as tall as possible. This will allow your lawnmower to roll over the grass and the length of the clippings will be minimized allowing the clippings to fall on the ground and compost itself, without leading to thatch. You generally want to mow off one third off the length of a grass blade, not more. Since I have skipped mowing for two weeks, the clippings may be longer than that ratio.
2. Mow the grass when it is dry. It is easier to mow the grass when it is dry with a push reel mower. With dry grass, the blades cut easier, the clippings fall without clumping and the wheels won’t slip.
3. Use three passes on the lawn.
a. For the first pass, choose one direction to mow in and go back and forth in that direction. Let’s call that direction 0 degrees (I chose diagonally), This is the first cut of the long grass, so it will be the most difficult. The thick grass may slow you down, and make it harder to push. Also, the grass clippings will pile up on your cutting bed and you will need to bend over and pick up those clippings and spread them over the lawn.
b. For the second pass, you will choose a direction that is perpendicular to the first pass, with the wheel marks forming an X with the first pass. The second pass will be cutting both grass and grass clippings left from the first pass.
c. For the third pass choose a direction that is 45 degrees off of the first or second pass. My usually weekly mowings only require two passes, but since the grass was so long to start off, the extra third pass will keep it neater.
You may think that my lawn is still long after my mowing, which is true. However, I believe that there are many benefits to keeping your cutting height high: 1) more photosynthesis for healthier grass plants, 2) thicker roots to reach more water, 3) shading for the soil below to keep it moist, 4) thick lawn that will drown out weeds, 5, less need for water, fertilizer and herbicide.
Please consider using a push reel-it is quiet, no gasoline or fumes, low maintenance, and helps you burn calories.
Do you have any tips on cutting long grass with a push reel mower? Please share them in the comments. This video is part of my organic lawncare playlist which you may enjoy. I hope you consider using a push reel at home and also consider hitting the like or subscribe button.
Music: Ukulele Music by Vil Ramos
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