A neatly trimmed lawn bordered by attractive shade trees and beautiful flower beds is the goal of many homeowners. Unfortunately, lawnmowers can be rough on your landscaping if they aren't used correctly. The following tips can help you keep the lawn trimmed while preventing some of the common problems that can affect the health of your lawn.

Tip #1: Edge Carefully

Many flower beds are bordered in by some sort of edging. Lawnmowers hitting the edging can cause damage from severe tears on vinyl edging to unattractive crumbling on sturdier brick. You have two options to avoid this pitfall. The simplest is to edge carefully around borders using a hand edging tool so the lawnmower never gets too close to the edging. The second option is to install mow-over edging. This edging is usually stone or brick that is installed flush to the ground so that the mower simply goes over it.

Tip #2: Protect Your Trees

Trees often take the largest brunt of lawnmower damage. This damage ranges from the lawnmower bumping the tree trunk and damaging the bark, to going over raised roots and cutting them with the mower blade. To prevent this sort of damage, install a mulch buffer zone. Ideally, the mulch will extend out to the dripline of the tree, but even a foot or two is enough to protect the trunk and the roots nearest to the tree. If you don't want to mulch, at the very least wrap young tree trunks with a plastic mower guard to prevent damage.

Tip #3: Mind the Ruts

Lawnmower ruts occur when you try to mow over wet soil. Both lightweight hand push mowers and large riding mowers can create these ruts. The best time to mow is after the dew has dried and when it hasn't rained for a few days. Ruts aren't just unattractive. They make it a bumpy trip the  next time you push the mower over the lawn. The ruts can also channel water so it soaks in unevenly, leaving dry spots of dead grass behind. It's a good idea to change up your mowing path over the lawn each time you mow. For example, start with horizontal stripes, then mow vertically the next time. For the third mow, go at a diagonal. Doing this prevents the ground from wearing where the mower wheels pass.

For more help or questions about lawncare and mowing properly, contact Heritage Lawn & Landscape LLC or a similar company.

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