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BEAT THE BUNNY

Nancy Clark | April 11, 2019

Easter falls on April 21, this year, later than usual, making the special Sunday the perfect deadline for a first time mowing of your yard. But don’t pull out the mower just yet. You’re best advised to bring out the rake and a couple of yard and garden bags to begin with. Oh, and don’t forget the garden gloves.

Start by raking the winter’s rocks, leaves, sticks or glass from the lawn and surrounding gardens. Not only will the cleanup spare your mower blades should they hit an errant rock, but it’s a matter of safety too. Mowing over any kind of winter’s bone (yep, dog bones in the yard aren’t all that unusual an occurrence) can cause an unexpected injury to the mower operator or anyone on the sidelines.

Countryliving.com recommends the one-third rule when mowing your lawn for the first time each spring. Never cut the grass blade more than one third in one mowing. Cutting the grass any shorter can actually stress the grass. Scalp the grass and your lawn may be vulnerable to disease and weed infestation.

Even Popularmechanics.com weighs in on spring mowing best practices with this advice: Dull blades are like kryptonite to an otherwise healthy yard: You'll be wasting your time with a poor cut, and you could seriously harm your grass. That's because dull blades rip and tear at your lawn, making it vulnerable to pests and disease. Check for sharpness before you fire up the mower.

Never mow when the lawn is wet. It’s guaranteed that you’ll get an uneven cut with jagged results. Also the mower operator can slip and fall on the wet lawn risking serious injury.

Because the lawn has been growing at uneven lengths over the winter season, be sure to bag the clippings on the first mow.

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