You can mow your uneven lawn by using a suitable mower and planning ahead. Raising your mowing platform to avoid contact with the ground, planning your mowing when the grass is dry, mowing across slopes in your yard, and by leveling or grading your lawn to correct the uneven terrain will help you to mow safely.
Your lawn is special – it’s a place where family and friends gather together and connect, it’s a place for children to play, and a well-maintained lawn adds value to your home and to your neighborhood. Let’s look at how to mow an uneven lawn.
My Lawn Is Uneven And Difficult To Mow – Why Bother?
A well-maintained lawn adds value to your home’s curb-appeal, keeps your neighborhood looking nice, and doesn’t give your neighbors a reason to complain. You should always keep your lawn trimmed.
Why Is My Lawn Uneven?
There are many factors that cause a lawn to be uneven. Uneven thawing in spring, heavy garden equipment, repeated mowing patterns, pests, children, age, weather, and natural settling all contribute to the condition of your lawn.
What Equipment Do I Need?
No special equipment is needed to mow an uneven lawn, though special care should be taken in certain circumstances. A riding mower, a push mower, and a weed trimmer is sufficient. A self-propelled push mower can be helpful for sloped lawns.
What Mower Is Best For My Uneven Lawn?
A riding mower or push mower may be used for an uneven lawn as long as your property doesn’t have a severe incline. Keep in mind, especially uneven terrain makes for a bumpy ride, so a riding mower may be an uncomfortable choice.
How High Should I Set My Mower Deck?
Typically, the best deck height is determined by the season and the type of grass you’ll be mowing. For an uneven lawn, slightly elevating your deck height will give a more even, pleasing appearance. Additionally, scalping (which is when your mower blade contacts the turf) is more likely when a mower doesn’t remain level and a higher mower blade helps to avoid this.
When Should I Mow?
Grass should always be dry before moving and this is even more important for an uneven lawn. Mower blades can cause severe injury or death. Wet grass may cause you or your mower to slip and may increase your risk of contacting the blades. Plan ahead for the weather and mow your lawn when it’s dry.
How Do I Mow A Sloped Yard?
Sloped areas of your lawn should be trimmed by mowing across the hill rather than up and down the hill, but it’s important to note that inclines greater than 15-20% increase the risk your mower will turn over. Be extra careful when mowing a steep incline to avoid you or your mower slipping.
Can I Fix My Uneven Lawn?
Yes. According to Richard Jauron, Department of Horticulture for Iowa State University, dethatching, reseeding, and fertilizing your lawn will help smooth over your bumpy lawn. However, you should not roll your lawn to flatten it as this can affect your soil conditions and lead to a thinner lawn.
Should I Level My Lawn Or Just Live With It?
It’s best to level your lawn. It will make mowing and caring for your lawn easier and more enjoyable.
What Tools And Materials Do I Need To Level My Bumpy Lawn?
You should use a thatch rake or dethatching machine to remove the dead undergrowth and you will likely want a wheelbarrow to haul away the debris. Additionally, an aerating lawn roller, shovel, rake topsoil, fertilizer, and grass seed are also needed.
Does It Matter If My Lawn Is Bumpy?
A bumpy, uneven lawn isn’t only more difficult to mow – it also affects your irrigation. Low areas of your lawn create troughs that may hold water which can lead to the propagation of weeds and more bugs.
Should I Trim Or Mow First?
It’s wisest to mow your lawn before trimming as long as you aren’t mowing grass that’s too tall. The mower covers a broader area and when you are finished mowing, you will be able to easily see where you need to trim.
Do I Need To Mow More Often?
Not at all! The best practice for mowing is not to follow a schedule but to pay careful attention to your lawn, watch for its growth, and mow when your lawn requires it. This is true for all lawns, including your uneven one.
Will It Take Longer?
You should always take your time mowing, and you should use extra caution on uneven terrain, but that doesn’t mean it will take longer. If you go at a relaxed, even pace and pay attention, it should take about the same amount of time, unless you change to a push mower because your lawn is too uneven to safely mow with a riding mower.
Should I Collect The Grass Clippings?
A thick and healthy lawn is a great first step to correct unevenness and since grass clippings naturally fertilize your lawn and help protect seeds against birds, you should consider leaving them. If you’re mowing your lawn often, the clippings will benefit your lawn, plus it means less work for you cleaning out the collector on your mower.
Is There Anything Else I Need To Know Before Mowing My Uneven Lawn?
Your mower should always be properly maintained, which includes regular cleaning, keeping the blade sharp, and frequent safety checks to be as safe as possible. You should also keep in mind an uneven lawn means that, although your grass appears to be the same length, the lower areas of your lawn have thicker, taller grass which could more easily hide obstacles.
Only mow when you are well-rested enough to focus on your chore, and when there is sufficient light to see potential hazards. Be sure to wear proper footwear with good traction for safety and gloves will help dampen the vibrations from your mower.
Hi, I’m John Stephens, chief editor and writer for Totalgardener.com. I’ve been gardening and raising animals for over 15 years starting with a small backyard plot in Northern Virginia where I grew corn, potatoes, squash, and using a high mulch technique called the Ruth Stout Method. I also raised ducks and small mammals for meat and eggs in a movable pen similar to the ones used by Joel Salatin. I later moved to Colorado where I experimented with growing greens using aquaponics inside. I eventually added a microgreens setup and home sprouting operation. I’m excited to share everything I’ve learned plus more from the other local gardening and animal raising experts I know.