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Preparing the Lawn and Mower
Joe Newland, Black & Decker product development manager, shows you how to prepare the lawn and mower for mowing.
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Joe Newland: Hello! My name is Joe. I'm a Product Manager for Black & Decker's Outdoor Products division. We're here today to talk about cutting and maintaining your yard. To get started, we need to talk about the options for mowing and preparing those types of mowers for cutting your grass.
The first option would be a gas mower, which would be having to prepare it by checking the oil, adding oil or filling it with gas and then finally, starting the mower once you've got into the lawn. Our next option is going to be a cordless electric mower and unlike the gas mower, it's very, very simple to get it prepared to cut the grass. You basically make sure that the battery is fully charged. Typically, you leave them on charge when they are not in use. Remove the charger from the unit, insert a safety key, pulling back the lever; you get instant start every time.
The final option we have is the corded electric version. These too are very easy to start by pulling it one lever, no emissions, no gas, no oil; instant start every time. With the corded electric mower, the only thing that you're going to need is a good quality 100 feet, 14 gauge cord as this is a corded mower.
With all mowers, it's necessary that you keep the underside of the mower very clean. You need to keep the blade very sharp. If it's not, you need to have it sharpened or you need to replace it. The sharp blade makes the lawn mower work less hard, gives you a better finish on your grass, more evenly cut and it's better for the growth of the grass.
So let's hit outside and let's prepare the lawn for cutting. Now we're back out in the lawn area. A few things you need to do before you start to cut your grass. You need to look around, make sure you get all the foreign objects out of your lawn area; be it rocks or twigs or sticks, sprinklers, hoses, any of that stuff needs to be removed before you cut the grass. So after you removed all the debris from your yard, you need to understand or have a good understanding of what height you need to cut your grass based on the grass type, and the conditions of that grass. This particular grass here is a Fescue blend and is ideally cut somewhere between two-and-a-half and three inches. It seems to be pretty moist so we'll have to adjust it accordingly. Sometimes if the grass is too wet or too long, you'll have to raise your cutting height to get through the grass and not leave any clipping as visible on top of the lawn.
Another consideration you need to make is whether you're going to bag the grass or use the mulching feature. The mulching feature allows you to put the clippings back into the yard, they're not visible. It's actually a good natural fertilizing effect.
If you've got high traffic areas, where you may track the grass clippings into a pool area or into the house, you really want to bag the grass. Either those are options on most mowers.
Now one thing you remember is you need to follow the one-third rule. You do not want to cut off more that one third of the total length of the grass. So consider that when you're deciding whether you want to do the mulching or the bagging. That's how you prepare your mower and your lawn for mowing. Next, I'm going to give you some basic techniques on how to mow.