Large yards can be overwhelming to mow. Even with a commercial or wide deck riding lawn mower, a five acre lawn can take a long time to mow. Large yards can still look great if you know how to properly care for it. Here are some tips on how to care for your large lawn with your riding lawnmower.
Don't cut your grass too fast. It can be tempting to put the mower on the fastest setting when the job is big and you are looking at spending multiple hours on the mower. However, when the mower moves too quickly over the grass it tears instead of cuts. This results in your grass turning brown.
Know the 1/3 rule. When cutting grass, don't let your mower cut more than 1/3 the length of the grass blades. If your grass is particularly long, raise the blade so that only the top 1/3 of the blades are getting cut. Your grass will likely still be longer than you would like, so you will need to mow again in a couple days to get the grass to a good height while still only cutting 1/3 of the blade.
Mow low and mow often. The shorter your grass is, the lower you can set the blade on your mower. Mowing low is good for your grass for many reasons. It helps eliminates weeds. It also prevents the cut grass from being too long and suffocating the healthy grass below. In order to mow low and still follow the 1/3 rule, you will likely need to mow once a week or more frequently.
Don't follow the same path. If you follow the same route each time you mow, you will compress the soil. This will lead to an unhealthy looking yard. Each time you mow, mow a different direction than the time before.
Don't mow when wet or hot. Mowing wet grass can be harmful for the mower. It also causes grass to clump and the mower can create mud pits. If you mow when it is extremely hot, it will brown the grass.
Keep your blades sharp. Having sharp blades on your mower, combined with mowing slowly, will lead to a healthy looking yard. Sharpen your blades about once a month to keep your yard looking great.
Use safety on hills. When you are mowing on a hill with a riding mower, always mow up and down the slope. This will help you keep control of the mower. It is safest to mow hills with a push mower. If you must use a riding mower, it is best to use a mower with a low center of gravity and roll over protection. Mow at the lowest speed. If the slope in your yard is greater than 45 to 55 degrees, you should only use a zero turn lawn service mower that is designed to tackle steep slopes. Consider hiring a professional in order to ensure your hill gets taken care of properly and safely.