MULCH MULCH MULCH! Except for the first mow and the last (generally, you are cleaning junk off the lawn at this time, you should be mulching. Mulching feeds the lawn, free fertilizer! When done correctly it WILL NOT have adverse effects on your lawn. Mulching is great for your lawn, do it!
You shouldn’t cut more than 1/3rd off of a blade of grass at one time. You may need to mow 2-3x a week to follow this rule but it must be followed. Keeping the grass mowed, mowing often, and mowing tall will encourage roots to grow deeper, which is what we want. If you miss a few mows due to vacation or other circumstances; cut the grass at the mower’s tallest setting and then again at the correct setting to make sure your clippings are mulched correctly.
AND DO NOT MOW WET GRASS! Wait until the lawn dries out a bit.
Do not mow in the same direction every time. Variety is the spice of life, your grass believes in this as well. Mow north to south, then east to west the next time, then diagonally the next time, then in circles, decahedrons, team logo patterns, whatever, just mix it up.
I always recommend mowing tall; when you see measurements in the various steps in this program the measurements are taken from a flat surface to the bottom of the mower (measured from the side).
Keep those blades sharp! Dull blades can create large issues on your lawn. If you need a quick tool for keeping those blades sharp look here – Blade Sharpener
It’s a great idea to have them professionally sharpened once a year as well.
Of course, you want them. Stripes are achieved by bending the grass in a certain direction so the sun reflects off of the blades differently. There are a couple of cool lawn stripers on the market that you attach to your mower and will give you what you are looking for. I don’t recommend doing this a ton in the summer, but stripe away in spring and fall.
Here is one of my favorite lawn stripers – Toro Lawn Striper