How to Handle Tall Or Overgrown Grass With A Push Mower?

21 minutes read

When dealing with tall or overgrown grass, it is important to take a few precautions and approach the task strategically to ensure effective and safe mowing. Here's a guide on how to handle tall or overgrown grass with a push mower:

  1. Inspection: Before you begin mowing, inspect the area to identify any potential obstacles or hazards, such as rocks, sticks, or debris. Clear the area of any such items to avoid damaging the mower or causing accidents.
  2. Safety gear: Always wear appropriate safety gear, including closed-toe shoes, long pants, safety goggles, and ear protection to protect yourself from flying debris and loud noise.
  3. Set the cutting height: Adjust the cutting height of your mower to the highest setting. Cutting the grass too short at once can be overwhelming and unhealthy for the lawn.
  4. Trimming: If the grass is excessively tall, consider using a weed trimmer to trim it down to a manageable height before mowing. This will make the mowing process easier and help prevent clogging or damaging the mower blades.
  5. Divide and conquer: Divide the large overgrown area into smaller sections to make the mowing more manageable. Focus on one section at a time to ensure thorough cutting.
  6. Slow and steady: Push the mower slowly and steadily through the tall grass. Trying to rush may cause the mower to clog or leave uneven patches of grass uncut.
  7. Overlapping passes: Slightly overlap each pass to ensure you don't miss any areas. This technique helps achieve a more even cut and reduces the need for follow-up mowing.
  8. Mow in multiple directions: To achieve better results and prevent the mower from getting stuck or bogged down, consider mowing in different directions with each pass. For example, alternate between mowing horizontally and vertically.
  9. Frequent breaks: Take short breaks between mowing sections if needed. Long grass can put strain on the mower's engine, especially if it's an older or less powerful model.
  10. Post-mowing care: After mowing, it is advisable to rake up any clippings or debris left behind. This helps prevent the grass from suffocating underneath the clippings and ensures an even appearance.

Remember to regularly maintain your mower's blades, air filter, and other components to keep it running efficiently, especially when dealing with taller grass. By following these steps, you should be able to handle tall or overgrown grass effectively with a push mower.

Best Push Lawn Mowers of 2024

YARDMAX 21 in. 170cc 2-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower with High Rear Wheels

Rating is 5 out of 5

YARDMAX 21 in. 170cc 2-in-1 Gas Walk Behind Push Lawn Mower with High Rear Wheels

  • Single-lever deck adjustment for quickly setting your mow height
  • MAXFlow Deck Technology – volute spiral deck design for better airflow and mulching
  • Heavy-duty, 16-gauge stamped steel deck
  • Durable, one-piece seamless steel deck reduces vibration
  • Seven cutting heights from 1.25″ to 3.75″
  • Double-ball-bearing wheels for easy, smooth mowing with less pushing effort
  • Adjustable, durable 3-position handle height
  • Folds for space-saving storage
  • 7 in. front and 11 in. rear wheels for stability and control
PowerSmart Gas Lawn Mower 21 Inch 2-in-1 with 144CC 4-Stroke Engine, Push Mower Gas Powered DB2321CR

Rating is 4.9 out of 5

PowerSmart Gas Lawn Mower 21 Inch 2-in-1 with 144CC 4-Stroke Engine, Push Mower Gas Powered DB2321CR

  • 144CC OHV ENGINE: reliable engine, recoil starter for easy start, forced air cooling system continuously deliver unbeatable grass cutting effect.
  • 21 INCH CUTTING DECK: patented cutting system with 21 inch cutting deck, wider mowing path helps you trim sizable yard fast.
  • 2-IN-1 PUSH MOWER: side-discharge easily pass thick grasses for quickest mowing, mulching lawn mower minces grass into super-fine bits for recycle.
  • GRASS HEIGHT ADJUSTABLE: 6 positions for adjust cutting height from 1.5" to 3.9", suitable for all kinds of grasses.
BILT HARD Gas Lawn Mower 20 inch, 2 in 1 170cc 4-Stroke OHV Engine Cordless Lawnmower, 8 Adjustable Cutting Heights Push Mowers for Lawn, Yard and Garden

Rating is 4.8 out of 5

BILT HARD Gas Lawn Mower 20 inch, 2 in 1 170cc 4-Stroke OHV Engine Cordless Lawnmower, 8 Adjustable Cutting Heights Push Mowers for Lawn, Yard and Garden

  • Auto Choke Engine - 170cc 4-stroke OHV engine, 6.5 torque, 20 inch cutting deck.
  • Cutting Height - 8-position single lever four-wheel synchronized height adjustment from 1.2" to 3.2".
  • Mowing Convenience - 7" rear/6“ front double ball-bearing wheels achieve smooth movement, comfortable foam-wrapped angled grip eliminates grasp fatigue.
  • Durable Cutting Deck: 20" cutting deck and specialized blade delivering a clean, even cut. Enjoy years of high efficient mowing with superior cutting quality
Greenworks 40V 16" Cordless (Push) Lawn Mower (75+ Compatible Tools), 4.0Ah Battery and Charger Included

Rating is 4.7 out of 5

Greenworks 40V 16" Cordless (Push) Lawn Mower (75+ Compatible Tools), 4.0Ah Battery and Charger Included

  • CORDLESS LAWN MOWER – Get more done, faster, with Greenworks electric lawn mowers. This 40v push lawn mower provides the power you need with up to 45 minutes of runtime on a fully charged 4.0Ah battery. The battery completely charges in 120 minutes.Brushless motor : No
  • LIGHTWEIGHT, EASY TO USE – A lightweight 16” cutting deck allows for easy maneuvering through small to medium yards (up to ½ acre) more efficiently. Easy push button start and lighter weight make it a great choice for your lawn.
  • VERSATILE – Battery powered lawn mower has a single lever 5-position height adjustment with a cutting height range from 1-1/4" to 3-3/8" for the best cut in all environments. The 2-in-1 feature offers versatile use with mulching and rear bagging options.
  • MAINTENANCE FREE – This walk behind lawn mower is virtually maintenance free, with no gas, no oil and no emissions. It starts instantly and is quiet but delivers gas-like power for your toughest projects.
Yard Machines 11A-02BT729 20-in Push Lawn Mower with 125cc Briggs & Stratton Gas Powered Engine, Black and Red

Rating is 4.6 out of 5

Yard Machines 11A-02BT729 20-in Push Lawn Mower with 125cc Briggs & Stratton Gas Powered Engine, Black and Red

  • A 125cc OHV Briggs & Stratton engine delivers reliable power to quickly tackle your yard
  • Push mower ideal for small yards with minimal obstacles
  • 20-in. deck with side discharge to efficiantly spread grass clippings
  • 7-in wheels provide reliable traction to navigate your yard
  • Choose from 3 cutting heights
BLACK+DECKER Electric Lawn Mower, 10-Amp, Corded (BEMW472BH)

Rating is 4.5 out of 5

BLACK+DECKER Electric Lawn Mower, 10-Amp, Corded (BEMW472BH)

  • Lightweight corded electric mower gasless 10 Amp 15 inch electric mower for powering through rough grass.Ideal for 1/8 acre.Voltage : 120 V. Product Application : Cleaning.
  • Comfort grip bike handlebar design reduces friction and enhances maneuverability for small lawns
  • Enhanced clipping collection winged blade yields 30% better clipping collection
  • Push button start no-hassle startup easy-to- use features
  • Adjustable cutting height 6 adjustable cutting heights ranging from 1 inch to 3 inch
CRAFTSMAN Gas Powered Lawn Mower, 21-inch Push Mower, 140cc (M105)

Rating is 4.4 out of 5

CRAFTSMAN Gas Powered Lawn Mower, 21-inch Push Mower, 140cc (M105)

  • POWERFUL ENGINE: 140cc BRIGGS & STRATTON engine with auto-choke
  • MOWING CONVENIENCE: 21 in., 3-in-1 convertible deck lets you side discharge, mulch, or rear bag grass clippings
  • CLIPPING COLLECTION: Rear bag collects grass clippings for easy cleanup or composting
  • HEIGHT ADJUSTMENT: Dual-lever, 6-position height adjustment makes it easy to change cutting heights from 1.25 in. to 3.75 in. high
  • COMFORT: Adjustable loop handle for comfort while mowing. MULCH KIT: Included to help put nutrients back into soil for a healthy lawn
BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 String Trimmer/Edger & Lawn Mower, 6.5-Amp, 12-Inch, Corded (MTE912) (Power cord not included), Black/Red

Rating is 4.3 out of 5

BLACK+DECKER 3-in-1 String Trimmer/Edger & Lawn Mower, 6.5-Amp, 12-Inch, Corded (MTE912) (Power cord not included), Black/Red

  • 3N1 DESIGN – Electric mower easily converts to string trimmer and edger via a built-in foot pedal for versatile use.
  • 6.5 AMP MOTOR – Supplies the ideal amount of power when trimming grass, weeds, and overgrowth.
  • GEAR DRIVE TRANSMISSION – For tackling tougher, thicker grass without getting bogged down.
  • AFS AUTOMATIC FEED SPOOL – Continuously feeds trimmer line without bumping for seamless, uninterrupted trimming.
  • ADJUSTABLE MOWER DECK AND TRIMMER HANDLE – Lawn mower deck and string trimmer handle are adjustable for ideal grass- cutting height and added comfort.
  • CORDED – Corded design offers unlimited runtime for even the biggest jobs.
  • INCLUDES – (1)GH912 trimmer/edger, (1) MTD100 detachable mower deck, (1) AF-100 spool, (1) auxiliary handle, (1) guard.
  • Note: Item requires power cord. Power cord not included

How to approach mowing an uneven lawn with tall grass using a push mower?

Mowing an uneven lawn with tall grass can be a bit challenging, but with some careful planning and the right approach, you can achieve good results using a push mower. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you through the process:

  1. Prepare the lawn: Before you start mowing, remove any obstacles like debris, branches, or rocks that may hinder the mower's movement or cause damage.
  2. Adjust the mower's cutting height: Set the cutting height of your push mower to the highest setting. This will prevent the grass from being cut too short, which can put stress on the plants and expose the soil to weed growth.
  3. Plan your mowing pattern: Identify the high and low spots of your lawn, and plan your mowing pattern accordingly. Start with the lower areas, where the grass might be taller, as it will take more effort to cut.
  4. Mow in multiple passes: Instead of trying to cut the grass to the desired height in a single pass, make multiple passes over each area. Gradually lower the cutting height after each pass until you reach the desired height.
  5. Overlap your mowing lines: As you mow, overlap each pass slightly to ensure even coverage and prevent missed spots. This will also help distribute the clippings evenly across the lawn.
  6. Take smaller sections at a time: To manage the tall grass more effectively, mow in smaller sections rather than large swaths of the lawn. This will make it easier for the push mower to handle the thick grass and uneven terrain.
  7. Mow when the grass is dry: It's best to mow when the grass is dry to prevent clumping of wet clippings, which can interfere with the mower's performance. If necessary, you can use a rake or leaf blower to remove any damp clippings before continuing.
  8. Keep the mower blades sharp: Dull blades can tear the grass instead of cutting it cleanly. So, ensure your mower blades are sharp before you start. This will help maintain the health of your grass and make mowing an easier task.
  9. Clean up and maintain: Once you're done mowing, take the time to clean the mower, removing any grass or debris that may have accumulated. Regular maintenance, such as oil changes and filter replacements, will also prolong the life and performance of your push mower.

Remember to take breaks if needed, stay hydrated, and use proper safety gear like closed-toe shoes, gloves, and eye protection while mowing.

How to identify the type of grass when it becomes overgrown?

Identifying the type of grass when it becomes overgrown can be a bit challenging, but there are a few methods you can use to help determine the grass species. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Observe the growth habit: Look closely at the grass and notice its growth habit or pattern. Is it growing in clumps or spreading through thin stolons or runners? This can provide a clue about the grass type.
  2. Examine the leaf blade: Look at the shape and width of the blades. Grasses typically fall into two categories: narrow-bladed grasses and broad-bladed grasses. Examples of narrow-bladed grasses include Bermuda grass or Kentucky bluegrass, while broad-bladed grasses include species like St. Augustine grass or Bahia grass.
  3. Consider the color: Note the color of the grass. Some grasses have a light green color, while others may have a darker green shade. This can help narrow down the possibilities.
  4. Look for identifying features: Check for any unique features such as seed heads, stems, or growth patterns that are specific to certain grass species. For instance, zoysia grass has a distinctive spiky seed head, while buffalo grass has seed spikes that protrude from the foliage.
  5. Seek expert advice: If you are still unsure, you can take a sample of the grass to a local nursery, garden center, or extension service office. They usually have experts who can identify the grass type accurately.

Remember that identifying grass species can sometimes be challenging, especially when the grass is overgrown or in poor condition. If it's crucial to know the exact grass type, seeking professional help is often the best option.

What is the impact of wet grass on handling it with a push mower?

The impact of wet grass on handling it with a push mower can be significant. Some of the potential impacts include:

  1. Difficulty in cutting: Wet grass is heavier and tends to clump together, making it more challenging for the mower blades to cut through evenly. This can result in an uneven or patchy looking lawn.
  2. Clogging of the mower deck: Wet grass tends to adhere to the underside of the mower deck, leading to clogging and reduced efficiency. This can result in frequent stops to clean out the clippings, slowing down the mowing process.
  3. Increased effort and strain on the mower: Pushing a mower through wet grass requires more effort compared to mowing dry grass. The added resistance can put additional strain on the mower's engine and other components.
  4. Potential damage to the lawn: Pushing a heavy mower over wet grass can cause soil compaction and damage to the grass roots. This can result in a weakened lawn and make it more susceptible to diseases and pests.
  5. Increased risk of slippage: Walking on wet grass can be slippery, especially when using a push mower. This can increase the risk of accidents or falls, especially on sloped or uneven terrain.

Overall, mowing wet grass can be more challenging and have a negative impact on both the mower's performance and the health of the lawn. It is generally recommended to wait for the grass to dry before mowing for optimal results.

How to maintain a consistent speed while mowing tall grass with a push mower?

To maintain a consistent speed while mowing tall grass with a push mower, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right mower: Make sure you have a push mower that is suitable for mowing tall grass. Some mowers may struggle with tall grass, so consider using one with a powerful engine and sharp blades.
  2. Prepare the area: Before starting, clear any large debris or obstacles from the mowing area. This will help prevent the mower from getting stuck or bogged down while mowing tall grass.
  3. Set the cutting height: Adjust the cutting height of your mower to a higher setting to accommodate the tall grass. Raising the cutting height will allow the mower to handle the grass more efficiently.
  4. Begin mowing: Start at one edge of the mowing area and push the mower forward steadily at a comfortable pace. Avoid rushing as it may hinder the quality of cut or cause the mower to stall. Maintain a consistent walking speed throughout the mowing process.
  5. Overlap your passes: To achieve an even cut, overlap each pass slightly. This ensures that no areas are missed and helps maintain a consistent appearance across the entire lawn.
  6. Stay alert: Pay attention to the mower's performance and adjust your speed accordingly. If the mower starts to bog down or struggle, slow down your pace to allow it to handle the grass more effectively.
  7. Empty the grass clippings bag: If your mower has a bag for collecting grass clippings, periodically check and empty it as needed. A full bag can cause the mower to operate less efficiently and impact your ability to maintain a steady speed.
  8. Take breaks if needed: Mowing tall grass can be physically demanding, so take breaks if necessary to prevent fatigue. Keeping yourself well-rested and hydrated will help you maintain a consistent speed and achieve better mowing results.

By following these steps, you can maintain a consistent speed while mowing tall grass and achieve a well-groomed lawn.

What is the difference between mowing in rows or patterns for tall grass with a push mower?

When mowing tall grass with a push mower, the technique you use, either mowing in rows or patterns, can affect the efficiency and overall results of the task. Here are the main differences:

  1. Rows: Mowing in rows involves moving the mower in a consistent back-and-forth motion, creating straight lines across the lawn. This method is more straightforward and easier to follow, making it suitable for larger and more open areas. It allows for quick progress and efficient coverage of the grass, reducing the chances of missed spots.
  2. Patterns: Mowing in patterns refers to creating different designs or shapes while mowing the grass. This technique can be more visually appealing and adds some aesthetics to your lawn. Examples of patterns include stripes, checkerboards, or concentric circles. Patterns are generally preferred for smaller lawns or those with distinct features that can enhance the design.

Considering tall grass specifically, the following factors come into play:

a. Maneuverability: Rows provide better control and maneuverability when dealing with tall grass. Pushing the mower in straight lines allows it to cut more evenly, reducing the risk of clogging or stalling on thick patches.

b. Visibility: Mowing in rows offers better visibility of where you've already mowed, especially when dealing with taller grass. It helps you keep track of your progress and ensures consistent coverage, minimizing the chances of leaving uncut patches.

c. Practicality: Patterns may be less practical when dealing with tall grass. If the grass is excessively tall, creating intricate patterns might require overlapping passes and cutting the grass multiple times from different angles, which can be time-consuming and result in an uneven cut.

In summary, mowing in rows is generally the more efficient and practical approach for tall grass with a push mower, as it provides better control, visibility, and coverage. However, if you prefer a more decorative and visually appealing lawn, using patterns can add some creativity to your mowing routine, particularly on smaller lawns.

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