Are you fed up with your overgrown grass wreaking havoc on your garden? Then it’s time to learn how to use a riding mower to cut grass.
While you may believe that cutting long grass is the same as cutting any other lawn, you are mistaken. Long grass is a challenge as you get much more mulch and debris that can easily choke your riding mower.
Luckily, you can use techniques to cut tall grass with a riding mower that won’t break it or clog it, so it needs cleaning.
In our guide, you can learn all about how to mow tall grass with a riding mower. By the end, you’ll know all there is about how to keep any area of your garden clear when mowing overgrown grass with a riding mower. (Find the Best Riding Snow Blower)
Mow Tall Grass with Riding Mower Summary
- In the spring, summer, or early fall, mow on a dry day.
- Remove any rocks, branches, or man-made trash from the area.
- Cut the grass to 6–8 inches tall with a string trimmer.
- Set the mower’s blade to the highest setting.
- Reduce the mower’s speed to a crawl and follow the same path.
- Mow in a circuit with a blade circumference of half the maximum blade size.
- Periodically reverse the direction of your mowing circuit.
- Every 30–45 minutes, turn off the mower. Examine the mower blades for excessive grass buildup and remove them.
- Allow time for the lawnmower to cool down.
How to Cut Tall Grass With a Riding Mower
It might be a daunting task to maintain a yard that has become overgrown with thick grass. Thick clumps of grass might resemble impenetrable jungle vegetation, and your lack of lawn care conceals a variety of hazards.
A well-maintained yard adds value to your home, and you can get fantastic results every time you’re cutting grass using the right approach.
Here are the step-by-step guides and other suggestions for the mowing process when dealing with taller grass than usual. (Find the Best Riding Lawn Mower For The Money)
1. Pick the Right Time
When it’s damp, don’t mow tall grass. You’ll find most overgrown grass moist, making the task harder for your mower.
Wet grass adds to this and makes the job troublesome in most areas and poses a dangerous mowing environment since riding mowers can lose traction on wet grass.
Mow long grass on a dry day in the spring, summer, or early autumn. The grass can safely recover from the shock of being cut. The best time is spring before the grass starts to grow, and you can easily carry out step two.
2. Clear The Mowing Area of Hazards
Just because you have a riding mower, it doesn’t mean there isn’t any preparation. Tallgrass can hide hidden dangers, so before you mow, take a quick tour around the area to check for stones, branches, and other debris among the grass.
If possible, remove any hazards you find since trying to mow over could damage your mower. If there are hazards too large to move, mark these with a stake and some flagging tape.
Before you start mowing, remove overgrown grass using a string trimmer or weed eater. Riding mowers can cut grass up to 8 inches tall, and cutting grass over this height is wasteful, laborious work, and puts a strain on your mower.
If the grass is taller than 8 inches, cut it roughly to 6–8 inches using your weed whacker, so it is suitable for your riding mower to deal with. If you have a zero-turn mower, you can often find they only deal with grass up to 6-inches rather than 8.
3. Adjust Mower Blade Height
Set the blade height on your riding mower to the highest setting before you start mowing overgrown grass.
Do this, and you can improve the cutting speed and quality of the mowing process and protect the grass. Cutting tall grass too short leads to the grass being severely weakened, or it could die.
After this, wait for 3–5 days before mowing using a lower blade height should the highest blade height leave your grass longer than you want it. (Read Single Stage Vs Two Stage Snow Blowers)
4. Set Your Mower Speed
Mowing tall grass gradually is the key to success. Set the speed of your riding mower to a moderate strolling pace. Although it may feel you’re crawling, the result will be more even and tidy.
In the end, this saves time. When you mow tall grass too quickly, you’ll get a rough cut with a lot of long grass blades left over, which means you’ll have to mow the same area multiple times.
5. Cut Grass at Half Blade Width
Tall grass grows in thick, wet clumps that are tough to mow with your riding mower. After your initial circle, mow halfway through the tall grass and halfway through the previously mowed area to provide a clean cut without overworking your mower.
It takes longer, but you get better results, and it also means your mower won’t grind to a halt every few feet as it’s overloaded.
6. Reverse Mowing Circuit
If you mow tall grass with a riding mower in a circuit that blows cut grass to the inside, you’ll end up with clumps of long, cut grass stacking up in places you haven’t mowed yet.
Mowing over cut grass clumps and long grass is time-consuming, delivers poor results, and may need repeat mowing. To avoid buildup, periodically reverse your circuit path and blowing cut grass to where you have already mowed. (Find the Best Riding Mower For Hills)
7. Rest Your Mower
A riding mower has a tough time cutting tall grass. Turn off your mower completely every 30–45 minutes and inspect it. What to watch for are?
- Make sure the parking brake is on.
- Check your mower’s fuel level.
- Examine the blades. To avoid damage to the mower blade spindle, clean off any dead grass or debris like garbage bags using a utility knife.
- Remove any accumulated grass clippings and debris from radiator fins, engine components, and wiring.
- Let your mower cool down for 15 minutes since riding mowers are under a lot of strain, and riding mowers tend to overheat when used to cut tall grasses.
How to Cut Tall Grass with a Riding Mower Tips
Here are a few things to consider when dealing with an overgrown lawn using a riding lawnmower.
Empty Bag and Check Area
- Some riding mowers can use a grass bag to collect cuttings from the lawn mower. Empty it once you’ve mowed the entire area.
- Check your grass is evenly cut. You may need to take a slow pass with your mower again over your overgrown lawn if there are still uncut areas.
- Take your grass bag and empty it away from the mowing area. Check blades are clear of dead grass.
- If you need to cut your lawn lower to reach the desired length, let your grass rest for 24 to 48 hours. (Read About The Right Oil For Riding Mower)
- After slow-mowing the top layer of your lawn, you may be satisfied, but if not, you can cut long grass again.
- Check the blade before you begin, as they need to be clear to cut correctly.
- Once you let your grass rest and recover from your previous mowing session, rather than placing the mower deck at the highest position, lower it to the desired height.
- Start mowing, but you don’t need to worry as much about excess grass debris clogging up your mower this time.
- Now, you should have leveled grass from knowing how to cut tall overgrown grass with a riding mower.
Take It Slow
- The biggest mistakes most people make when mowing tall grass or an overgrown lawn is trying to cut it down to the desired height using the first pass.
- Most lawn mowers have their highest setting, and if your grass is still too long after one pass, you can use your weed wacker to cut the top layer of lawn down before using your lawn mower.
- After using your mower on the highest setting, make your first pass and reduce the grass height.
- Wait for the recommended time after you’ve made your first pass. It’s time for the second pass once you’ve reduced grass height to a manageable height.
- Take your time and clear out the blades while cutting; otherwise, your mower won’t cut correctly.
- Leave the lawn for a few days to help it recover.
- If you have a more extensive lawn, it can be much easier to use a leaf blower, in the long run, to help you clear up grass cuttings, small stones, and weeds.
- Depending on the size of your lawn, cleaning it could take all day, so postpone it until the next day, and you can have your final thoughts on your cut grass.