The first thing you want to check before you mow your lawn, is the weather. After all, who wants a half mowed lawn during a downpour? You don’t want to be that neighbor. Wear safety glasses, and get some hearing protection, as well. Wear a hat, and use sunscreen. If it has rained recently, it would be a good idea to wait until the grass dries. You will be fighting an uphill battle trying to chew through thick, wet grass. Second would be to make sure you have enough fuel for your mower on hand, check the oil, if oil is low, add more BEFORE you start the mower.
Make sure your blades are sharp. There are many lawn equipment shops that will do this for you. It generally costs between 6 and 10 dollars per blade. If you own a push mower, then you only have one blade to deal with. Without a sharp blade, you will be “ripping” your grass, instead of “slicing it”. The jagged edge, caused by dull blades, invites fungus, and will have a brown appearance over time. It is just unhealthy.
Never remove more than a third of the grass blade at a time. This will keep your roots strong and thick. Recycle your grass blades, don’t bag them. This actually reintroduces fertilizer back into your turf. Grass clippings do not belong at the dump. Another thing to check when you sharpen your blades is the condition of your mower deck, or the underneath portion of the mower.
While the blade is off, scrape any gunk that has been collecting from previous mows. This helps airflow, and is easier on your engine and belts. While mowing, avoid any hills or inclines that may be a bit too steep or challenging. A slip or fall could be mighty painful or worse. You are working with a dangerous machine that must be respected. You can always hit those areas with a weed whacker. Before you start up, clear your lawn of any sticks, toys, and especially rocks, as they can be projected through the air at very high speeds. On that note, make sure there are no children, or people in general in the area. It may sound overboard, but flying objects can kill. So get hydrated, put on your safety glasses, and make that yard the best on the block! Lastly, try to have fun, and always practice safety.