Mowing On Slopes
Slopes are a common feature in many yards, but they can be pretty dangerous to mow. Mowing on slopes is generally considered too risky for average health and fitness level people. However, this doesn’t need to be the case if proper precautions are taken. The following information will outline 25 safe techniques for mowing on slopes.
Some of these techniques may seem unhelpfully basic to horticulturists or landscapers who routinely work on hilly ground, but even experienced professionals should review this list before tackling difficult jobs. For best results, employ several methods together or try them out one by one until you find the most effective strategy for your property and physical abilities.
Many different factors affect how steep a slope can be safely mowed. The length and severity of the slope, the height and weight of the mower, the type of mower, the condition of the ground, and the operator’s ability all play a role. For example, a short but steep slope could be tackled with a walk-behind mower, while a more extended and less severe slope might require a tractor. Novice operators should start with shorter slopes and work their way up to steeper grades as they gain experience.
Before you get started, take some time to assess the situation. Look for hazards such as rocks, holes, or patches of ice that could cause you to lose your balance. If possible, try to find an easier way to go around or avoid the slope altogether. If you have to mow a steep slope, here are 17 best ways to do it safely:
1. Mow uphill and downhill in opposite directions: This method is the most common way to mow on a slope. It helps to keep the mower from sliding sideways. Make sure to go slowly when mowing uphill and downhill.
2. Use a track or walk-behind mower: A track or walk-behind mower has a broader base than a standard push mower. This gives it more stability when mowing on a slope.
3. Mow across the slope: This method is not as standard as the first two. It is only recommended when the slope is around 10 degrees or less. Some mowers cannot be used to mow across the slope, like zero-turn mowers and riding lawnmowers.
4. Use a self-propelled model with an adjustable swivel wheel: This method allows for easy maneuverability on slopes around 10 degrees or greater. Make sure that your model has an adjustable swivel wheel so that you can control how much power it produces going up or down a slope. Use a riding lawnmower with gravity propelled self-propulsion system.
5. Try to find an easier way to go around or avoid the slope altogether.
6. Mow up and down the slope, not across it.
7. Use a grass catcher or bagger to collect clippings as you go.
8. Raise the height of the mower blades to their highest setting.
9. Cut slowly and deliberately, making sure each pass is even.
10. Take your time; don’t try to rush through the job.
11. If possible, have a helper hold the mower while operating it.
12. Start at the bottom of the slope and work your way up gradually.
13. When turning around at the end of a row, back up the slope.
14. Use a board or plywood to make a ramp for your mower up or down an incline.
15. Try using grass clippings as mulch around trees, shrubs, other plants, and garden beds.
16. Avoid stopping suddenly on slopes; try to slow down before you get to the edge of the hill so you won’t have to stop suddenly while moving downhill.
17. Pass over any holes or rocks once going uphill, then again while coming back downhill so they won’t be lying in wait for you when you are trying to maneuver on sloped terrain.
- Although this method will cause some damage to your grass in time, it will allow you to mow slopes of over 45 degrees. This is the best option for steep hillsides and mountainsides.
- When using any of these methods, be sure to adjust your mowing pattern according to the slope. For example, when mowing uphill, you will want to make overlapping rows going up the hill. When mowing downhill, make overlapping rows going down the hill. This will help to distribute the weight of the mower more evenly.
- It is also essential to keep in mind the type of grass you are mowing. Some types of grass are more resistant to damage than others. If you are unsure which type of grass you have, ask your local lawn care professional for advice.
- No matter what method you choose, always take your time mowing on a slope. Slower speeds will help to reduce the risk of damage to the lawn and reduce the risk of injury.
There are many ways to tackle a steep slope with a lawnmower, but no one way works for everyone or every situation. The ground condition, the height and weight of the mower, the length, and the steepness of the slope, these factors vary from one person and yard to another. Before moving up a hill, take some time to assess your situation.
Once these questions are answered, be sure to: listen carefully to your body and mind; follow all safety guidelines and warnings in the operator’s manual for your mower; and if necessary, hire someone who has experience with hills to help when possible.
- Why is it essential to use a mower with a slope adjustment feature when mowing on slopes?
A slope adjustment feature allows the mower to be set at an angle that will help keep it stable as it moves across the slope. This is important because if the mower were to tip over, it could cause serious injury to the operator or damage the mower.
- How do I adjust the slope of my mower?
The procedure for adjusting the slope of your mower will vary depending on the make and model of your machine. However, most machines have a lever or knob that you can use to adjust the angle of the blade. Consult your owner’s manual for more information.
- How often should I mow my lawn on a slope?
You should mow your lawn as often as conditions permit. If the grass is taller than 6 inches, it may be more challenging to cut and remove the clippings, so you may want to wait until shorter growth has been removed naturally by wind or rain before attempting another cut. Mowing only part of the area at one time allows enough sunlight to reach the roots, preventing loss of grass due to disease or heat stress during periods when growth is less active.