Lawn care can be a challenging task, especially when you have hilly terrain. The incline can make it difficult to push a lawn mower, and if you’re not careful, you can end up damaging your lawn or putting yourself in danger.
But don’t worry – we’ve got some tips that will help you out. Cutting grass on a hill may seem daunting, but with these tips, you’ll be a pro in no time!
Learn the best ways to mow your lawn and keep it looking green and gorgeous all season long, while also keeping yourself and your equipment safe.
Preparations Before You Mow
Preparing your mowing surface before you mow is just as important as the actual act of mowing itself. It’s especially important when you’re mowing on a hill, as it can help to prevent slips and accidents. Firstly, remove any debris from the lawn before mowing, including branches, leaves, and stones.
Before you start mowing on a hill, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the terrain.Walk up and down the hill, taking note of any tricky areas or steep inclines. This will help you to plan your route and make sure that you’re taking the safest path possible.
Also, avoid mowing on a slope that leads to a pond or other body of water. This is because the soil might not be able to support the mower’s weight, and you and the mower could fall into the water.
Check the Weather
If the ground is wet or damp, wait until it dries before mowing. Wet ground can be slippery, and it can also damage your lawn mower. In addition, avoid mowing in the rain – wet grass can clog up your lawn mower and make the job much harder.
However, soil that is too dry can also be a potential danger. If the ground is too dry and hard, it is harder for the treads of the mower tires to gain any traction. This therefore means it is more likely to slip as well, and you could lose control of it.
And, once you start slipping or rolling over, it’s tough to course correct and straighten out the mower, so the best idea is to avoid sliding in the first place.
Choose the Best Mower
Another preparation to make is to choose the correct mower for mowing your hill. If you only have one lawn mower, then this is not a necessary step, but it is still worth noting, as some riding lawn mowers especially are not equipped to handle hills. For example, lawn tractors should not be used on steep slopes because their weight and balance is not conducive to slopes.
Here is a list of our recommendations for the best riding lawn mowers to use on a hill.
Make Necessary Adjustments
Regardless of the mower you use, you don’t want to add any attachments to it, and if you have attachments on it, make sure to take them off being using the lawn mower on a hill.
For example, grass clipping collection bags should not be used, because they can change the weight of the lawn mower. They will cause more and more weight to be added to the back, so it could tip backwards while in use, or become too heavy to safely and effective use on a slope.
Another adjustment you want to make to your lawn mower is to raise the cutting deck to the highest possible. This gives you more leeway when mowing the hill, and they mower will not get stuck or clogged down by the grass as much, allowing for a smoother, and therefore safer, mowing experience.
How to Mow a Hill With a Push Lawn Mower
If you are going to mow a hill with a push lawn mower, then you need to remember a few things. Firstly, you want to mow side to side, not up and down the hill. This is because it’s easier to keep your balance this way, and you’re less likely to slip.
Pushing a mower straight up above you puts a lot of weight on you, and you could fall and the mower would then be coming right towards you. If you’re going straight down, the push lawn mower could easily slip from your fingers and slide down the hill too fast for you to catch it.
You should also use a wide stance while mowing the hill, in order to increase your stability. You could even wear cleats or shoes with a lot of traction, so that you can maintain your balance and your feet don’t slip when mowing.
With regards to turning, you should try your best to not turn on the hill at all. If you have no other choice, turn so that the mower is facing uphill while turning.
Lastly, for both types of lawn mower, never try to mow a hill that is too steep – it will be too difficult and dangerous. Use a string trimmer or hire a professional if necessary. No
How to Mow a Hill With a Riding Lawn Mower
The main thing to remember with regards to using a riding lawn mower on a hill is that it is the exact opposite of a push lawn mower – you want to mow up and down the hill rather than side to side. Your riding lawn mower can better maintain traction that way, and it is less likely to roll over.
You also don’t want to turn on a hill with a riding lawn mower. Turn only when you get to level ground at the bottom or top of the hill. And if the hill is too steep, only mow downhill, and for the uphill take a roundabout route back up to the top that is less steep.
We have a whole post on the subject if you would like more information specifically on how to mow a sloped surface with a riding lawn mower.
Take Your Time
One of the most important points to make about mowing grass on a hill or any sloped surface, regardless of what type of lawn mower you’re using, is to take it slowly. Take your time cutting the grass, it’s not a race.
If your lawn mower has multiple gear settings, set it on the lowest gear. This way you both force your mower to go slow, and you give it the maximum amount of torque and RPM it could use while still moving slowly. Think of it like a manual car – you always want to be in a lower gear when you’re driving up a hill.
Don’t let your mower get too fast on the way down either. Don’t put it in neutral or speed up when going downhill, as this is just as dangerous while you’re on the hill, and it makes it harder to slow down or stop when you get to the bottom of it.
One thing that may seem a bit counterintuitive when mowing a hill is that, although you want to go at a slow pace, you don’t want to stop at all. Keep a slow and steady pace throughout your entire mow. Stopping on a hill is very risky. If at any point the mower loses traction or comes to a halt, switch off the engine and go back down the hill whatever way the mower is facing.
If you are using a push mower, stopping on a hill is less of a problem, but you still probably shouldn’t be restarting your mower on a hill if it sputters. Walk it down to flat ground, and then restart it.
Lawn mowing on a hill can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. By preparing before you start and making a few necessary adjustments, you can cut your grass successfully – even on a hill.
Make sure to check the weather before you start, choose the best mower for the job, make any necessary adjustments, and take your time.
We hope our article has helped and that you will be able to enjoy a nice, neat lawn without any trouble. Following these tips should help you cut grass on a hill without any problems. Have you tried this yourself? What challenges did you face? Let us know in the comments.