What's The Optimum Way To Mow an Irregular Shaped Lawn?

The mover mfg. recommends that yo mow in a grid pattern-that is, mow in one direction, turn 180 degrees and mw that way-repeat till you have covered the lawn. Wouldn’t it be better to mow in a circular spiral pattern? That way you would be doing less turning and fewer missed spots.
What do you think?

I think hiring the neighbor kid is the optimal way.

I do the spiral technique, therefore it must be the most ridiculous and inefficient.

I do a switching spiral: clockwise one loop, then counter-clockwise the next. The mower does a better job of picking up the uncut grass the wheel flattened when I’m going the opposite direction. For an irregular shaped lawn, I switch directions at the sharpest turn.

My back lawn is a perfect rectangle. My front lawn is a small square stuck on a rectangle.
The lawn book I have says it is better to alternate, that is do the 180 degree way vertically one week, then horizontally the next, and then spiral the week after that.
Even when not doing a spiral I mow the outer edges first so I know it is done.

I don’t understand why a 180 degree method would miss stuff. In a spiral it is easier to lose track of where you mowed. Though I admit that when I get bored of one set of rows I might move to another on the other side of the lawn for a while.
My bigger problem is the tree sitting in the middle of the lawn. My bigger problem is that the whole thing needs to be ripped up, the soil improved, leveled, and resodded.

Keep hoping the clover takes over, then all you do is trim the edges.

Find an acquaintance with a few hungry goats (or sheep, although I once learned that they don’t do the root system any good).

I always broke up the lawn into logical chunks when I mowed as a teenager. As long as I got all the chunks done, it didn’t matter what order I went in. Our front yard was on a pretty steep hill, so each section of hill on either side of the front steps was a “piece.” The left and right top and bottom were each 1 piece. In the rear we had a pool, so I broke up the yard into five pieces–mentally drawing a square around the pool (those little triangles around it were the biggest pain in the ass), then treating each quadrant around the pool square as 1 more piece.

11 pieces in total. Took for-freaking-ever.

The best way for the yard is to do it in a “grid” but in diff angles each time ie horizontally one week, diagonally the next, etc. I doubt any one way makes much diff efficiency wise anyway.

I always mow around the perimeter, then spiral in toward the center . . . regardless of shape.

Push mower with side discharge? Regardless of your method, you’re going to cut the same area, so reducing time in turning is the way to reduce your time mowing. Mow the entire outer perimeter of your property blowing the grass in (one lap) so the edge is nice. Reverse and mow the entire rest of the property blowing the grass out in a spiraling pattern. Just mow around trees and stuff when you get to them and continue mowing the whole chunk blowing the grass out. Eventually you’ll have to mow away small areas that have separated from the main area, but that’s OK. A nicely contoured lawn will be the result.

Other mowing tips from this seasoned mower-

  1. Never bag grass clippings. It removes organic matter from the soil.
  2. If you have piles of cut grass on the lawn instead of evenly scattered clippings that disappear by the next day or two, you need to mow more often.
  3. I have never seen ill effects from mowing using the contour method outlined above repeatedly.

AstroTurf or cement

No, no… no.


Post #3 pretty much nails it.

Hey, if it’s good enough for Britney…