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View Full Version : Should you trim before or after mowing?


Dbonds831
06-18-2009, 02:10 PM
I saw a blog on another lawn care forum where the admin asked, and answered this question. "Should you trim before or after you mow?"

Sadly, he answered it wrongly in my opinion. He thinks you should trim BEFORE you mow for various reasons. One of them is that he thinks trimming after you mow could leave tall grass on the border of everything. I disagree.

I trim after I mow because the mower is what sets the height of the lawn's grass. The mowed grass's height will be the predominate height, and if you trim before you mow you have to guess what that's going to be, whereas if you trim after you mow, you have a guidleline for how much to trim.

Additionally, trimming before you mow leads to a high probability that you will trim more grass as you're walking behind a trimmer, which takes time because even the best trimmers go slower trimming than when mowing.

But that's what I think - What do you guys think?


Side question - I trim after I mow, but I edge first. I edge first because all the mess that is left behind the edger is generally dispersed when I come over it with the mower which makes blowoff time a lot easier, especially if I'm bagging that yard. Agree or disagree?

Thanks!

Doug
Creations Lawn Care, LLC.
Exmark Phazer ZTR
Echo Trimmers, Blowers, Edgers
2008 Ford F-150 SuperCrew

Creations Lawn Care, LLC.
"...Going the Extra Yard"

Pool Boy
06-18-2009, 02:14 PM
I trim before the main reason being the trimmings will be mulched up by the mower.

ponyboy
06-18-2009, 02:16 PM
we do it at the same time 3 guys working, but I agree with you trim first go off the lawnmower height and how do you know how much to trim unless it is cut first

Dbonds831
06-18-2009, 02:20 PM
I trim before the main reason being the trimmings will be mulched up by the mower.

That's a good point, the trimmings will be laying down otherwise, but if you're cutting a property on a regular basis, the difference in height from the mowed grass to the untrimmed grass shouldn't be that huge that anyone would notice. I know what you're saying, I just think that the dangers of trimming too short and burning the grass outweigh the two minutes extra it takes to blow off the trimmings if you trim after.

Thanks for the input!

Dbonds831
06-18-2009, 02:22 PM
we do it at the same time 3 guys working, but I agree with you trim first go off the lawnmower height and how do you know how much to trim unless it is cut first

Having three guys makes it hard to trim first sometimes. I worked for a large company in Orlando that had seven crews of three man teams and the trimmers always had to let the mower get out and cut out the edge lines real quick but most times we used that time to get a coil of replacement string and a fill a 20oz bottle with premixed gas so we didn't have to walk back to the truck on large properties if we ran out of either.

Thanks for the input!

Richard Martin
06-18-2009, 02:25 PM
I trim first on most lawns. I don't like having to walk over the same spot twice. Once with the trimmer and then again with the blower to get rid of what I trimmed. I have trimmed well over 10 thousand lawns so I pretty much have it figured out how not to burn the grass.

Dbonds831
06-18-2009, 02:29 PM
I trim first on most lawns. I don't like having to walk over the same spot twice. Once with the trimmer and then again with the blower to get rid of what I trimmed. I have trimmed well over 10 thousand lawns so I pretty much have it figured out how not to burn the grass.

Ok, fair enough. With experience comes...experience. With close to the same experience I still think trimming after is better. Like I said, when you are regularly mowing a lawn once a week, the grass normally doesn't grow high enough to leave noticeable trimmings. Exceptions being my wonderful home state of Florida of course, where you are ready to mow again in the summer before you even leave the property :p

STIHL GUY
06-18-2009, 02:48 PM
i trim first because after mowing for a while i know what height to trim at and how much i need to trim. then the trimmings get mulched and the stripes come out nicer when im not trying to get too close to things

mowerdude777
06-18-2009, 03:36 PM
When I work alone I trim after becuase it gives it a better looking cut and if i miss a small spot i can get it iwth the string tirmmer

SunState Lawn Care inc
06-18-2009, 05:55 PM
I trim before the main reason being the trimmings will be mulched up by the mower.

Same here there are 2 or 3 of us on the job but usualy the trimming is done before the mower gets there it just makes a claener look for us. If possible the edging needs to be done after the mower is done so it has a neat straight look where the mower crosses the cement and such BUT the mower will suck up and scatter the dirt left from the edger if you edge first so it's 6 of one half dozen of the other on edging.

Dbonds831
06-18-2009, 06:19 PM
I have to say - I'm actually surprised. I thought more people would agree with me, but when I'm licked, I'm licked. Thanks for all the input guys. I will probably stick to what works for me, but it was interesting to find out so many people feel differently when I thought I was doing it how everybody did it.

Creations Lawn Care, LLC.
Exmark Phazer ZTR
Echo Trimmers, Blowers, Edgers
2008 Ford F-150 SuperCrew

Creations Lawn Care, LLC.
"...Going the Extra Yard"

freshprince94
06-18-2009, 06:32 PM
Having three guys makes it hard to trim first sometimes. I worked for a large company in Orlando that had seven crews of three man teams and the trimmers always had to let the mower get out and cut out the edge lines real quick but most times we used that time to get a coil of replacement string and a fill a 20oz bottle with premixed gas so we didn't have to walk back to the truck on large properties if we ran out of either.

Thanks for the input!

What comany did you work for?

I usually trim before I mow, but now that I have a walkbehind, I trim afterwards until I can get used to mowing close to things.

Dbonds831
06-18-2009, 07:44 PM
What comany did you work for?

I usually trim before I mow, but now that I have a walkbehind, I trim afterwards until I can get used to mowing close to things.

In Orlando it was KP landscaping.. Why, did you work in Orlando too?

SfTD_service_CENTER
06-18-2009, 08:30 PM
either way depending on the condition of the yard. at some peoples if i know kids were playing in the yard i weedwack to look for objects like raocks and stuff, also if the grass is way tall i weed wack to mow up long trimmings plus i think it is easier but i am a knuckle head and like to weedwack!

Dbonds831
06-18-2009, 08:31 PM
You like to weedwack? What's wrong with you?

COME ON GUYS, WE GOTTA GET THIS FELLA SOME HELP!
:p

Blunt
06-18-2009, 08:42 PM
I just purchased a bigger trimmer because my echo srm-230 is just to small for any serious trimming. I usually trim first then rake and shovel debris and haul off of lawn then mow. I started last fall and don't have many nice lawns :)

STIHL GUY
06-18-2009, 08:51 PM
i used to mow then trim but then once i started trimming and edging first it works a lot better

traman
06-18-2009, 09:16 PM
being solo i edge,trim, mow and blow. my reasoning is to get most of the walking part done,get refresh up a little being on the mower,then its just blow and go. it only take my one time on a new account to know where i need to trim a little extra where the mower wont cut. the other reason why i like to trim first is to look over the lawn ,making sure no sprinkler heads are up ,kids toys or dog toys and just what ever could be on the ground.

vincent1
06-18-2009, 09:20 PM
I prefer to have the lawn mowed first. When trimming last I can see and make sure nothing is missed and also check sprinkler heads at the same time. I don't bag so the clippings don't bother me

TheDreadLock GrassCutter
06-18-2009, 09:38 PM
I prefer to have the lawn mowed first. When trimming last I can see and make sure nothing is missed.



......same here

marcuslawnguy
06-18-2009, 10:21 PM
Doesn't matter for me however for yards next to woods or overgrown yards I always mow first. I like to see a snake that has been ate up by the mower than trying to fight him with the trimmer. How ever I can get up to things pretty close with the scag so trimming afterwards is no problem. I do notice like one user posted if I trim first I usually over do it and take up more time. If you ever get into a property with a long fence you can always mow, trim then do a loop around the perimeter just to get anything. To me that leaves the best look. And to the user that said mowing first sets the cut height. I believe in this entirely and it is easy for a rookie trim man to learn how to trim for you if he is coming behind the mower. and he also learns where the mower can and can not go. i have had my guy miss spots before because of this simple bs. since most trimmer operators light to see dirt down here. lol

vincent1
06-18-2009, 10:30 PM
Doesn't matter for me however for yards next to woods or overgrown yards I always mow first. I like to see a snake that has been ate up by the mower than trying to fight him with the trimmer. How ever I can get up to things pretty close with the scag so trimming afterwards is no problem. I do notice like one user posted if I trim first I usually over do it and take up more time. If you ever get into a property with a long fence you can always mow, trim then do a loop around the perimeter just to get anything. To me that leaves the best look. And to the user that said mowing first sets the cut height. I believe in this entirely and it is easy for a rookie trim man to learn how to trim for you if he is coming behind the mower. and he also learns where the mower can and can not go. i have had my guy miss spots before because of this simple bs. since most trimmer operators light to see dirt down here. lol


Damn snakes

LBLC_LCO
06-18-2009, 10:42 PM
I mow and then trim.

Like someone else said, if the lawn is being maintained regularly then clippings should not be an issue. If it's an overgrown account then I will trim first so I can hit all the extra clippings with the mower. I've never tried trimming first on a regular, maybe I'll try and see how I like it.

freshprince94
06-19-2009, 04:25 PM
In Orlando it was KP landscaping.. Why, did you work in Orlando too?

I believe I may have seen them before...not too sure. And I have lived in Orlando for most of my life.

Mowbizz
06-19-2009, 08:03 PM
I mow and then trim.

Like someone else said, if the lawn is being maintained regularly then clippings should not be an issue. If it's an overgrown account then I will trim first so I can hit all the extra clippings with the mower. I've never tried trimming first on a regular, maybe I'll try and see how I like it.


Bingo! Mow-trim-blow works for me too. I agree that on overgrown accounts sometimes trimming first makes sense.

exmark 1
06-20-2009, 09:05 PM
trim after i mow

Icepuck72
06-20-2009, 09:10 PM
Trim and edge before mowing. That way any long blades, leaves, and junk will be all in the grass to be mulched by my deck. Clean and easy.

a clear difference lawn
06-20-2009, 09:22 PM
I edge first, then mow, trim and blow. If I trim before I mow I tend to do too much. I also agree with previous comments. It is easier to trim to the proper height once the lawn is mowed, also if you don't trim after you mow it always seems like you miss something.

dishboy
06-20-2009, 10:32 PM
If you trim first I guarantee you are spending more time trimming or you are missing things. How do you handle irregular sections the mower can't follow or stragglers or any two inch square that mower might miss or grass that pop ups up because it was long and growing sideways if your trimmer is already sitting on the trailer?. A mower always cuts more efficiently than a weed eater even if you are as good as me. Mow first., trim last. Only exception is overgrown landscapes, and then their is good possibility you will need to do some touch up for a truly professional job. But do whatever floats your boat if it makes you happy.

93Chevy
06-20-2009, 10:49 PM
I usually blow first because it's the easiest, then trim because I know how not to scalp with a trimmer, then mow. Only twice in the last 2 years have I had to go back over an area I missed with a trimmer, and it was only like a 12 inch section that wasn't low enough around a bed edge.

I don't know why everybody blows after they're done. I do it first. It takes too much time to blow all the clippings up from the sidewalks.

Whitey4
06-20-2009, 10:58 PM
If you trim first I guarantee you are spending more time trimming or you are missing things. How do you handle irregular sections the mower can't follow or stragglers or any two inch square that mower might miss or grass that pop ups up because it was long and growing sideways if your trimmer is already sitting on the trailer?. A mower always cuts more efficiently than a weed eater even if you are as good as me. Mow first., trim last. Only exception is overgrown landscapes, and then their is good possibility you will need to do some touch up for a truly professional job. But do whatever floats your boat if it makes you happy.



This is my approach as well. If I see a small spot of stringers after mowing, I take it down woth the trimmer. I sometimes even forget a small patch of turf, and now the mower is back on the trailer. I'm an old bassad, and memory is the second thing to go... the first is... well, I can't remember.

Since I always mow weekly, any trimmer debris can be blown off, no long stems. Trimming last gives me a last look at the property too, in case I missed something, I will see it while trimming. I use a stick trimmer, and doing that before mowing makes sense, although for reasons I don't understand, I still mow first.:confused:

ashelton
06-20-2009, 11:08 PM
I usually blow first because it's the easiest, then trim because I know how not to scalp with a trimmer, then mow. Only twice in the last 2 years have I had to go back over an area I missed with a trimmer, and it was only like a 12 inch section that wasn't low enough around a bed edge.

I don't know why everybody blows after they're done. I do it first. It takes too much time to blow all the clippings up from the sidewalks.

I hope you were kidding about that last line.

I mow, edge, trim then blow. I like to mow before I edge, that way the mower tires don't grind the dirt into the driveway or sidewalks that I have to cross.

JDiepstra
06-20-2009, 11:25 PM
I hope you were kidding about that last line.

I mow, edge, trim then blow. I like to mow before I edge, that way the mower tires don't grind the dirt into the driveway or sidewalks that I have to cross.

I'm pretty sure he is mocking most of you since this entire thread is so :dizzy:

Who gives a crap if you trim before or after? Just do it. I myself happen to trim and edge first, and then I mow, blow, and go.

Not once has anyone ever complained.

93Chevy
06-20-2009, 11:35 PM
I'm 100% serious.

Why waste all that gas getting every single grass blade off the sidewalk? It's much easier to blow first.

LouisianaLawnboy
06-21-2009, 12:37 AM
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=270268

Thats a poll I conducted awhile back.

TL Yardcare
06-21-2009, 01:11 AM
trim? whats that?

lyube
06-21-2009, 02:18 AM
After.

Anything else is just dumb.

SEMI-RETIRED
06-21-2009, 12:07 PM
I do mostly subdivision right of ways, vacant lots, lots of high grass, pastures etc,
no trimming neccessary, but on my residential about 22 jobs, i mow trim & blow..

Nichols Quality Yard Care
06-21-2009, 12:51 PM
I always mow first, but when im done mowing, I just park my mower by my truck. Then I trim and edge. If I feel like there is too much debris then I just hop on my mower and make a quick lap around the yard and mulch up the debris into the lawn or run over any missed spots...most of the time I do not have to do this. then I load up my trailer, blow, and go.

Florabama
06-21-2009, 01:26 PM
Most of my properties have extensive curving bedlines. When the beds are edged there is always some embedded leaves, mulch, pine straw, etc. that kick up on to the lawn. I know exactly where and how to trim so the walk-behind finishes it off clean.

Mickhippy
06-21-2009, 05:47 PM
A lot of it has to do with the type of grass. Bermuda is like a mat so anything cut after the mow will sit on top (leaves etc).
Bermuda is trim/edge then mow. Small props should be trim/edge, blow, mow, quick blow.

That said, I also do a development and I edge, mow, trim and blow. It is quicker to trim after the mow as you not doing any unnecessary cutting but this job is so big a few clippings on top doesn't matter.