Should you trim before or after mowing?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dbonds831, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. Dbonds831

    Dbonds831 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    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?


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

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

  2. Pool Boy

    Pool Boy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    I trim before the main reason being the trimmings will be mulched up by the mower.
  3. ponyboy

    ponyboy LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ny
    Messages: 1,585

    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
  4. Dbonds831

    Dbonds831 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    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!
  5. Dbonds831

    Dbonds831 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    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!
  6. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    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.
  7. Dbonds831

    Dbonds831 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    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 LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    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
  9. mowerdude777

    mowerdude777 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,735

    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
  10. SunState Lawn Care inc

    SunState Lawn Care inc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Jax, FL
    Messages: 351

    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.

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