You should start by mowing your lawn around the outside border in a counter-clockwise pattern, this way you aren't throwing clippings over the spot that you're going to be cutting on your next path. Do two swipes around the outside border, then mow in the longest direction of your yard, whether it be horizontal or vertical. The up then down pattern has a way of looking natural and if you've waited too long, grab a rake and clean up that hayfield. If you look at lawn mowing as a great way to get exercise and a tan, you wouldn't look at is as a chore but yet a fun activity.
Answered: 08 Apr '12, 12:13
Although I can't really argue with Jimpy's advice, there's really no one best way to mow a lawn, although I can definitely offer some general tips to help you get in the good books of your mother/girlfriend/wife...
If your garden has become really overgrown, then prod a stick into the undergrowth before beginning to make sure there are no rocks or moles hiding in there. These wil blunt the blades on your lawn mower, and possibly even break it/them.
Again, if it's overgrown, you want to cut it down in stages, which will allow the roots to recover between cuts. Otherwise, they will go into shock (seriously...) and die on you, which will not make your mother/girlfriend/wife happy.
The next thing to decide is how long you want to cut the grass. A good general rule is just over a centimeter in the summer, two in the winter. You may want to make it a little longer if it will be frequently trampled on by children, dogs, or you. Above all, remember rule number 2: If it's especially long, it needs to be cut in multiple sessions, lest the roots die on you. A rule of thumb is to cut no more than one-third of the height of the grass in one session.
Use lawn fertilizer in the spring to make your grass look much healthier in the summer. This will also prevent weeds and moss from forming.
When it's especially hot, let it grow longer than usual before mowing it. Also, resist the temptation to water it - even if it turns brownish - as this will only cause the grass to root closer to the surface, which can cause long-term damage in strong heat.
Never mow when the grass is wet or frosty. You won't get an even cut.
Very the direction you mow the lawn in. If you don't do this, the grass will get "lazy" and face in the same direction whenever you cut it, which doesn't look good.
When trimming edges, you may want to consider laying a plank of some sort down (or rope, for curved borders) to give a straight edge. Also, consider investing in a good pair of clippers to give the edges a more professional look.
...And there you go. If you follow these tips, your lawn should be looking brilliantly green and healthy for the majority of the year.