Mowing your lawn is one of the most common yard chores out there. But there's a little more to it than just pulling your lawn mower out once a week and running it across your yard. To end up with the healthiest fresh-cut grass, there are a few common mowing mistakes that you'll want to make sure you avoid. It may seem like mowing your grass shorter would mean you can mow less frequently, but actually this can cause more harm than good. Mowing too low cuts the amount of leaf surface available to soak up the rays, so you might end up damaging or even killing your grass. Short grass also makes it easier for weeds to move in and take over. As a rule, never remove more than one-third of a blade of grass in a single mowing. It's tempting to remove grass clippings as you mow with a bagging lawn mower, but you'll rob your lawn of valuable nutrients if you do. Grass blades are primarily composed of water (about 85%) and also include nitrogen, so they break down quickly and will add nutrients back to the soil, which means you can use less fertilizer. If you always mow your lawn in the same direction, eventually your grass will start bending that way. Changing up the pattern each time you mow will also decrease soil compaction. Alternating directions, either at right angles or diagonals, can also help control the runners of creeping grasses and reduce thatch development. Never mow your grass when it's wet. The soil is softer so grass roots may end up getting pulled out of the ground by your mower, leaving you with patchy, dead areas. Plus, dry grass takes less time mow, cuts easier, won't clog or mat, and looks better when you're finished. Just like kitchen knives, mower blades become duller with use. Dull blades can tear the grass blades instead of cutting them. And while ragged edges look bad, they can also invite diseases or pests in through damaged areas. So it's worth taking the time to sharpen the blades at least twice a year.