Follow these lawn mowing tips for a healthy lawn to keep your lawn healthy, make lawn mowing easier for you and more beneficial for your grass.
Mowing the grass is a pretty straightforward task, but each time you cut your grass you are paving the way for your lawn’s success or failure. Mow correctly, and you will groom turf that is healthy, drought tolerant, and thick enough to crowd out weeds. Mow incorrectly, and your lawn will struggle to survive.
Here are the top lawn mowing tips you need to know:
We have assembled a few tips to help ensure that your lawn reaches its full potential for thickness and health during the growing season. They are as follows:
1. Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp
Sharpen the blades, It is a simple task that should be performed periodically to keep your lawn healthy. Mowing with a dull blade can create a ragged cut, this will quickly turn grass brown.
At first you may think this lawn mowing tip simply lengthens your to-do list, but sharp blades prevent you from having to make multiple passes. A quick investment of your time can make mowing the lawn easier all season long.
Sharp lawn mower blades are necessary for a good-looking lawn. Clean cuts with sharp mower blades will promote good lawn health by preventing lawn disease from getting a foothold.
Maintaining Your Mower Blades
At Calvert Lawn Care, we check and sharpen our mower blades regularly, so that our clients get a nice, clean cut every time. If you are choosing the DIY method of mowing, you should have your mower serviced at least once per year to get the blades sharpened.
Often there are signs that it is time to sharpen the lawn mower blades.
- Grass blades look torn instead of sliced.
- Dents or nicks in the mower blades.
- Uneven grass height after cutting.
- Grass blades look torn instead of sliced.
- Brown, frayed grass edges.
2. Clean Your Mower Deck
A clean mower deck will keep your machine performing properly, free of buildup and clogs. The enclosed housing beneath the mower, where the blade spins has nothing to do with being neat, cleaning will actually help lawn mower performance by allowing the blades of grass to stand fully upright as the blade spins to trim them.
A lawn mower deck heavily encrusted with dried grass clippings may deflect the grass blades so they cannot be cut efficiently, and in worse case scenarios, the dried grass buildup can hinder the rotation of the blade itself, these lawn mowing tips will put you on the right track.
Remember, when you cut blades of grass, you are essentially opening up wounds that make the grass susceptible to problems such as fungal disease, which may be lurking in the grass buildup on the bottom of the mower. Keeping the bottom deck clean also helps minimize the spread of lawn diseases.
3. Do Not Cut Your Grass too Short
Adjust your mower height throughout the growing season. For instance, shift the cutting deck higher in summer and allow grass to grow longer. Taller grass helps shade soil, which prevents weed growth and slows water evaporation from soil.
Taller grass also develops deeper roots, which creates a lawn that can withstand drought better. In late autumn, in regions where winter brings snow cover, lower the cutting deck for the last mowing of the season to help prevent snow mold from forming on grass.
You may think giving your grass an extreme cut will prolong the time until you need to mow again but cutting more than one-third of the blade at a time can damage the grass. In this way, more frequent, less extreme cuts result in a healthier lawn and fewer weeds.
Stick to the 1/3 rule:
Another important lawn mowing tip, never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length when you mow. A healthy lawn can survive an occasional close cut. Routine close mowing produces a brown lawn and has several harmful side effects including:
- Injury to the crown, where new growth generates, and nutrients are stored.
- Reduction of the surface area of the blade, making the blade surface insufficient to produce food through photosynthesis.
- Increased vulnerability to pests and disease.
- An increase in the sunlight reaching weed seeds, allowing them to germinate.
- Risk of soil compaction.
Time Your Mowing’s
Never remove more than 1/3 of the total leaf surface of a single grass blade with each cutting.
Your lawn should be cut regularly and follow the one-third rule, which means mowing should be done often enough that no more than one-third is trimmed at a time. This means weekly mows during the prime growing season and bi-weekly towards the end of the season.
4. Leave Your Grass Clippings On Your Lawn
Grasscycling is another important lawn mowing tip, the practice of not bagging or raking up your clippings as you mow. Leave your grass clippings on the lawn after a mow to provide extra nutrients, this organic fertilizing technique returns nitrogen and other valuable nutrients to the soil.
Grass clippings are a natural and easy way of adding organic matter back into your lawn.
Make sure you shoot grass clippings onto areas you already mowed as a free way to promote a healthier lawn. When you let grass clippings lie on the lawn after cutting, that is called Grasscycling. It not only saves you time, no more bagging clippings, but it also saves money, no more yard waste bags or fees.
Grass clippings can provide up to 25% of your lawn’s fertilizer needs, so you will save on fertilizer expense. Did you know grass clippings are about 75% water?
You do not need a specialized mulching mower, although you might want to replace your current mower blade with a mulching blade, which cuts grass into smaller pieces that decompose quickly. You can grass cycle with minimal fuss and mess with this lawn mowing tip.
To avoid being sprayed with grass clippings while mowing, purchase an adaptor kit for your mower that supplies a plug to fill the hole where clippings normally exit the mower deck. Look for universal kits online or from stores that sell mowers.
Grass cycling works best with grass that is mowed frequently and when only 1/3 of the grass blade length has been removed.
5. Change Your Mowing Pattern
Change your mowing pattern, another important lawn mowing tip. You may fall into the habit of always mowing along the same pattern, but since grass tends to lean in the direction you mow, you’ll encourage more upward growth and avoid ruts if you switch up the way you mow each time with different mowing patterns.
Avoid mowing in the same direction or pattern each time you mow. When you do this, you risk compacting soil and actually creating ruts. Both compacted soil and ruts can lead to grass that is less healthy, followed by weeds that thrive in compacted soil.
It is important that you follow these lawn mowing tips for a healthy lawn. In fact, proper lawn mowing deters thatch buildup. Additionally keeps your lawn healthy and looking its best through the seasons. Finally, learn more about the benefits of grass cutting services for homeowners in Calvert County, MD.