Did you know that one of the most important aspects of caring for your lawn is mowing the grass? Proper mowing techniques paired with lawn treatment will promote thick, green, lush grass that feels like a carpet under your feet. While we don’t offer lawn mowing services, we do offer some advice on how to make sure your lawn is mowed properly.
Here are some of the important things you should consider when mowing your lawn:
One of the most common mistakes we see while we are treating lawns is the grass being mowed too low. While it may seem like the shorter the grass is cut, the longer it will take to grow, it is actually very damaging to your grass. A good rule to follow is to never cut more than ⅓ of the grass blade during each mowing session.
Mowing the grass removes part of the grass blade, which is used for the production of food through the process of photosynthesis. The root system of the grass is also affected because when the grass is cut too low and the leaf blades are looking for more nutrients, they turn back to the root system for more. This ultimately results in the plant starving itself.
Cutting the lawn too short, or “scalping” it, will also prevent you from achieving the beautiful green look that is characteristic of a healthy, vibrant lawn. The greenest parts of the grass blade are at the tip, so the more that is cut off, the less green the grass will be.
So while you might think that cutting the grass an extra inch or two shorter will give you a week off from mowing this summer, think again! The height of the grass is much more important than the frequency of your mowing. Not only will cutting the grass too low highlight any problem areas that are very thin or bare, but it also gives weeds more opportunities to pop up and take over.
Cutting the grass with sharp blades on the mower is yet another important factor. Dull mower blades will tear the leaf blades, leaving the remaining tips brown, stressing and injuring the plant, and making it more prone to insect and disease infestation.
Always check your mowing equipment before using it and keep up with the maintenance to ensure it is functioning at its best. Make sure you have a set of sharp and balanced blades on your mower at all times, not only to make clean cuts in the grass, but to extend the lifespan of the equipment.
Your grass holds nutritional value throughout its leaves, stems, and roots. When mowing your grass, the clippings can provide nutritional value to your lawn as they decompose. Another common mistake we often see is how people think they are doing a good thing by bagging all of their clippings.
While an excessive buildup of grass clippings can smother the lawn and prevent it from receiving any sunlight, these clippings can easily be spread out by simply running the lawn mower back across them. Not only will this help distribute the clippings evenly across the whole yard to allow the sunlight to reach it, but it spreads food to all parts of the lawn as well.
By removing all of the grass clippings from the lawn, sunlight is able to reach the soil, making it more susceptible to weed growth. The grass clippings are a natural fertilizer for your lawn, so if you remove them, you then have to replace those nutrients with more fertilizer that contains many of those same nutrients you just bagged up. The grass clippings are free, fertilizer is not.
Did you know that the direction you decide to cut your grass also plays a role in its health? Most people (lawn professionals included) choose the easiest mowing direction in order to finish the job quickly and move on to another project. Mowing your lawn in the same direction every time is not always what is best, even though it may be easiest.
Changing up the direction your grass is mowed will help reduce soil compaction. Compacted soil prevents nutrients, water, and air from reaching the grass roots, which is what it needs to thrive. While lawns naturally become compacted due to foot traffic and irrigation, running a heavy piece of equipment over it regularly will have the same effect. Lawn aeration is a great way to alleviate the compaction and give the roots the ability to grow and expand.
There is a lot to know when it comes to mowing your lawn, and it has a great impact on the overall health of your grass. At Mighty Green Lawn Care, we offer a wide range of lawn treatment services that will also improve the health of your lawn. The right combination of proper mowing, irrigation, and treatments will leave your lawn that thick, lush green you always see in photographs. Request a free estimate today!