Proper Lawn Mowing is an Essential Part of your Landscapeís Health and Good Looks
Knowing how to mow your lawn properly is an important part of keeping it healthy and vital. We never knew that when we were kids and thatís probably why the yard our parents sent us out to mow didnít look very good! In reality, there are several key factors in making sure that mowing is good for the lawn, not detrimental to its looks and health. All plants grown for visual appeal, and grass is one of them, need proper pruning for health and fullness. Mowing is the way to ďpruneĒ your grass. Follow these tips and you will certainly know how to mow your lawn properly.
1. When mowing your lawn the right way you must have sharp blades. Nothing else matters if your garden tractor or push mower is sporting dull blades that beat the grass more than cut the grass. This is one factor to pay close attention to. Stop after your first pass and look to see if the cut of the grass is smooth. Splintered, torn grass means dull blades. Check the blades after every use to determine if they need sharpening. That way, if they require it, you can do it or have it done prior to the need for the next cut. Lawn care experts recommend having them sharpened every 10-20 hours of cutting, depending on lawn conditions, but checking is still the best way to determine when to sharpen them.
2. Knowing how to mow your lawn properly includes knowing the right height for your particular type of grass. A range is usually good; you donít have to be exact down to the 1/8 inch! For example, fescue, buffalo grass and bahia grass does best at 2-3 inches. In hot weather or low moisture conditions cut it closer to 3 inches. In cooler weather or with plenty of water you can go a bit lower. Other recommended heights for common types of grass are: Kentucky blue grass 1.75 Ė 2.5 inches, Ryegrass 1.5 -2.0 inches, fine fescue 1.5-2.5 inches, and bent grass on your backyard putting green .25-1.0 inches. Remember: cut it higher in stressed conditions.
3. Never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass stalk. Even if youíve experienced a lot of rain and hot weather, causing the grass to grow faster than you can get to it, stick to this rule. If itís grown to 6 inches, for example, and should be 3 inches, youíll have to bring it under control with 2 cuttings spaced at least 4-6 days apart. Cut it first to 4 and then to 3, for example.
4. Mulch your lawn clippings. Using mulching blades feeds nutrients back into the soil as you mow. If you do not mulch, be sure to rake up any clumps of grass or heavy clippings that can smother healthy grass fairly quickly.
5. In colder climates where grass goes dormant over winter give it a final cut to about the middle of its recommended range and then give it a very thorough watering. Be sure to check recommendations on late-season fertilization, too.
Knowing how to mow your lawn properly takes just a little bit of thought and care, but that effort will translate into a healthy, vibrant and verdant lawn throughout the growing season.