To achieve healthy green lawns, there are essential maintenance techniques to be followed and done properly. Mowing your lawn and mowing it correctly has a significant impact on the health of your turf and the way your lawn looks. Before you start up the mower, keep in mind these important caretaking tips:
Always remember, time mowings so you’re never removing more than one-third of the total leaf surface (of a single grass blade) with each cutting.
Stick to the 1/3 rule.
Never cut more than one third (1/3) of the grass blade length each time you mow. Cutting your grass too close to the ground lets the sunlight reach weeds more easily and can result in increased pest and disease risk. Even if you have long, overgrown grass, only mow one-third, let it recover for a few days, then take off another one-third.
Sharpen Those Lawn Mower Blades
Sharp lawn mower blades are critical in preventing disease in the lawn. Keeping your mower blade sharp helps in getting the best results from each mowing. A sharp blade cuts grass cleanly, while a dull blade tears grass, creating an uneven edge. The sharper the blade the cleaner the cut and the faster the plant heals.
Adjusting Mower Height
Adjust 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 the 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.
Cut the Lawn When it’s Dry
Dry grass blades stand upright and are less likely to cluster together when mowed. When possible mow the lawn when it is dry, as a wet lawn is harder to cut and is more likely to clump up which can make cutting the lawn take longer. Wet grass can slow down your blades, and your lawnmower will no longer be able to cut at its optimal speed. As grass builds up in the deck, the blades slow down which leads to a mower tearing rather than cutting the grass.
Switch up your mowing pattern
Avoid mowing in the same direction or pattern each time you mow. When you do this, you risk compacting soil and creates ruts. Both compacted soil and ruts can lead to grass that’s less healthy, followed by weeds that thrive in compacted soil.
Mowing during the heat of the day causes individual grass plants to lose more water and recover much more slowly than if you mow during the cooler part of the day. Grass in the shade loses less water when cut and is quicker to rebound.
Should You Bag or Mulch Grass Clippings?
Should you leave the clippings on the lawn, to bag them up and take them away? We recommend that you use a mulching kit on your lawnmower, and leave the clippings on the lawn. Mulching set up on your mower will shred the grass into fine clippings, which will quickly break down and put nutrients back into the soil. This results in more nutrients remaining in the soil, rather than constantly removing a great source of nutrition for your lawn.
Alternatively, if you do not want any clippings on the lawn you can bag them up and compost them. You can then use the composted grass clippings as a top dressing in your lawn in late spring or early summer.
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