Love it or hate, lawn mowing is one of the most important tasks for your yard during spring and summer. Cutting your grass properly is one of the key ingredients to a healthy and thriving lawn. Every cut will encourage the blades to grow thicker and will help you achieve that luxuriant look your neighbor will envy. Properly cut grass will also help block out weeds and other unwanted plants plus it will also make the grass more resilient to wearing.
While cutting grass may take quite a lot of time during the growing season, make sure that you are doing it properly to make it worth all the effort. From the frequency of mowing to ideal cutting heights, there are important factors to consider to make sure you are keeping your yard looking good all throughout the season.
Cutting your grass properly is essential for maintaining a healthy and vibrant lawn. Here are some tips to help you achieve the best results when mowing your lawn, whether you’re doing it yourself or using a lawn service:
- Mow at the Right Height:
- Adjust the mower deck to the appropriate height for your grass type. Different grasses have different ideal heights for cutting. For example, cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass should be kept around 2.5 to 3.5 inches, while warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass can be shorter, around 1 to 2 inches.
- Follow the “One-Third Rule”:
- Never cut more than one-third of the grass blade’s height at a time. Mowing more than this can stress the grass and lead to brown patches and weak root systems.
- Sharp Blades:
- Keep your mower blades sharp to ensure clean cuts. Dull blades can tear the grass, leaving it vulnerable to diseases and browning.
- Mow When Dry:
- Mow your lawn when the grass is dry. Wet grass can clump together and lead to uneven cutting, plus it’s harder on your mower.
- Change Mowing Patterns:
- Vary your mowing patterns to avoid soil compaction and ruts in the lawn. Change the direction you mow each time.
- Use a Mulching Mower:
- Mulching mowers recycle grass clippings back into the lawn, providing nutrients and moisture. It’s a more environmentally friendly approach.
- Timing Matters:
- Avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day to prevent heat stress on the grass. Early morning or late afternoon is ideal.
- Maintain a Consistent Schedule:
- Mow your lawn regularly based on grass growth, but don’t cut too frequently. Lawns typically need mowing every 1-2 weeks during the growing season.
- Avoid Scalping:
- Don’t scalp your lawn by cutting it too short. Scalping can damage the grass and expose the soil to sunlight, promoting weed growth.
- Edging and Trimming:
- Edge your lawn along sidewalks and driveways to give it a clean, polished look. Trim around trees, flower beds, and other obstacles.
- Respect “Grasscycling”:
- Allow grass clippings to remain on the lawn (grasscycling) as they decompose and return valuable nutrients to the soil.
- Safety First:
- Prior to mowing, inspect the area for debris, toys, and rocks to prevent damage to your mower or injury.
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How To Cut Your Grass For Best Results
Here are some practical tips on how you should cut your grass for best results.
- Have Your Mower Serviced – It is best to get your mower serviced at the beginning of the growing season to make sure a clean, quality cut. If your blades are blunt, it may bruise the grass and result to straw-colored dieback at the tips. If you’re handy, you might be able to maintain your mower the DIY style to save some money.
- Decrease the Lawn Height by One-Third – It is often a good idea to intentionally decrease the lawn height by only one-third every time you cut your grass – any more would diminish the health and vigor of the grass.
- Mow Every Fifteen Days in Early Spring – The grass needs less frequent mowing during the onset of the spring season as it grows more slowly during this time of the year. Cutting it every fifteen days is ideal until the weather starts warming up in late spring.
- Know The Right Height Of The Grass – Lawn grass is best cut at 2.5 in’ to 4in tall. In some areas that are more prone to wear and are heavily used, cut it a little longer around 4in to 5in. In shaded areas, you can may also leave it even slightly taller than this.
- Mow Only During Dry Days – If you cut your grass when the ground is wet and soaked, the mower will smear and furrow the soil. Wet grass clippings will also bunch together and smother the lawn.
Whether you cut grass yourself or hire a professional landscape service company, the key is to schedule your grass cutting so that it happens when the grass will benefit most from it.
If you’re using a lawn service, communicate your preferences and expectations with them, and ensure they adhere to these best practices. A well-maintained lawn not only looks beautiful but also contributes to its long-term health and vitality.