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Mowing Lawns

All About Cutting Grass

Mowing lawns has a major impact on the quality of your home lawn. Proper mowing techniques and practices are important.

Maintaining a healthy lawn involves a variety of good lawncare practices throughout the entire growing season. In spring, when our lawns awaken from their dormancy, another season of lawn mowing begins.

Over the years, we've seen a lot of lawns hindered by improper mowing techniques. With a few simple adjustments to your approach to cutting grass, you can be on your way to a much healthier lawn.

Sharp Mower Blades

Mowing lawns with dull blades is one of the most common mistakes Jim has seen over the years. We can't stress enough the importance of proper mower blade sharpening to ensure clean cut blades rather than torn, jagged edges and uprooted new growth.

Frequency and Height

The most important rule for mowing lawns that Jim has shared again and again, is to never cut more than one-third of the grass blade in a single mowing.

The taller blades help establish deeper root systems that take up good amounts of water and nutrients, making the lawn more drought resistant.

Low mowing also encourages broadleaf weed growth and invasion of creeping bentgrass and bluegrass overgrowth.

If you're not sure how long to cut your grass, start by raising your blade by one-half an inch just to be on the safe side.

Turf can be mowed frequently throughout the season, as long as you follow this 'one-third' rule. A general rule for frequency of mowing lawns is once a week, and occasionally every four to five days after periods of heavy rain or the application of fertilizer.

Mowing Techniques

Starting with the longest side of your yard, cut your lawn in rows. This will give you nice straight rows and a tidy look overall. A diagonal pattern is also an attractive and professional look.

Mowing patterns should be altered from cut to cut each week. This lets the grass grow in an upright position and keeps you from forming grooves and ruts in the lawn.

Grass Clippings

We recommend you leave grass clippings on the lawn. They contain valuable nutrients and water, and breakdown quickly.

A mulching lawn mower is a great investment that chops the grass clippings that then fall back down between the blades of grass.

You can significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen your lawn needs by as much as 30% by leaving the clippings on.

If your lawn cutting has gotten away from you and the clippings are excessive and heavy, you may have to rake them up.

If you need to use the bagger, be sure to check the bag often to keep the grass from clumping when the bag is full. Dispose of them nicely in your compost pile.


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