Cutting grass is essential to the overall health and proper growth of your lawn.
Mowing correctly has the biggest impact on how your lawn looks and it's health. If your lawn already has a problem, a bad mow job either caused the problem or will make the problem worse.
One can also say that it is one of the most time consuming steps in your lawncare regiment. I’m a “glass is half-full” kind of guy. Think of it this way.....you are killing two birds with one stone.
It doesn’t matter whether you decide to cut your own lawn or hire a lawn mowing service. This step can be your lawn’s best friend by attaining a lawn that is:
When the grass is cut it has the ability to grow new grass plants. This enables the grass to become denser (thicker). The grass plant is also able to replenish and improve itself.
Mowing properly allows you to spend less time on your lawn. Extra time, is something we can all use in our busy lives.
Improper lawn mowing is one of the most common turf problems a homeowner will encounter. Approximately 70% of lawn problems are caused by mowing wrong.
If you mow the lawn too short, the grass plant’s root system will weaken. If you mow the lawn too often, the stress on the root system makes it too hard to produce new grass plants. A weak grass plant is highly susceptible to lawn weeds, lawn diseases and drought.
Frequently mowing your lawn the proper way makes it grow laterally which creates that thick, lush grass we all want.
The frequency with which you mow your lawn is dependent on:
On average, you should cut your grass every 6 – 7 days. If it rains a lot or you just fertilized it, you need to mow more often. During a drought you only need to cut the grass every 10 days.
You should not be regimented and cut your grass every Saturday at 2pm though. Know when your grass has grown just outside of it’s optimal height. That is the right time to cut your grass.
Knowing which specific grass type you have is important. All grass types have an optimal minimum and maximum growing height. Be familiar with this and you will reap the full benefits of a well maintained lawn.
The length of your grass is an important ingredient in growing that healthy lawn that is free of weeds, disease and destructive insects. In general, when your grass is at a longer length the results are:
Changing your mowing height even a little can impact how often you need to water and feed your lawn.
The height of the grass blade and the length of the grass root are directly correlated. If the grass is cut too short, the roots won't grow deep. Lawns with shallow roots can't fight off weeds, dry out faster, need more water and are less able to spring back from drought situations.
When cutting grass, you want to make sure you reduce each blade of grass by approximately 1/3 of it’s original length. That means if you like your grass 2 inches in height, you want to cut the grass when it is 3 inches long.
Scalping the grass can hurt the crown of your lawn. The crown is important because it is near the root system. Scalping your lawn causes the following problems:
Don’t worry if you accidentally cut it too short once or twice. It is only when you routinely scalp your lawn that you will begin to have lawn problems.
Longer grass allows you to:
If you want to mow less frequently, plant slow growing grass and keep it's height at the higher end of the scale.
A common problem occurs when people go on vacation. They come home only to find the lawn is over grown due to excessive amounts of rain. The worst thing you could do is to immediately cut the lawn back to it’s normal length. This can cause the grass plants to go into shock. Instead, remember the “1/3 Rule” and get it back to it’s optimal height over the next 2 – 3 mowings.
Grass type also factors into the equation. Every type of grass has a range with an optimal minimum and maximum height. However, during the height of the summer when it is really hot and there are drought conditions, your lawn should be at it’s optimal maximum height. This will encourage slower regrowth after mowing, fewer lawn weeds and fewer lawn pests. This is a sure recipe for a beautiful and healthy lawn.
Cool Season Grasses
Warm Season Grasses