7 Mowing Tips for a Healthy Lawn
Achieving a healthy lawn doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication — but it CAN be done. Believe it or not, a big part of keeping your lawn looking lush is how you mow it. When you mow the right way, you groom turf that’s healthy, more tolerant of droughts and thick enough to keep weeds at bay, says DIY Network. If you mow just any old way, your lawn won’t thrive. In a nutshell, make sure you don’t remove more than one-third of the total leaf surface at each mowing. Once you get into a groove, you can time your mowings to coincide with this rule. Here are seven tips to maintain a healthy lawn:
- Don’t scalp your lawn: As said above, cutting your grass too short is the kiss of death. It can expose your lawn to diseases and weed infestation. When your lawn is sparse, more soil is open to the elements. This welcomes weeds to settle, which is never a good thing. Plus, a lawn that’s cut too short will have a weak root system, making it vulnerable to damage due to drought or high temperatures.
- Keep your blades sharp: If you let your mower blades get too dull, your grass blades won’t be cut evenly. Instead, they’ll feature rough, jagged edges that invite pests and disease. You may even notice a white or brown tinge to each blade which indicates the grass is dying. Sharp blades make a clean cut, keeping damage at bay. Sharpen your blades two to three times per season to be safe.
- Keep your mower at the right height: This may change throughout the season. For instance, in the height of summer, it’s wise to adjust the cutting deck higher to allow the grass to grow longer. This will shade the soil, keep weeds at bay and reduce water evaporation from soil. Then, in the fall, lower the deck so snow mold won’t form on the grass.
- Don’t mow when grass is damp: It’s best to mow in dry conditions. Mowing wet grass will clog up your mower deck and clump together for an uneven cut. If you have no choice but to mow when wet, use a silicone spray on the under-side of your mower so the grass doesn’t stick.
- Wait till evening to mow: Never mow during the height of a hot summer day. This is stressful on your grass, as it exposes it to extreme heat and moisture loss. If you can, mow in the early morning or evening when it’s cooler out. Your grass won’t lose as much water and it will bounce back quicker.
- Leave clippings where they fall: Although not ideal if you have kids and pets who will soon be running through the grass to play, leaving grass clippings on the lawn instead of bagging them can make your lawn healthier. This practice is called grasscycling, saving you time and money. Grass clippings make up 25 percent of your lawn’s fertilizer requirements, too.
- Vary your mowing pattern: By mowing in the same direction every time, you can compact the soil and make ruts in the lawn. Weeds love compacted soil, so try to vary up your pattern every time.
Use these tips to ensure a healthier lawn!