Every lawn will eventually need to be mowed in order to keep it healthy and looking good. The majority of homeowners and businesses have a maintenance crew who does the mowing for them. But whether you’re doing the mowing yourself or you’ve hired an outside service, there are a few things to keep in mind.
1. Avoid scalping your grass, which is cutting it too short. A scalped lawn is vulnerable to disease and weed infestation. Scalped turf is weak and sparse, which exposes the soil. One of the number one contributors to weed success is exposed soil that allows weed seeds to take root. A sparse lawn also allows sunlight to reach weed seedlings and give them a boost. Grass that’s consistently cut too short has a poorly developed root system, which makes the lawn more susceptible to serious damage from drought or high temperatures. Make sure you know the optimum grass height for your grass species.
2. Keep your mower blade sharp to get the best results from each mowing. A sharp blade cuts grass cleanly, while a dull blade will tear the grass, creating a jagged, uneven edge. These tears create openings for pests and disease to enter grass blades. A lawn cut with a dull blade develops a whitish or brown hue as the tips of individual grass blades die back. Sharpen blades at least a few times during the mowing season and avoid mowing over thick branches or stones to reduce blade dulling and damage. You might want to consider purchasing an extra mower blade, so you always have a sharp blade at the ready.
3. Lawns that grow in shady areas benefit from a higher mowing height. Longer grass blades have a greater surface area for conducting photosynthesis. In a low-light situation, this is a great benefit and the secret to growing a healthy lawn in the shade.
4. Mowing your lawn creates stress on the grass so it’s better to mow during the cooler parts of the day, which will also cause you less stress.
5. Avoid mowing in the same direction or pattern each time you mow. When doing this, you risk compacting soil and creating ruts. Both compacted soil and ruts can lead to grass that is less healthy, followed by weeds that thrive in compacted soil.
6. Use your own mower, even if you have a gardener, it is best to have him mow your lawn with a mower you keep at home. Because your gardener likely uses his mower on multiple lawns, this will prevent the transfer of weed seeds from someone else’s home to yours.