How Your Mowing Habits Can Affect the Look and Health of Your Lawn
As a diligent homeowner, you mow your lawn regularly or even hire a professional mowing service. However, you’ve noticed that your lawn doesn’t look as good as it should, despite all the time, money, and energy you invest.
The truth is; mowing goes beyond simply cutting grass. If you don’t do it well, it could affect the appearance and health of your lawn. By understanding how your mowing habits affect your lawn, you can avoid mistakes and achieve a lush green space.
Mowing too short weakens your lawn
For a typical lawn in the Metro Atlanta area, it’s best to maintain a height of no shorter than 3 inches in the cooler season. In the warmer season, stick to a minimum mowing height of 4 inches to enable your lawn to handle the stress caused by heat and winds.
By leaving your lawn long, the grasses have more surface area for photosynthesis. As a result, they will grow well and have a more extensive root system. In addition, a denser lawn crowds out weeds, giving weed seeds no opportunity to sprout.
Mowing frequency is also important
Leaving the grasses to grow long before cutting it short is a recipe for a yellowed and struggling lawn. That said, the rule of thumb is to never cut more than one-third of the grass tissue at a time. For instance, if the desired length of your lawn is 3.5 inches, you need to cut it when it grows to 4.5 inches.
This may mean you’ll have to mow more often, especially if your lawn is well-fertilized and irrigated. While this requires a little extra effort, you’ll be happy with the lush, vibrant space in the end.
Dull mower blades make grasses more susceptible to diseases
In addition to mowing at the right height and frequency, cut with a sharp mower blade. That’s because rather than cutting cleanly, a dull blade leaves jagged edges on your grasses, causing injury and making them more susceptible to diseases.
Even if your grasses manage to heal, they look yellow, impacting the overall appearance of your lawn. Moreover, cleanly-cut grass blades have better water conservation ability, reducing the need for frequent irrigation. Sharpening the blades 2 - 3 times yearly will ensure a clean cut and reduce stress on your grasses.
Don’t remove grass clippings
When you mow, leave the clippings right there to act as food for the lawn. When they decompose, they add a tremendous amount of nutrients to the lawn, helping to enhance soil quality. Also, clippings can help to minimize runoff.
However, ensure the clippings' length is not above one inch to prevent smothering the lawn. If you stick to the one-third rule above, clipping will be short and you won’t have to rake them off.
Give your lawn the best care and attention today
Now that you understand how your mowing practices can affect your lawn, you’ll be able to adjust to improve your lawn's look and health. If you’ve had enough of mowing, want to avoid mistakes, or want a lawn care company that actually knows what they are doing, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll design a lawn maintenance program to ensure your lawn gets the best care available for the result you desire.