Lawn Mowing Tips

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Lawn Mowing Tips

Mowing Mowing seems simple enough, but each time you cut your grass you’re paving the way for your lawn’s success or failure. Mow correctly, and you’ll groom turf that’s healthy, drought-tolerant and thick enough to crowd out weeds. Mow incorrectly, and your lawn will struggle to survive. Time mowings so you’re never removing more than one-third of the total leaf surface (of a single grass blade) with each cutting. Scalping Lawn Avoid scalping grass, which is cutting it too short. A scalped lawn is vulnerable to diseases and weed infestation. Scalped turf tends to be weak and sparse, which exposes soil. One of the No. 1 contributors to weed success is exposed soil that allows weed seed to take root. A sparse lawn also lets sunlight 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. Sharpen Mower Blade Keep your mower blade sharp to get the best results from each mowing. A sharp blade cuts grass cleanly, while a dull blade tears grass, creating a jagged, uneven edge. These tears create openings for pests and diseases to enter grass blades. A lawn that has been 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. Avoid mowing over thick branches or stones to reduce blade dulling or even damage. Consider purchasing an extra mower blade, so that you always have a sharp blade at the ready. Adjusting Mower Height Adjust mower height throughout the growing season. For instance, shift the cutting deck higher in summer and allow grass to grow longer. Taller grass helps shade soil, which prevents weed growth and slows water evaporation from soil. Taller grass also develops deeper roots, which creates a lawn that can withstand drought better. In late autumn, in regions where winter brings snow cover, lower the cutting deck for the last mowing of the season to help prevent snow mold from forming on grass. Shady Mowing 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 a secret to growing a healthy lawn in the shade. Mow When Grass Is Dry Ideally, mow when grass is dry. Mowing a wet lawn doesn’t harm the grass, but it doesn’t yield the best results. Wet grass fills and clogs a mower deck. It also has a tendency to fall over and clump together as you mow, creating an uneven cut. Watch for clumps of wet grass that fall off the mower. Remove these from the lawn after mowing to avoid killing grass. Always avoid mowing in soggy soil, or you risk creating wheel ruts and tearing up grass. If you must mow the lawn when it’s damp, treat the underside of your mower with oil or silicone spray to help prevent grass from sticking. Also, make sure your mower blade is sharp to avoid ripping grass out of soil. Mow in Shade When you prune a plant, it causes stress. Grass is no different. The act of mowing creates tremendous stress on grass plants. If you mow during the heat of the day, individual grass plants lose more water and recover much more slowly than if you mow during the cooler part of the day. Another option is to wait until shade is on the lawn. Grass in the shade loses less water when cut and is quicker to rebound. Roll Wheel on Edging Create a flat edging along your lawn beside driveways, walks and planting areas. When mowing, roll a wheel of the mower on this edging, and you’ll never have to string trim edges. Use any number of materials to create your edging, including bricks, gravel, concrete pavers or tightly packed crushed limestone, like crusher run. Grasscycling When you let grass clippings lie on the lawn after cutting, that’s called grasscycling. It not only saves you time (no more bagging clippings), but it also saves money (no more yard waste bags or fees). Grass clippings can provide up to 25 percent of your lawn’s fertilizer needs, so you’ll save some dough on fertilizer, too. You don’t need a specialized mulching mower, although you might want to replace your current mower blade with a mulching blade, which cuts grass into smaller pieces that decompose quickly. You can grasscycle with minimal fuss and mess. To avoid being sprayed with grass clippings while mowing, purchase an adaptor kit for your mower that supplies a plug to fill the hole where clippings normally exit the mower deck. Look for universal kits online or from stores that sell mowers. Compost Clippings Grasscycling works best with grass that’s mowed frequently and when only one-third of the grass blade length has been removed. Longer grass needs to be raked or collected in a bag attachment. You can grasscycle turf that’s grown too long if you’re willing first to cut it, and second to rake out the clippings and mow over them to chop them finely. Mowing Pattern Avoid mowing in the same direction or pattern each time you mow. When you do this, you risk compacting soil and actually creating ruts. Both compacted soil and ruts can lead to grass that’s less healthy, followed by weeds that thrive in compacted soil. Hillsides Use care when mowing on a slope — even a mild one. Never mow a slope when grass is wet. That creates slippery footing that can lead to serious injuries. To mow a slope safely, push the mower across the slope, not up and down. With short or small slopes, sometimes it’s easier to use a string trimmer to cut grass. For steep slopes, consider replacing grass with a low-maintenance ground cover. Battery-Powered Mower If you’re in the market for a mower, consider battery-powered models for a gas-free and fume-free option. Most battery mowers offer sufficient power to cut typical yards at an average height. Mowing wet or longer grass consumes more battery power. If you have a large yard, you might want to purchase an additional battery. Look for a model that allows you to remove the battery for charging. This is helpful when you need more than one fully-charged battery per mowing. It’s also important if you store your mower in an unheated shed in a cold region, because most batteries demand winter storage at temperatures above freezing.

Lawn Mowing Tips

The Pros and Cons of MowingNow I just mentioned that improper mowing is one of the most common causes of lawn problems, and I said that was good news. It’s is, because instead of having to figure out a disease, or a pest problem, you can just change how and when you mow. Let’s take a look.What If You Didn’t Mow At All?No matter how often you have dreamed about it, your lawn would not look better if you never mowed it because depending on what kind of grass you have it would grow anywhere from 4 to 24 inches (10 to 60 cm) tall.In addition, it would start to set inconspicuous flowers which are high in allergy-producing pollen, and in time the grass would fall over and being to thin out giving a neglected appearance.So right away we can see that by even doing the minimum amount of mowing, our lawn is going to look much better than if we did nothing at all. This is because mowing actually helps make your grass grow thicker because the tip of each blade of grass contains hormones that suppress horizontal growth. So when you cut the lawn, you are removing the tips and the hormones which then allows the grass to spread and grow outward faster. Mowing also removes any brown or damaged tips and it also helps deter weeds by keeping the lawn thicker with fewer holes for weeds to take hold.But Mowing Also Damages The Grass PlantConversely, the very nature of mowing is actually injuring the plant leaving a cut end for pathogens to invade, and every mowing shocks the plant to put its energy into growing new leaves rather than the roots.So the roots of mown grass can be less extensive and robust than unmown grass, and mown grass tends to store fewer carbohydrates which it needs to help combat stress.That’s Why Proper Mowing Is So ImportantSo the pros and cons of mowing have a huge influence on how healthy a lawn is, and this is why mowing your lawn correctly is so important. In fact, in many ways it’s the key, so let’s take a look at some mowing techniques that will help your grass look better and yet stay healthy.

Lawn Mowing Tips

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Next Up Plugging and Sprigging a Lawn Learn how to start a brand-new warm-season lawn or patch an existing one using plugs or sprigs.  How to Repair Your Lawn Sprinkler Learn how to inspect and replace damaged risers and heads in a lawn sprinkler system. Mowing and Trimming a Lawn Mowing and trimming — especially when done properly — improve the health and appearance of your lawn, reduce its need for water, and lessen maintenance time. Lawn Mower Maintenance A lawn care expert offers advice on what you need to keep your mower in tip top shape. Basic Lawn Care Tips 8 tips on keeping your grass green Lawn Care Tips to Keep Your Lawn Green and Growing Mow, water and fertilize on a regular basis to keep your yard looking lush and tidy. How to Repair Bald Spots in Your Lawn Find out how to get bald spots in your lawn to start sprouting. Tips for Watering Lawns and Gardens Without adequate water, plants will suffer and eventually die. Supplies can run short as rapidly growing plants draw up moisture from the soil. It’s important to know what to water and how. How to Sharpen a Lawn Mower Blade Follow this easy tutorial to keep your mower working at its best. Lawn Care During Drought Try these tips for keeping grass green (or not) when water is scarce.

Lawn Mowing Tips

Lawn Mowing Tips

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Lawn Mowing Tips
Lawn Mowing Tips
Lawn Mowing Tips