Certain things in this world do not happen by accident. One of such is a beautiful, well-toned lawn. To make your lawn look at its absolute best, you need to have a well-laid strategy on how to work on your grass care all year round.
At first sight, mowing might seem very simple and look like child’s play. This is not always so, as every pass of the mower sets your lawn for prosperity or doom. If you use the correct mowing technique, it will stay healthy, try doing it wrong, and you set it for failure.
A healthy lawn does not always mean you have to slave on it for hours. You only have to work smart on it. In this regard, you should keep these lawn mowing tips for a healthy lawn at the back of your mind the next time you set out for grass care.
Sharpen the Mower Blades Before Mowing
The healthiest lawn is as a result of using the sharpest blades for the job. These sharp blades cut the grass cleanly while dull and blunt blades tear your grass, leading to an uneven and rugged edge.
Another effect is the creation of pests and disease entrance points by the tearing of the grass. That is why you will notice a brownish hue on such a lawn. To prevent this, sharpen the blades regularly during the mowing season.
Avoid Scalping the Lawn
Lawn scalping refers to the act of cutting the grass to an extremely short height. This scalping leaves the grass and lawn as a whole exposed to a host of weed and disease manifestation. Because patches of the lawn soil are left exposed, weeds take root and sprout all over the lawn.
Scalping down the lawn on a regular basis hinders the development of a proper rooting system of the grass in the lawn. It is therefore susceptible to drought and high temperatures.
Adjust the Mowing Height During the Year
For the first mowing of the year on cool-climate grasses, use the 1 ½” cutting height. In this way, dead grass is removed while allowing more sunlight access to the grass crown. As the summer heat sets up, raise the cutting height to 2” or more. The grass gives the soil more cover.
As the year draws to an end in autumn, you can lower back the cutting height to about 1 ½”. Snow molds are prevented from forming on the grass in this way.
Adhere to the 1/3 Rule
When mowing, ensure you do not cut more than 1/3 of the grass height. Exceeding this height shocks the grass, making it stunt its growth. Additionally, the grass is left exposed to damages hence thinning the lawn in the process.
This top 1/3 of the grass is mostly the leafy and thin blade that easily decomposes to add more nutrition to your grass. The best way of ensuring this is to mow the grass when or before it reaches 150% of the target height. For a 1” target height, it is advisable to mow before the grass reaches 1.5”.
If the grass grows too fast, increase the mowing height so that you do not mow all the time.
Grasscycle Your Lawn
When mowing, you always wonder whether you should bag the clippings or disperse them back to the lawn. If the lawn is frequently mowed and you follow the 1/3 rule, then grasscycling is the best option for you.
This process provides almost up to 25% of the lawn’s fertilizer needs and saves you money in return. These yard weeds decompose faster and provide nutrition for the rest. For better results, ensure you buy a mulching blade and discharge the mulch towards the mowed sections.
Compost Longer Grass Clippings
As already stated, grasscycling only works best for shorter grass that is frequently mowed. But what about your tall grass? After whacking the weeds, you can collect these by raking or use a bag attachment on your garden tool.
These can then be composted to be used somewhere else, like on your veggies garden or flower beds. It’s all up to you.
Change Mowing Patterns
The grass on your lawn tends to lean towards the direction in which you mow towards. To change this, you need to change the directions of mowing week to week. This is so that the grass grows upright and become healthier.
Mowing in the same pattern over and over also compacts the lawn and leads to the development of ruts. Grass on these compacted sections tends to be less healthy, and weeds that favor compacted soil thrive there.
Do Not Mow on Wet Grass
Mowing on wet grass is discouraged for several reasons. First, cut quality is hindered, because the wet clippings cling to each other and clog the cutting deck. In this way, it becomes harder for the same speed to be maintained for a uniform cut.
Secondly, if you are mulching, it is harder to do so for wet clippings that adhere to one another. Clumps of grass are therefore left behind that you will have to rake. Thirdly, if you are on a riding mower, there is a likelihood of it slipping on slopes.
Mowing on A Hillside
If you are using a riding lawnmower, do not mow across a hillside, you might slip and fall in the process. On the other hand, if you are using a push behind mower, mow across the slope for better results.
In the unlikely event that the slope is too steep, then it would be better if you used a weed trimmer tool instead.
Half Pass Trick
When mowing, overlap the already mowed area by half the cutting width of your mower, with every pass. It seems like too much work, but in the end, you use less energy (you cut less grass in each pass) and reduce the mowing time.
This half pass trick ensures that everything the blades missed in the previous pass is cut the second time. You will not also go back to trim any rough and shaggy patches.
By following these simple mowing tips, you go a long way in giving your lawn the eventual glamor that it deserves. The success of any lawn is ensuring that it is not always bare, the grass is cut to the right height (1/3), a sharp blade is used, and the clipping discharged back for nourishment.