Mowing Tips For A Healthier Lawn
#1: Change up the direction in which you mow.
This will make sure you're not causing unsightly ruts in your lawn from the tires of the mower continuously rolling in the same spots. Not only are the ruts unsightly, but the ruts are actually the soil underneath the grass being compacted so tightly making it hard for water and air to reach the roots of the grass. Also, the blades of grass grow in the direction that they are mowed, so changing the direction allows a fresh cut on the blades of grass each time.
#2: Stop cutting your lawn too short!
It is vital to the health and thickness of a lawn to mow at the correct height and frequency. Not only will cutting your grass too short cause the grass to grow back faster but it will also leave your grass weak and more vulnerable to damage from pests, disease and drought.
At some point in your life, you’ve probably heard that the shorter you mow your grass, the less often you will have to mow it, which is a commonly held fallacy. Mowing your grass too short does not mean that you have to mow it less often. Actually, if you've cut your grass too short, you're most likely doing your grass more harm than good. Mowing grass too short will actually damage your grass. Because the grass is in distress, each individual grass plant will utilize all of its energy to grow back its blades as quickly as possible, often at the expense of its’ root system. Not only will cutting your grass too short cause the grass to grow back faster but it will also leave your grass weak and more vulnerable to damage from pests, disease and drought.
The best way to ensure that you have a healthy, drought resistant lawn is to mow your grass at the right height. The height you should mow your grass depends mainly on the variety of grass you have in your yard.
How often you mow your grass also plays an important role in the health of your grass and helps to increase growth. A general rule for knowing when it’s time to mow is to never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blades. So, if your correct mowing height is 3 inches, you would want to mow when it reaches 4.5 inches in height. Also, it’s always better to mow your grass too tall rather than too short. Water reaches the deeper roots of taller grass more efficiently which is better for your grass especially during dry or drought conditions.
A few other things to remember about mowing at the correct height. If your lawn has several varieties of grass it may difficult to determine the correct mowing height, so the best practice would be to always mow your grass a little taller. Because taller grass provides shade over the soil, mowing your grass taller will help the root systems hold moisture and will also help keep crabgrass at bay. And, last but not least, grass will always grow better in shady areas when it is mowed a little taller.
To set mower height, place it on a flat surface and measure the distance from the ground to the blade.
#3: Sharpen those blades!
Dull mower blades rip and pull the grass blades, leaving ragged tears that both weaken the plant and promote fungal growth and other grass diseases. A sharp blade on the other hand, makes a clean cut allowing the plant to heal and recover quickly. You can also just replace the blades 1-2 times per year instead of sharpening.
#4: Don't mow wet grass.
When the lawn is wet, the blades stick together making the cut uneven. Mowing wet grass can also damage your lawn and clog your mower. The wet clumps of grass that the mower spits out can smother and kill your lawn if left unraked. It's best to wait until the grass is completely dry before mowing.
#5: Slow down.
Rushing through mowing can cause an uneven cut and could leave heaps of grass clippings on your lawn which may create issues in the future. You're also more likely to notice humps and dips in the lawn when going slower allowing you to adjust the height of the mower before you scalp the grass which will cause the grass to turn yellow in those spots if you mow too quickly and don't adjust the mower height.