Mowing your lawn is a deceptively simple activity. Just cut and trim the grass, and that’s it, right? Actually, the specific way you mow your lawn can impact how it grows and develops throughout the year. Follow these tips to make sure you mow your lawn in a way that keeps it healthy.
Alternate Your Mowing Path
When you mow your lawn, do you have a specific way or path that you’re used to? You should probably switch your mowing path from time to time. When grass starts to grow back, it tends to lean in the direction where you cut it from. By mixing up your moving path, the grass can grow upright, and it also prevents ruts in your lawn.
Cut Your Grass While It’s Dry
Mowing your lawn while it’s wet doesn’t harm the grass. However, the clumps of wet grass you may leave behind can kill your grass if left on the lawn. In addition, it can affect your mower blades and cause them to rip off grass. Also, mowing in wet soil can rip the grass as well.
Mow at the Right Height
When you mow the lawn, make sure you pick the correct height for your lawn. Never remove more than one third of your grass blades. Cutting your grass too close and too often can cause a variety of issues with your lawn, such as impeding the photosynthesis process and killing it, increased vulnerability to pests, and an increased chance for weed growth. Taller grass also develops deeper roots, allowing it to survive a drought better.
Sharpen Your Mower Blades
A sharp, balanced mower blade cuts grass in a clean, efficient manner. Meanwhile, a dull, weaker blade tears off grass instead, leaving behind uneven, jagged edges. These edges create openings that allow pests and disease to thrive among the grass blades. Sharpen your blades a few times during the summer and avoid cutting thick branches and rocks. Also, keep an extra mower blade at hand just in case.
Cut the Grass While It’s Cool
Mowing the lawn during the cooler periods of the day (morning and evening) allows the grass to lose less water and heal at a faster rate. Grass cut during the middle of day often falls victim to heat stress, which causes the plants to lose more water and recover slowly.
Mow Higher on Shaded Areas
When you mow the shaded area of the lawn, especially under the trees, mow the grass higher. The grass in these shady areas receives little to no exposure from the sun and usually competes with the trees for nutrition. By allowing longer blades, the grass has a greater area for conducting photosynthesis, keeping those parts of your lawn healthy.
While grass clippings are annoying, they also have a healthy impact on your lawn. Avoid bagging grass clippings and let them spread around your lawn. This technique, known as “grasscycling”, returns the nutrients and nitrogen to the lawn. Grasscycling keeps your turf healthy and fulfills some of your fertilizer needs. If the clippings form into large clumps of grass, pick them up, cut them, and spread them throughout your yard.
Mowing your lawn while following these tips allows you to keep it short without running the risk of damaging it.