How to Mow Your Lawn Like a Pro by Not Making These Common Errors
Even though it’s not often known, poor mowing is a major contributor to grass issues. Thankfully, it’s a simple issue to resolve. Compared to identifying and treating pests, diseases, molds, or weeds, this is a breeze. If you want your grass to look its best and remain healthy, follow these guidelines.
1. Avoid Overcutting Your Lawn
Cool-season grasses like fescue, ryegrass, and even bluegrass are common in the northern region. Most of the growth for these grasses will occur in the spring and fall, and depending on the conditions, may be less frequent in the summer.
There is no hard and fast rule about how often you should mow these sorts of grasses, but you should cut them frequently enough that you never eliminate more than a third of their height at a single cutting.
Mowing heights of 3-1/2 to 4 inches are ideal for most lawns with cool-season grass. A lawn made of warm-season grasses like Zoysia or Bermuda may be kept at a height of mowing between 1 and 2 inches. If you adhere to this mowing plan, you’ll be able to keep your lawn looking fuller, your grass with a better root system, and less weeds in your yard.
2. Scalping can occur if you mow your grass too low
The most common error that homeowners do while caring for their lawn is “scalping” it, or mowing it down to less than the recommended one-third of its height. They make this change because they believe it will reduce the frequency with which they need to mow.
As a result, your grass will be more susceptible to weeds and less resilient to drought and other environmental stresses.
The length of a grass blade is proportional to the size of its root system. Plants are at their healthiest and most resilient when there is harmony between the soil and the grass blades.
Since the cutting edge of each blade of grass includes hormones that prevent horizontal development, mowing actually makes your grass grow larger. Grass becomes thicker and more widespread at its base when the grass’s growing tips are clipped off.
If your grass has become excessively long, it’s not a good idea to try to mow it down to the proper length in one go. Keep to the standard and cut the grass to a height of one-third before waiting three to four days to cut it again.
3. Never Mow Grass When It’s Wet
Do not attempt to trim grass when it is damp. Because the blades tend to cling together, the cut is not consistent. Mowers can get jammed up, and grass can get matted down and dark from the trimmings. When your mower’s wheels mat down the grass, the blades won’t cut it, and that grass might come back and make your lawn seem patchy.
Mowing the grass when it’s damp might also spread sporadic fungi patches and lead to disease outbreaks. Wet grass is more hazardous to mow, especially if your yard has inclines, so be careful if you have to cut it.
5. Don’t mow in a circular pattern; instead, switch it up every so often
Changing up your mowing pattern might promote straighter, healthier blade growth. When grass is mowed, the blades grow in the direction opposite to that which is used. The blades can be brought back to a more vertical orientation by alternating the pattern. This will help prevent the mower’s wheels from creating ruts in the grass.
6. Mow using sharp blades only
Mow Without Worn-Out Blades Check the sharpness of your lawnmower blades. A dull blade will shred instead of cut neatly, and it will be easy prey for bacteria and insects. Having your blades professionally sharpened every few months is recommended. It’s time you have them sharpened if it’s been a while.
7. Mulch the grass clippings you leave on the lawn after mowing rather than bagging them
In earlier decades, householders typically bagged their cuttings before discarding them.
To assist the soil retain moisture and contribute nutrients as the clippings decay, plant experts now advise leaving the clippings on the lawn after mowing.
Your lawn may get as much as 30 percent of the nitrogen it needs from grass clippings. Leaving the clippings on the lawn reduces your effort and promotes healthier grass.
If you follow the one-third rule while mowing your grass, the resulting clippings should be tiny enough to break down quickly.
Discharge your grass on the side you haven’t mowed yet, and then mow over it again to reduce the size of the pieces even more and prevent thatch from accumulating.
If you want even smaller bits of grass and weeds after mowing, you might invest in a mulching mower or add a mulching attachment to your existing mower.
9. Don’t Send Grass Blowing Into Walkways and Driveways
Concrete driveways and sidewalks get sticky and stained with freshly cut grass. To prevent grass clippings from landing on driveways, patios, and other hardscapes, just reverse the direction of your mower’s blades while mowing near these areas. It will prevent clutter in your yard and eliminate the need to blow them out later.
10. Don’t Use an Edger
You may use a string trimmer with the head held vertically to trim neat edges along sidewalks and driveways, eliminating the need for a separate edger.
For finishing touches on hedges and bushes, try holding the trimmer horizontally. To get more consistent trimming, look for a natural path that allows you to cut along the edge and trim at the same time.
The frequency of mowing depends on the rate of grass growth and the desired height of your lawn. During the growing season, mowing your lawn once a week should be plenty to keep it healthy. If necessary, you might lower the frequency of cutting to every other week throughout the remaining time.
Lawn height increases in the summertime, just like the temperature. The lawn’s soil is shaded by higher grass covering it, which helps ward off bothersome weeds like crabgrass and shields the lawn’s roots from the intense heat.
For tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, you can mow your cool season grass up to 4 inches high in the summer. Warm season grasses should have a 2 to 2.5 inch rounded end.
Every week, your lawn needs around one inch of water. One inch per week is required for fertile soil and robust grass roots, and can be provided by your sprinkler system or natural rainfall.
The time of day you water your lawn can have an impact on weed growth, disease development, and grass growth. Keep in mind the following crucial watering advice for the finest lawn care results:
Avoid watering between 11 am and 3 pm, when it’s often the hottest of the day.
Water between 6 and 10 in the morning when there is less sun, heat, and wind.
If you can’t water in the morning, water between 4 and 7 in the afternoon instead.
Avoid watering at night as it attracts outdoor pests, fungus illnesses, and mildew.