How Often Should I Mow the Lawn? – ALLETT

Tips For Lawn Mowing

Many homeowners don’t realize that there is more to cutting your grass than just getting out the mower and pushing it across your yard when it starts to look too long. You’ll want to make sure you are not taking too much off your grass blades, that you are keeping your equipment in good working order and that you are mowing correctly and under the right conditions.

Don’t Cut Too Short

One of the most important rules for lawn mowing is not to cutting your grass too short. If you live in a warmer region with at least moderate rainfall, your grass might grow so quickly that it’s tempting to set the mower blade at its lowest setting so cut the grass as short as possible so you don’t have to mow as often, but this is usually a mistake. Grass produces most of its food via photosynthesis through its green blades, and if you cut your turf too short, the grass will begin to starve and show signs of stress by turning brown.

You might be able to get away with cutting your grass a bit shorter if you apply lots of extra water and fertilizer. For most people, however, it’s best to cut no more than one-third of the blades’ length at a time. If your grass has grown too long and cutting only a third of it won’t make it as short as you’d prefer, you can gradually shorten the mowing height over time by cutting your grass a couple of times a week for a few weeks.

Keep Your Blades Sharp And Mow In Different Patterns

Make sure to keep your mower’s blade sharp. As with most types of lawn equipment, as the blade of your mower is used, again and again, it will gradually become dull over time and make it harder to get the best results. In addition, experts will recommend that you mix up the pattern in which you mow your lawn. Naturally, grass grows in the direction in which it is getting cut, so by switching up your mowing pattern, you will allow your grass to grow upwards, as opposed to sideways.

Mow Under Optimal Conditions

Another piece of guidance is to mow only when your grass is dry. If you live in a rainy area, you may find it more challenging to find a good window for mowing, especially if your lawn rarely or never has time to dry out before the next shower begins. Even if you mow when it’s not actively raining, but the ground is still wet, you’ll have a harder time getting even, consistent results. The wet grass could also clump up in your mower, causing it to stall repeatedly. It’s also all too easy to dig ruts in the grass with the mower, since wet grass is so easy to pull out of mud by the roots. Worst of all, mowing a wet lawn can lead to fungal growth, which can damage your grass long-term. For a clean, even cut and to avoid damage both to your lawn and your mower, wait to mow until drier conditions.

In most regions of the country, there should be regular periods during peak growing season when there isn’t much rainfall, giving you time to mowy. In drier, more desert-like regions, this isn’t typically an issue, but it’s even more important to avoid cutting your grass too short. Grass handles both heat and drought better when it’s taller, rather than shorter; when these plants is allowed to grow a bit longer, the root structure grows deeper underground, which can also help prevent weed growth. This is desirable both from an aesthetic standpoint and in the sense that fewer weeds mean fewer plants competing for the water that the grass needs to thrive.

If you live in an area where the climate is hot, dry or both, be sure to water your lawn regularly, but only in the early morning, when less evaporation occurs. It’s also a good idea to avoid watering on windy days, as wind also increases evaporation. Bermuda and Zoysia are two varieties of grass that are highly heat and drought tolerant, making them a popular choice for homeowners in these areas. St. Augustine is another good choice for hot climates, although it does have higher watering and fertilization needs, as well as other St. Augustine grass problems. For many homeowners, especially those with lots of shade in their yard or any type of higher-maintenance lawn, hiring a professional lawn service is often the way to go to ensure that their outdoor spaces stay green and healthy.

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5 Common Problems Caused By Improper Mowing:

1. Uneven Grass Length:

If the grass is allowed to become too tall, it will begin to form seeds instead of blades, creating a bulkier surface that doesn’t allow air and water through the well. When there are too few grass blades, less food will be produced, and a lack of the energy needed for the plant’s other functions.

2. Damage to the Grass Blade:

If you mow too frequently, or if your mower does not cut high enough, it will tear the blades of grass instead of shearing them off cleanly (which can also cause fungus). Both situations weaken the plant, making it more susceptible to mold and disease.

3. Thatch Build-up:

Thatch is a layer of dead blades of grass that will not decompose. It forms when the rate at which new growth occurs does not equal the amount that drops to the ground or gets trapped in clippings on your mower deck (causing you to have to empty it more frequently).

If allowed to build up too much, this can strangle grass, taking away the areas where water and nutrients can enter.

4. Excess Moisture:

Grass will grow taller if allowed to retain excess moisture, not allowing air or sunlight through the bottom of the canopy. This causes mold, fungus, and disease to form on top of thatch (which can be very difficult to manage).

5. Poor Turf Density:

If the grass is too sparse, air and water cannot penetrate the soil as easily, making it difficult for the root system to take in those things. This can cause thin blades to turn brown and die out during hot seasons.

Each of these problems will lessen the efficiency and appearance of your lawn, requiring maintenance that is more often than before.

Other Mowing Tips to Improve Your Lawn

Most lawns should be kept at 2.5 cm to 4 cm in height. Some patches will be worn down due to walkways, which means they can be left a little longer.

Besides, shady areas can be left a little longer due to the lack of sun. In this case, you can let your grass grow as tall as 8 cm if mostly shaded, such as grass growing under a tall tree.

If you are sodding a new lawn or recently added new sod, then you won’t be mowing any newly sown patches until the grass gets to at least 4 cm in height. However, mowing a lawn too early after it’s been planted can lead to dead patches.

When mowing, you should look to change the directi

When mowing, you should look to change the direction of mowing to increase what’s known as “upright shoot growth.” Some experts go as far as to say that you should mow at right angles every other mowing, and if you change mowing patterns, that it will prevent issues with your soil or scalping your lawn.

Maintain Your Lawn Mower for Healthy Grass

You should also adjust the cutting height dependinDid you know that dull mower blades can leave your grass more susceptible to diseases? Grass that is cleanly cut with sharp blades has the most opportunity to retain water and thicken after being cut.

You should also adjust the cutting height depending on the temperature, season, and precipitation. You can raise the height of your mower blades at the beginning and end of a season. If it’s a hot and dry season, then you can raise the blade to increase grass growth.

This provides more shade and improves the health of your lawn due to the extra moisture. This keeps your grass greener as well.

Want a fresh look to your lawn? You can fit your mower with a roller, which creates a “striped” look.

Professional landscapers also trim the edges of the lawn with a half-moon tool and remove grass that hangs over the sides after mowing.

How Often Should I Fertilize My Lawn?

While many people mow their lawns for aesthetic reasons, fewer fertilize regularly. This is an important aspect of lawn care, particularly since over-fertilizing is common and can both damage and add to your maintenance costs. In general, warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda, St. Augustine and zoysia, do well when fertilized in the early spring, since this is the best time to deliver plenty of needed nutrients before peak growing season. Testing your soil’s nutrient levels prior to fertilizing is very important to ensure you are purchasing the correct fertilizer and applying it in the right amounts at the right times. If creating a fertilization schedule yourself sounds too time intensive, you can always contact a lawn care specialist.

Bermuda Grass

For Bermuda grass, you’ll want to fertilize as the grass is turning green and after the last expected frost. Experts recommend applying a pound of nitrogen soluble fertilizer or a pound and a half of slow-release fertilizer for every 1,000 square feet of grass. You’ll need to apply the fertilizer every 8 to 10 weeks in the spring. Throughout the summer months, you’ll need to continually test your soil’s nutrients levels to determine whether and when to add additional nutrients. Depending on what you find, you may need to increase your fertilizing frequency to once every four weeks. As your lawn starts to go dormant, you’ll want to stop fertilizing so you don’t encourage the growth of weeds.

St. Augustine Grass

You should apply fertilizer to your St. Augustine grass three weeks after the blades have turned green and when there is little chance of another frost. If you decide to use a soluble nitrogen fertilizer, apply a pound of the product for every 1,000 square feet to your lawn once every 8 weeks. If you decide to use a slow-release fertilizer, you’ll need to plan to apply a pound and a half of it for every 1,000 square feet once every 10 weeks. You can continue with this fertilizing schedule throughout spring and summer, and cease applying more of the product once your lawn starts becoming dormant.

Zoysia Grass

Zoysia grass requires the smallest amount of fertilizer. You will only need to apply the product for the first time three weeks after your grass turns green. Depending on your lawn’s nutrient levels, apply either a half-pound or a pound of fertilizer per every 1,000 square feet. Keep in mind that you should never apply more than 3 pounds of fertilizer per 1,000 square feet to your lawn every year. Regularly test your soil’s nutrients levels throughout the year and apply additional fertilizer as necessary.

As we have already mentioned, the quickest, easiest and sometimes even most cost-effective way to take care of your lawn is to reach out to a professional lawn care service.

General Factors to Consider when Mowing the Lawn

At the end of our article, we will also discuss general factors to consider when you have to determine how often to mow lawn in different seasons. We also highlight some important lawn mowing tips for you as well.

1.    The Grass Growth Rate

How often to cut grass normally depends upon how fast the grass in your garden grows. Some grasses grow faster than others. Therefore, they require more mowing as well. Most people mow their lawn once a week on average during spring and summer, the two main grass growing seasons. It is enough to keep your lawn beautiful and healthy.

You can reduce the mowing frequency in the fall and winter. It is better to mow the lawn only when required. It is enough to mow your lawn once in a month or after every two weeks. However, it primarily depends on the grass type in your garden.

2.    The Type of Grass

We cannot stress this factor enough. Different types of grasses grow in different seasons. In simple words, you should mow cold season grasses in early fall or spring and warm-season grasses in summer.

3.    The Grass Height

You may tend to follow the general grass mowing schedule which is a good thing to do. However, you need not always follow the schedule. Every lawn has its own characteristics and individuals requirements which you must pay special attention to.

For example, your grass should be tall enough every time you decide to trim it. Always remember that cutting grass too short will damage the grass roots. Similarly, the grass will be unable to absorb the water and nutrients appropriately. As a result, it will adversely affect the appearance and health of your lawn.

4.    The “One-Third of the Length” Rule

It is also a big mistake to cut the overgrown lawn too short in an attempt to heal it. It will only stress the grass, preventing it from absorbing the required nutrients and food. It will result in drastic consequences such as brown grass which you are not going to like at all.

The best way to mow the lawn is to cut the grass blades only to one-third of their height at a time. There is nothing wrong with having shorter grass but you have to attain your goal gradually. Mow your lawn frequently but not more than one-third of the blades’ length at a time. Repeat the procedure and you will eventually get the desired grass height albeit slowly and steadily.

5.    Always Mow the Lawn when it is Dry

Can you mow a wet lawn? The straight answer is no. The best lawn mowing practice is that you should always cut your grass when it is dry. Similarly, try to mow the lawn only after the night dew has dried up. The grass will only get stretched and heavy after watering or raining, making it difficult for you to mow it.

6.    How to Water and Fertilize the Lawn?

How fast your grass grows is directly dependent on how much you water the lawn and the type of fertilizer you use. In short, the grass will grow more quickly if you add water and fertilizer to the soil too frequently. Consequently, you will have to mow the lawn more frequently as well.

Benefits of Mowing Your Lawn

Pleasant and Soothing in the Eyes

Two of the main benefits of mowing your lawn is that it is pleasant and soothing in the eyes. You and the guests that you will be having over in your home will surely love the lawn that you have in your home. Your efforts of maintaining it will surely be appreciated by your family and friends.

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