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Lawn Mowing: More Important Than You Think

One of the most important aspects of lawn care is mowing. While it may seem strange that the process of cutting a living plant is going to help it stay healthy, that is exactly the case when it comes to your lawn. Grass grows from the bottom up (its roots), similar to your hair, so the older part of the grass plant is at the top. When you mow the lawn, you are actually removing the oldest part and encouraging the grass to grow.

Lawn mowing

Lawn Mowing Tips for a Healthy Lawn

Because correct lawn mowing practices are so important to lawn care, Senske offers these lawn mowing tips.

First, make sure not to cut the grass too short. You only want to remove the top third of the grass when mowing, no matter how high the grass currently is. This top third is where the oldest growth is located and will have the biggest benefit to the grass if removed. The optimal length for your lawn depends on the specific type of grass you have, but in the areas we service, most of the varieties of grass thrive at around 2 to 3 inches in height. Cutting the grass too short forces the grass to thin out the roots and stop growing. Also, when the grass is cut too short it's easier for weeds to grow because they're not competing with the grass for sunlight, space and other nutrients. On the other hand, cutting the grass too high causes the grass plant to develop thicker stems and build up a thick layer of thatch that can also cause problems for your lawn.

Mowing the top one-third of the grass allows lawn owners to leave the clippings on the turf. Leaving the grass clippings on the lawn ensures up to 15% of the nutrients supplied from fertilizer return to the lawn. Because grass clippings are mostly made of water, the cut blades shrivel and dry out and in the process return vital nutrients to the lawn as they are washed out of the old cut blade. We call this "GrassCycling."

Lawn mowed grassAnother important lawn care tip is to change the direction that you cut the grass every time you mow. Grass will take on the grain of the direction the lawn is mowed and tend to lay down if repeatedly done in the same direction. So, by changing the direction, you encourage the grass to grow more evenly and reduce the ruts that develop as a result of continuous compaction of soil under mower wheels. Also, make sure that your lawn mower blades are kept sharp to ensure that the grass is cut evenly. A dull mower blade will tear the grass leaf and leave a white shredded appearance on each grass blade, resulting in the lawn appearing slightly white in color due to the shredded tips. Sharp blades can also prolong the life of your lawn mower by reducing wear and tear to the engine. Most lawn mowers have sharp blades that can move up to up to 200 mph, so safety is crucial when mowing.

Here are some additional lawn mowing tips:

  • Make sure your grass is clear of objects before mowing
  • Wear closed toed shoes
  • Make sure all safety guards on your lawn mower are down
  • Slower mowing speed is better for control (especially around corners)
  • Try not to cut grass when wet because it can clog the mower
  • Never reach your hands down to the mower blades to fix them

For more lawn mowing tips, and information on how to keep your grass growing green and healthy, contact us today at (877) 944-4007 or click for a free estimate customized to your lawn care needs.