Lawn Mowing Tips
The two most important aspects of mowing are proper mowing height and proper mowing frequency.
- Selecting the correct mowing height depends primarily upon the species of grass in the lawn. Most Ohio lawn grasses should be kept in the range of 2-3 inches tall. Mowing to keep the grass at its best growing height will increase lawn density and attractiveness, and reduce lawn care problems.
- Higher mowing heights favor deeper grass roots, a greater number of roots and an overall healthier grass plant. Grasses cut at a low mowing height can not sustain the rate of photosynthesis necessary to produce enough food to maintain a healthy plant. The short mowing height weakens the grass and increases its susceptibility to weed invasion, disease and injury from drought and summer heat.
- It is a good idea to raise the cutting height in the summer months by an additional ½ inch to provide more shade to the lower portion of the grass plant. This also increases the leaf area available for food production.
- No matter what kind of grass you have, there is a simple “rule of thumb” to follow when mowing. Never remove more than one-third of the leaf surface each time you mow. So if you have a lawn of Bluegrass which is best kept at 2 inches, the best time to mow is when it reaches a height of 3 inches.
- Removing more than one-third of the leaf surface at one time results in an open, stemmy appearance of the lawn, weakens the grass plant, reduces root growth, and leaves significant clipping debris on the lawn surface.
- Mowing will normally be required more often in the spring and fall with a frequency of at least once a week.
Other Mowing Considerations
- Keep the lawn mower blades sharp! A dull blade will cause injury to the grass plant and produce stress, which in turn increases the possibility of insect and disease problems.
- When you use the “rule of thumb” you don’t have to collect the grass clippings. They decompose quickly and put nutrients back into the soil. It’s a built-in fertilizer program every time you mow! Contrary to popular belief, the grass clippings do not create thatch and by leaving the clippings on the lawn, they are kept out of landfills, another environmental benefit!