Ask any homeowner what the least favorite part of maintaining a lawn is, and most would answer mowing. Lawn mowing is one of those necessary evils. A weekly chore for which we can find all kinds of excuses not to do. And yet proper lawn mowing is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy lawn.

Scalping the lawn

Mowing height and frequency are vitally important for a problem free turf.  It is widely assumed that cutting the grass short will cause it to grow slower. Cutting it too short will restrict its ability to absorb sunshine. This will only cause it to grow even faster until it produces a blade long enough to absorb the sunshine necessary to store energy and remain healthy.

Weed control

Cutting the grass too short will keep it in a perpetual state of stress. This will limit its ability to fight off invaders, like weeds. Weed seeds can survive for long periods of time, just waiting for the chance to spring to life when conditions are right. A Well maintained thick and dense turf will crowd out and limit the weed invasion.

Water conservation

Grass will grow its root system in proportion to the length of the blades. The longer the blade the longer the roots needed to support the plant. The deeper the root system the less supplemental watering the plant will need to survive on; one more reason not to cut the grass too short.

Neglect

Waiting too long between mowing can cause the grass to grow too long. If the grass blade becomes too long it will cease to support it's own weight and begin to fall over.

This will cause the underlying grass to become smothered and even die. The grass will begin to thin out and be more susceptible to disease.

The right height

Grass should always be cut according to its rate of growth. It will grow faster during the cooler months of Spring and Fall, requiring more frequent mowing during times of rapid growth. In the hot months of Summer, as built in survival mechanisms tell the grass to go dormant, it begins to slow down it's growth and will require less frequent mowing. A good rule of thumb is to set your mower at 2 to 2 1/2 inches and never cut more than 1/3 of the blade off at any one time. This will keep the grass in a good healthy state. Cutting too much of the blade off at one time can cause the plant to go into shock. If a mowing is missed it is best to raise the mower and cut off a small portion of the blade, wait a few days and then cut off a little more.

Understanding how your grass grows is the first step in making the right cut. A good mowing routine is very important to the overall appearance and health of the lawn. Keep your law healthy and beautiful, make the right cut.

 © Can Stock Photo Inc. / kbphotodesign

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