We mow our lawns to keep them looking neat and tidy, not always remembering that mowing is an important step to keeping the lawn healthy as well. Just as a rose bush needs pruning, or a person needs a haircut every so often, your lawn needs a trim too. SOD lawns that are not mowed properly will become sick, and eventually die.
- How Much Do You Cut?
There is no perfect answer to this question, as it will completely depend upon how tall your grass has grown. The standard rule, however, is to only remove 1/3 of the total height. Therefore, if your grass has grown to be 4 inches tall, you should only remove 1.33 inches when you mow. Mowing more than this at a time can lead to many irritating issues, such as browning, pest infestations, weed growth, and soil compaction.
- When Should You Mow?
It is never a good idea to mow the lawn when the grass is wet. Not only is this harmful to your mower, but it is also unhealthy for your grass. When the blades of grass are wet, they will stick together and clump up underneath your mower deck. This leads to dulling blades. Also wet grass tends to lay down, so you will miss patches of grass that need to be trimmed. If it is possible, do not mow the lawn during the hottest part of the day. Too much sun exposure on freshly cut grass and dry out and burn the crown system. Mowing at this time is also not very healthy or pleasant for the person doing the mowing.
- How Should You Mow?
Everyone has a different mowing style, often related to the type of mower they are using. It is vital that you change the pattern of your mowing each time. If last week you started going from the north to the south, directionally, this time you should mow from the south to the north. Your grass has a memory, and learns that you mow a certain direction every time. When this happens, the blades start to bend in that direction. Blades that lay flat shield the root system from sunlight, grow unevenly, and encourages the blades to stand tall and proud. You should always mow while pushing or driving forward, never in reverse. This is a safety issue that is easily avoided.
Using these simple tips and tricks will keep your lawn looking as green and healthy as the day the sod was laid. Just remember that the chore of lawn mowing is really a necessary pruning to keep your lawn the ultimate envy of the neighborhood.