Everything You Want to Know About Mowing Your Lawn

Mowing the lawn properly can prevent diseases. (Courtesy: Margaret Stanks at flickr.com)

Mowing the lawn properly can prevent diseases.
(Courtesy: Margaret Stanks at flickr.com)

Just about everybody who lives in the United States of America, including children, understand the concept of mowing a lawn. Either you have actually done it or you have seen somebody doing it.

You would figure that everybody who is involved with mowing a lawn understands the techniques of fulfilling the chore. However, that may not necessarily be true. How one mows his lawn is pretty much based on how someone else taught them to do it. However, there are lawn care experts who have tips on how to do it. Here is what they say.

Why Mow the Lawn?

Some of you who perform the task on a nice Saturday in the spring or summer may have had the thought “Why in the heck do I have to do this?”

One of the reasons experts say that you should mow your lawn is that it prevents diseases from striking the grass. They say that most common lawn problems can actually be prevented if you mow your lawn properly. So if a problem occurs, then changing how and when you mow can pretty much end it.

No matter what species of grass you have on your lawn it will grow. In fact, experts say it can grow as much as 24-inches (60 centimeters) tall. That just wouldn’t look good in a neighborhood in which the lawns are relatively well manicured.

Moreover, flowers would start to appear that produce a great deal of pollen and pollen is what causes allergies. In addition, over time the grass will fall over and present an even worse appearance.

Mowing helps your grass to grow thicker because the tip of the grass blade includes hormones that suppress horizontal growth. When you mow the lawn you are cutting off the tips of the grass blades and removing the hormones. This allows the grass to spread and grow faster.

Mowing also eliminates the damaged tips that might turn brown and helps to prevent weeds from growing because the lawn is thicker and there are fewer holes through which the weeds can grow.

Mowing Injures the Grass Plant

On the other hand, the process of cutting the grass actually injures the grass plant and makes it susceptible to pathogens that can attack the grass through the cut end of the blade. Moreover, the process of mowing actually shocks the plant causing it to grow new leaves rather than roots. As a result, the roots are less extensive and weak and there are fewer carbohydrates that help it fight off stress.

So how you cut the grass is a large factor in how good it looks.

Proper Mowing Techniques

So, no doubt one of your first concerns is how much of the grass should I cut? Lawn care experts have a rule of thumb that answers this question. They suggest that you cut no more than a third of the blade at any one time. For example, bluegrass does best with a 2-inch (5-centimeter) cut. So let the grass grow to 3-inches (7.5-centimeters) and then cut it back 1-inch (2.5 centimeters) to obtain the best height.

Warm season grasses like Bermuda should be cut to a height of ¾ to 1-inch (1.9 to 2.5 centimeters) tall. This may require you to mow one to three times a week.

One source that can help you determine proper cut height based on type of grass is an article titled: Grass Types in Weekend Gardener Monthly Web Magazine. It can also help you select the best species of grass for your particular region.

Experts also suggest that you determine the best time to mow your lawn by height, not the calendar. Use the Grass Types source to ascertain the optimum mowing height for your specie of grass. When the lawn starts to green in the spring, allow it to grow one-third taller than the recommended optimum height, then cut it by no more than one-third. Continue to mow at that height until the fall.

Vary the way you mow the lawn. Don’t cut it in the same direction every time you mow so that you can avoid compacting the soil into ruts. Mowing in different directions will also help the grass grow more upright.

Experts also advise that you avoid cutting grass when it is wet. They say that the cut appears uneven because the wet clippings clog the mower and mats on the grass preventing sunlight from getting to the blades.

It is also suggested that you overlap each pass of the mower by at least 3-inches (7.5 centimeters) to assure an even cut with no missed strips.

Of course, nature determines the topography of your lawn. If your property is uneven, then raise the deck height on the mower to avoid scalping the higher spots of the lawn.

Finally, make certain that the lawn mower blade is sharp before you start to cut.

About Robert Janis

Written by Robert Janis for LawnEq - Your specialists for Lawn Mower Parts and Small Engine Parts. We offer genuine premium OEM parts for Land Pride, Toro and many more dependable manufacturers.