Mowing can be a real chore; one of those things you think about every time you pull out of the driveway and witness the almost unreal rate of spring growth in your bluegrass, fescue and/or ryegrass lawn.
Beginning in early spring, warmed by the sun during the increasingly longer days, grass plants really do take off! It wouldn’t be so bad were it not for the fact that most of us haven’t yet shaken off our winter, couch potato habits. We may have spent our days leisurely looking out the window at either snow or a browned- out, dormant and sleeping lawn.
Still, ‘Spring has sprung’ and the lawn needs attention. Here are a few tips that can really pay off in maintaining a nice lawn throughout the growing season.
Mow often. Yes, it is important to mow often so that you remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade at one time. Preserving the majority of the blade tissue, where food is produced through a process called photosynthesis, ensures that the lawn will spring back after mowing, maintaining normal, healthy growth.
Mow tall. Be sure to mow tall, again the goal being to remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade at one time. General mowing height recommendations are: Bluegrass – Mow at 3”, Tall Fescue – Mow at 31/2” – 4”. Remove too much of the grass blade and the lawn will be unnecessarily stressed, potentially leading to slow growth and thinning out. And, a thin lawn guarantees a weed invasion!
Keep the mower blade sharp. Sharpen the outer tip of the blade on your rotary mower. Starting the season fresh, by removing the rust and oxidation from the mower blade will result in a much cleaner cut, less stress to grass plants and a cleaner, neater look across the lawn. When you mow with a dull blade, grass plants are shredded, leaving loose, straggly strips of blade tissue that dries quickly and turns brown. When the lawn is viewed from a distance, it can make the whole lawn look a dingy shade of brown. And the first thing most of us do is blame the fertilizer for not performing! Not so, the culprit is your dull blade. A good rule of thumb is to sharpen at the major holidays; Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day.
Following these simple mowing tips will guarantee a healthier, better looking lawn all year.
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