If your lawn isn’t looking and performing its best you might assume it’s something with your lawn care program. However, the truth is, lawn mowing can have a tremendous impact on the overall health of your grass.
If you (or your professional mowing service) are making certain mistakes, it could be having a negative impact on the performance and appearance of your turf.
In order to help get you on track for better lawn care results, we’ve rounded up some of our best mowing tips.
The Frequency of the Cut is Important
When it comes to how to mow your lawn, how often you are cutting it makes a difference. A lot of people assume that they’d rather not mow as often so they’ll let it grow long and then make a dramatic cut when they finally get around to doing it. But homeowners don’t realize how traumatic this is for the grass. You’re putting it under tremendous stress by allowing grass to get so tall between mowing services.
Ideally, you want to cut a maximum of one-third from the tip of the grass blade, no matter how long it is.
That can be frustrating for some people to hear as they’d rather mow less often but still keep the grass relatively short. However, if you want your grass to appear green and healthy (and not yellowed and struggling), then you need to cut less of the grass and mow more often.
Grass Should Be Cut No Shorter than 3 to 3.5 Inches
A lot of people compare their lawns to golf courses. They see that their favorite greens are cut super short and they want to do the same thing. But you can’t compare a residential lawn in Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA to a golf course for a couple of key reasons.
For one, they are constantly heavily irrigated with intensive irrigation systems that are running much more than your average residential system would need to run. They also have someone tending to the turf daily.
But perhaps more importantly, they are often using different grass types, which can sustain being cut short. Most residential lawns in Northern Virginia are made up of cool-season grasses (mostly tall fescue but also some bluegrass).
During the cooler season, these grasses can be cut to 3 inches. But during the warmer months, particularly summer, we recommend raising the mower height to 4 inches in order to help the grass, which is already being stressed by heat. Minimizing the stress of mowing as much as possible will help.
Beyond the health and appearance of your lawn, by mowing too short, you also invite weeds into your lawn. Opportunistic weeds are much more likely to invade weakened lawns than dense and thriving ones. On the flip side, a thick and healthy lawn is the best way to choke out those unwanted weeds.
Dull Blades Add More Stress
As you can see, the very act of mowing the lawn is a stressful event for your grass. When you make a cut, your grass has to heal. That’s why you want to make sure you’re cutting at a proper height and at the proper frequency.
Of course, you also want to make sure that you’re cutting with a sharp blade. A dull blade can traumatically injure your grass. You are literally ripping and shredded the grass if you don’t have a nice, sharp blade. Without a clean cut, you leave your grass more prone to disease. It’s also likely going to appear yellow and sickly as it struggles to heal.
But when was the last time that you sharpened your mower blade? Homeowners often say “never.” Even many professional services are not sharpening the mower blade as often as they should. But at Kingstowne, we sharpen our blades daily only every single mower. If you mow your own lawn, you should sharpen the blade 2-3 times each year.
A Difference You Can See
We know that you care about your lawn care results. If you’re investing in professional lawn care services, you want to see it pay off. One way that you can ensure it does is to follow some of these mowing tips and improve your lawn’s health.
There have been times when we’ve been asked by a client why their neighbor’s lawn looks better than theirs when they’re on the same program. Many times the answer comes down to mowing habits. It has way more of an impact than most people ever realize.
Of course, maybe you don’t want to handle that service yourself, and that’s fine, too. But you deserve to find a lawn care company in Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA that is going to mow the right way so that it doesn’t ultimately have a negative impact on your lawn’s overall appearance.
At Kingstowne, we also offer mowing on top of our other services. We follow all of the mowing tips that we’ve discussed, taking the burden off of you to figure out how to mow your lawn the best way. In the end, the results are a difference that you can see. It’s an important step in helping you have a lawn that you can be proud of.