There is a right way and a wrong way to mow your grass. Like most people, you were probably handed a lawn mower by your father and told to mow the lawn and you’ve been doing it ever since. Most homeowners don’t know some of the finer points of mowing, but knowing a few little tips will keep your KC lawn looking its best all summer long.
The One Third Rule
If you’ve never heard of this rule, you’ve probably broken it at least a time or two. The one-third rule is that you should never mow more than one third of the length of the grass blade. Logic may tell you that if you cut your grass shorter, you won’t have to mow it as often, which may be true, but you’re actually damaging your grass when you do this. Giving your lawn a “crewcut” robs it of its ability to make enough food through photosynthesis to keep the lower part of the blade and the roots healthy. This leaves your grass vulnerable to burning out and dying. With the hot summers here in Kansas City, we need to give the grass every advantage we can.
Shorter cuts also allow sunlight to reach the ground below. Normally, weeds won’t grow because there isn’t enough sunlight, but sunlight allows dormant weed seeds to germinate which then compete with your grass for nutrients.
Sharpen Your Mower Blades
Mowing with dull blades causes the top of the grass blades to split or shatter instead of producing a clean sharp cut. Damaged grass blades invite disease and the browning takes away from the deep green look.
Mulch Your Clippings
At Green Head Turf Services, we recommend leaving the clippings on the grass to act as a mulch to help retain moisture in the soil and add nutrients as the clippings decompose. Leaving the clippings on the grass makes less work for you and provides better growing conditions for your lawn. It’s best to shoot the clippings onto the unmowed area so they can be mulched even smaller when you mow over that area.
Vary Your Mowing Pattern
Grass tends to grow in the direction it is mowed, so it is a good idea to vary the pattern to encourage the blades to grow upright. Plus, if you happen to miss anything going one direction, it will be more likely to pop up when you mow the next time in the opposite direction.
Follow these lawn mowing guidelines and your grass will look greener and you’ll have fewer weeds to boot. They may seem like small changes, but when you use them all on a regular basis, you’ll see improvement in your lawn.
For more information about good mowing practices to keep your lawn looking its best, contact Green Head Turf Services at (913) 645-9586.