17 Apr 8 Lawn Mowing Tips for a Healthier Lawn
Follow These 8 Lawn Care Tips for a Healthier Lawn
Lawn mowing seems easy enough, but every time you mow your grass you’re contributing to the overall failure or prosperity of your yard. Mow the grass correctly and you’ll have a groomed lawn that is healthy, more drought resistant and thick enough to eliminate broadleaf weeds. Mowing incorrectly can cause your lawn to struggle to survive the changing Nebraska seasons. Try to mow often enough so that you are never cutting more than one third of the grass blade with each mowing.
Avoid Scalping Your Lawn
Make sure to avoid scalping your grass, which means to cut it too short. A scalped lawn will burn which makes it much more vulnerable to weeds and disease. Turf which has been scalped tends to be weaker and more scare which causes the soil to become exposed. One of the biggest contributors to a weed’s success is the exposure of soil which allows the weed seed to germinate and take root. A scalped yard also lets more sunlight reach the weed seedlings which gives them even more of a boost in the germination process. Lawns that are consistently scalped have a weaker root system which creates the perfect environment for serious damage caused by high temperatures and drought.
Adjust Mower Height According to Conditions
Adjusting the height of your lawn mower can help your lawn to prosper throughout the different growing seasons. For example, raising the deck in the hot months will allow the grass to remain longer thus helping to protect it from drought, disease, and broadleaf weeds. Taller grass helps provide shade for the soil, which aids in weed prevention and drastically decreases water evaporation. Longer grass also helps to develop deeper, stronger roots, which in turn helps to build a yard that can tolerate drought better. In late fall you’ll want to lower the deck of the mower for the last mowing of the season. This helps to prevent winter kill which is caused by snow matting the grass and causing a mold. A professional lawn service will know the correct height to cut your grass in each for each season.
Keep Your Lawn Mower Blade Sharp
Keeping the blade on your lawn mower sharp is critical to the results from each cutting. A sharp lawnmower blade cuts the grass more cleanly while a dull blade essentially tears the grass. The latter creates a jagged, uneven edge on the tip of the grass blade. These tears create the perfect opportunity for pests and disease to enter. Lawns that have been cut with a dull blade will develop a brown or whitish color at the tips of the individual grass blades. Try to make it a habit to sharpen your lawnmower blades at least 3 times during the mowing season. It is also a good idea to walk your property prior to each mowing and remove any branches, stones, or other items. These items can dull your lawnmower blade quickly or worse yet, cause damage to your mower blade or lawn mower itself. You should consider purchasing an extra lawnmower blade in case of damage to your existing. Or better yet, you always have a sharp blade ready to go.
Switch Up Your Mowing Pattern
You should always try to avoid mowing in the same direction every time you mow your lawn. When you repeatedly mow in the same pattern you are potentially compacting the soil and creating ruts in the lawn. Neither compacted soil nor ruts are good for your yard and can lead to other potential problems such as weeds which thrive in compacted turf.
Mow Your Lawn When It’s Dry
Ideally you only want to mow when the grass is dry. Mowing wet grass doesn’t necessarily harm the turf but does not produce the best results. Wet grass is sticky and heavy which can cause your lawn mower to clog and begin to disperse clumps of wet grass. This in turn is very hard on your mower and also produces an uneven cut. You will want to remove or disperse the grass clumps to avoid damage to the lawn. This just makes more work for yourself, so you are better off waiting until the grass is dry. Wet soil can also be soft and soggy which can cause more rutting from the weight of the lawn mower. If you absolutely have no choice but to mow your lawn when it is wet, try treating the bottom of your lawn mower with oil or a silicone spray to create a slick surface which wet grass cannot stick to.
Mulch Your Grass
Mulching is the process of chopping up grass clippings into very fine pieces which creates a degradable substance that can easily be absorbed back into the soil. Mulching can not only save you time, but it can also save you money as well. No more need to buy yard waste bags or pay a separate disposal fee for lawn waste. In addition, the mulched grass clippings can provide up to 25 percent of your yard’s nutrient needs so you can reduce the amount of fertilizer used as well. You won’t need any specialized equipment to mulch but you may want to invest in a good mulching blade. In addition to the cutting edge, mulching blades also have teeth on the top to pulverize the clippings as the blade rotates. This allows the lawn clippings to be absorbed back into the earth more easily. There are also adapter kits available for your mower which supplies a plug to block off the hole where the clippings would normally enter the bag. Mulching your grass is one of the best things you can do for your lawn and for the environment as well.
Mow When It’s Cool
When you cut your grass or any plant for that matter, it causes a substantial amount of stress. When you mow in the heat of the day the grass losses more water and the lawn can possibly show signs of heat stress. To avoid this try mowing when it is cool outside or when your lawn is under shade. Cool grass losses less moisture and is much quicker to rebound when mowed. It’s also much easier on the individual doing the work.
Use an Eco-friendly Battery Powered Lawn Mower
If you’re in the market for a new mower or just looking for something more environmentally friendly, you should strongly consider purchasing a battery powered lawn mower. Battery powered mowers do not require gas, do not produce fumes or pollution, and are much quieter than their gas-powered counterparts. Most of the battery powered mowers on the market today offer ample power to cut an average lawn at average height. Please note, you may want to purchase an extra battery if you have a large yard. Mowing long or wet grass consumes the battery’s power even quicker, so again, another good reason to have an extra battery charged and ready to go. Make sure to purchase a unit that has a removeable battery. This makes it much easier to just swap out the batteries if one is depleted. If you lawn mower is exposed to freezing temperatures in the offseason, you will want to remove the batteries and bring them into a climate controlled area.