Proper lawn mowing increases root depth, reduces weeds,
and boosts resistance to lawn diseases and insects.
Why Proper Mowing is Important
Proper lawn mowing increases root depth, reduces weeds, and help your grass resist diseases and insects.
Mowing improperly, however, can be seriously detrimental to your lawn. It can result in an increased need for water and fertilizer, weak, shallow root systems, and decreased drought tolerance.
How Low Should I Cut the Grass?
We recommend grass is cut between 3 and 4 inches. Each time you mow, you should cut no more than 1/3 of the grass height.
The benefits of taller grass height:
- Promotes deeper root growth.
- Decreases the likelihood of weeds germinating.
- Needs less water because the taller grass keeps the soil shaded, so not as much water is lost through evaporation.
Like all plants, grass creates its own food through the process of photosynthesis. Taller grass has a larger photosynthetic area, meaning that it can bring in more carbon dioxide, and harness more of the sun’s energy toward keeping itself healthy.
Because this photosynthetic area is key to your grass’ health, it is important to never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade. If more is taken, the grass will sacrifice root mass in an attempt to regain the lost leaf. This weakens your lawn, making it less tolerant of drought and more susceptible to disease.
If your lawn gets away from you, mow several times with a few days in between each mowing. This gives your grass a chance to heal between cuttings, and reduces stress on your lawn.
Keep Mower Blades Sharp
Mowing is a violent action, but you can minimize the damage done by making sure your mower blade is sharp.
- When mower blades are sharp, they slice through the grass leaf, leaving a clean end.
- Dull blades rip and bruise the grass, leaving it frayed and battered. These frayed ends will discolor, giving your lawn a tan or brown appearance. They also provide diseases with a point of entry.
- If you are unsure about how to sharpen your mower blade, check your owner’s manual. This information is also available through an authorized dealer for your mower brand, or even from the manufacturer.
Grass Clippings – Mulch or Bag?
Leaving the grass clippings on your lawn provides you with free fertilizer. They are an excellent source of nitrogen, and can help your grass recover from the mowing process. Grass clippings generally degrade back into the soil within a week or two. Using a mulching mower speeds this process, and more evenly distributes the cut grass.