The air is warm, the sun is shining, and birds are singing all day. And as always throughout the summer, you can hear the humming of a lawn mower somewhere in the neighborhood. When it’s your turn to pull out the mower, you’ll want to be prepared for this regular summer task. Read on for some great tips on mowing to keep your lawn healthy and growing this season.
Benefits of Mowing
You might think that the only purpose of mowing is to reduce the height of the grass. However, cutting the grass causes it to spread horizontally and thickens the roots. The result is a healthier and stronger plant that will grow thicker and spread out to cover a greater area of ground. So, if you want more grass coverage, mowing can help accomplish that goal.
The lawn mower has been stored away since last fall and may need a little maintenance to get it up and running. To get the best out of your mower, have it serviced by a professional. Remember to ask them to sharpen the mower blades, which should be done every year at the beginning of the growing season. Blades can be removed from the casing and sharpened with a flat, metal file. Dull blades leave jagged edges on grass tips that will turn brown. But sharp blades cut efficiently, mulch the clippings finer, and put less stress on the plant.
How to Mow
As you set up for your first mowing, adjust the mower to cut the grass at the proper height for your breed of grass. For cool season grasses common in Wisconsin, such as Fescue or Kentucky Bluegrass, the typical grass height range is 2.5 to 4 inches. So, you should aim to mow cool-season grass to between 3 and 3.5 inches in summer. For tall fescue and perennial ryegrass, the proper height can be up to 4 inches.
You should only remove about one-third of the height during any mowing. Cutting more than one-third stresses the grass, especially during hot weather. This can lead to a burnt look, which is not the healthy green color you are trying to create for the lawn. You may need to set the lawn mower higher for the first time, and then adjust it to a lower setting for the next mowing a few days later. For all types of grass, never cut it shorter than 2 to 2.5 inches tall.
When to Mow
Always mow when the grass is dry. If the ground sinks when you walk on it, it is likely too wet to mow. Mowing wet grass can potentially damage the mower and is unsafe when using an electric mower. The clippings will clump, and if left on the lawn, it is not only unattractive but could kill the grass. Keep an eye on the forecast to pick the best time to mow. Remember that pushing a mower in extremely hot weather in the middle of the day can be physically hazardous. Be sure to stay hydrated and take breaks to cool off.
When you mow regularly, you can cut off less. The bulk of the grass clippings is kept low and can save you from having to bag them. So, after mowing, leave the grass clippings on the lawn. The clippings are a natural fertilizer because they quickly decompose, releasing water and nutrients that will settle back into your soil. Some of the great benefits of grass clippings are the reduced need for fertilizer, improved soil texture, time saved, fewer garbage bags used, and reduced waste that goes to the landfill. If large, unsightly clumps have dropped on the lawn, just use a rake to spread them out.
When you are done mowing and spreading out the clippings, you can water the lawn if it needs moisture. Just be sure to time the watering correctly during the day. For helpful tips on watering, be sure to read our blog Watering for a Greener Lawn.
Get Help from the Pros at Createscape
Following these mowing tips may mean more frequent cutting, but the result will be a healthier lawn. In addition to mowing, there are other ways to create the lush lawn you desire. Check out our blog at www.createscapelandscaping.com/blog for more great lawn-care tips. And as you work to grow a healthy lawn, tackle one task at a time to keep from being overwhelmed. Remember that grass growth and development take time, so be patient with each step of the process.
At Createscape Landscaping Service, we offer lawn maintenance services such as mowing, aeration, dethatching, weed, disease and insect control, fertilizer applications, seasonal pruning, mulch, topsoil, and more. Our commitment to superior service and quality has solidified us as one of the best landscaping companies in Waukesha County and the Southeastern Wisconsin area. Reach out to us for an estimate and more information at (262) 662-0201 or www.createscapelandscaping.com/contact-us.