At Ashton Walden Turf Services, we see a lot of lawns. We also see a lot of lawn mowing mistakes that homeowners make. If your lawn is not looking as good as you’d like it to, these mistakes may be the reason. Read on to see if you are guilty of any of these typical trip ups.
Mowing with Dull Blades
Okay, be honest. When was the last time you sharpened your lawn mower’s blades? Did you know it’s recommended to sharpen your blades twice a season for optimal mowing results? Sharp blades make a huge difference when cutting your lawn. Mowing with dull blades is just like cutting paper with a dull scissors. Instead of a nice, clean cut, dull blades tear the tips of the grass and leave it jagged. Jagged ends turn brown making your lawn look less attractive. Plus, broken ends leave the blades vulnerable to disease. While it’s possible to sharpen the blades on your own, many mower repair shops will do it for you.
Mowing the Grass Too Short
If you’ve never heard of the One-Third Rule, you’re probably guilty of this crime. The grass mowing rule of thumb is never remove more than one third of the blade’s length in a single cutting. Cutting too much at once is not healthy for your grass. Grass is a living organism and its growth depends on a lot of variables. If your grass gets extremely long, it’s better to cut it on the high setting once, wait a day or two, and cut it on the regular setting again.
It’s also important to know your grass. Different grasses grow at different rates. Before you cut, measure your grass and subtract one third of the current height. If your calculations show that you’ll be cutting your grass too short, don’t cut it that day!
Grass Guide by Season
Cool-season grasses, like fescue, should be cut to 3 to 3½ inches tall.
Warm-season grasses, like Bermuda, should be cut to 1 to 3 inches tall.
Bonus: The higher you mow the less water your lawn will take. Turf mowed at 1 inch will take drastically more water than turf mowed at 2-3 inches.
Mowing When Grass Is Wet
If your grass looks uneven like it got a bad haircut, it’s most likely due to the fact that you mowed it when it was wet. When grass blades are wet, they won’t stand upright and they clump together. Mowing when the blades are wet results in uneven patterns because the wheels of the mower mash the blades down and they don’t pop back up for the blades to reach them. When they dry, they pop up higher than the blades that were mowed. Wait to mow until the grass is dry enough to stand up.
TIP: Pay Attention to the Heat and Moisture Levels in Lubbock
Reduce mowing frequency and raise the mowing height when hot, dry weather slows the growth rate. Tall turf shades the ground and makes your soil stay wetter longer.