When it comes to mowing your lawn here in Lubbock, you might think, “What’s to know? I just start the lawn mower and go, right?” You may be surprised to learn that the way you mow your lawn can affect everything from the health and green factor to the amount of weeds you get. Give these tips and tricks from the Ashton Walden Turf Services team a try.
How Low Should You Go?
If you think the length at which you cut your grass doesn’t matter, think again. Each blade of grass is an individual plant. When you cut off too much of the upper part of this plant, you inhibit its ability to gather sun through photosynthesis. Basically, you rob it of its ability to feed itself. This makes your grass weaker and more susceptible to drought, disease, and other problems.
The rule of thumb is never remove more than one third of the blade’s length in a cutting. 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. Cutting too much at once is not healthy for your grass. Cool-season grasses, like fescue are cut to 3 to 3½ inches; warm-season grass, like bermuda is cut to 1 to 3 inches. The higher you mow the less water your lawn will take. Turf mowed at 1 inch will take drastically more water. You can mow like a golf course but you should be prepared to water like a golf course.
Mowing Affects Weed Control
Weeds grow when the grass is too low. If you hate weeds (and who doesn’t?) that’s another good reason not to cut your grass too low. Most weeds are scrappy little plants that can withstand worse conditions than our pampered turf grass. When the goin’ gets tough, the weeds get goin’. As you now know, when you cut your lawn too low, you inhibit the grass growth. On top of that, you expose the soil to the sun.
Weeds thrive in hot earth and sun. Your grass…not so much. Too much sun stresses the crown of the plant. So besides hurting your grass, you’re encouraging weed growth. That’s a double whammy that no homeowner wants. When it comes to Lubbock weed control, the best way to prevent weeds is a thick, healthy lawn that will naturally choke them out.
Sharpen Your Blades
When was the last time you sharpened your lawn mower blades? Instead of cutting your grass cleanly, dull blades shatter the tops of your grass leaving brown edges and an invitation for disease to enter each blade. The Ashton Walden team recommends that you sharpen your blades at least once a season.
Mulch Your Clippings
It’s the age-old question – should I bag my clippings or mulch them? Mulching as you mow puts the grass particles back into the turf. This adds nutrients such as nitrogen to the soil. You’ll end up with healthier turf. If you don’t have a mulching mower, discharge the clippings towards the area you have already cut so they will be cut a second time when you pass over that area. Just make sure to not leave clippings on top of the turf.
Mow When Grass Is Dry
Don’t mow when your lawn is wet. The blades will not stand upright and the grass will clump together when the lawn is wet causing uneven patterns and wheel tracks where the grass was mashed down and didn’t pop up to be cut. Wait till the grass is dry enough to stand up.
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.
These tips should help your lawn look its best all season. Of course, if you need professional help with your lawn’s health or weed control in your Lubbock lawn, just call Ashton Walden Turf Services at (806) 632-3571.