Even in the best conditions, mowing grass puts stress on your lawn. Stressed lawns don’t grow as well, and are more susceptible to disease, weeds, and extreme weather. The lawn care experts at Nutri-Lawn Burlington put together this list of best practices so you can mow your way to a healthier lawn.
Mowers perform better when properly maintained including blade sharpening. Just like dull scissors don’t cut clean or evenly, neither do dull mower blades. Grass is left bruised and torn and looking ragged instead of a nice even trim. Grass cut cleanly recovers quicker, and sharp mower blades mean your machine is more efficient with power and fuel.
Some homeowners like to keep their grass short so they don’t have to mow it as often. Grass cut too short is left vulnerable to disease and weeds. Most lawns have even small bumps and ruts and mowers cutting short shear the grass off at the crown. The optimal length of the grass blades for cool season grasses (the most common in Canada) is 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
Grass left to grow a little longer helps shade the soil so that moisture isn’t lost as quickly and fewer weeds take root. Healthy grass is better able to withstand mid-summer heat and drought.
Leave The Grass Clippings
Rather than raking and bagging the grass clippings each time you mow, why not leave them to compost naturally? Mow grass around the perimeter shooting the clippings into the centre of the yard. Each pass over those clippings further reduces them and they degrade quite quickly. Grass clippings provide a quick source of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus for your lawn. Wet and clumped grass clipping will kiss the grass, so this is best done on a dry lawn.
Don’t Be So Predictable
Any plant left in a window will grow towards the sun, and your grass will take on a noticeable lean when always cut in the same direction. Change it up when you mow the lawn so the grass grows straight, strong and tall.
Mow In The Shade
Mowing your lawn at the hottest time of day might be great for your tan, but it’s stressful on your lawn. Mowing is stressful on your lawn, mowing during the hottest part of the day is even more stressful. Mow the grass in the shade, or mow in the morning or early evening to help your grass recover quicker.
Wait Til It’s Dry
People like to mow when it’s convenient for them, but for the sake of your lawn it’s best to mow when the grass is dry. The grass clippings are more recyclable and there’s less potential damage to the lawn (soggy ground means mowers leave ruts and can damage grass roots).
If you’re been away or you’ve been busy, the lawn can sometimes get a little long. Long grass often won’t dry near the soil no matter how dry the tops are (this is why grass clippings make great mulch). Slow down when you’re mowing grass in these conditions as forcing the mower will leave a ragged uneven cut. And make sure to pick up the wet clumps of clippings left behind by the mower.
We want your lawn to look its best and our experts can identify your lawn’s needs and provide an extra boost to help optimize your lawn care. Contact Nutri-Lawn Burlington for a complimentary quote today.