Sunny Spring weekends are usually filled with the hum of lawn mowing. It’s kind of a domino effect – one keener is up early on a Saturday, waking their neighbours from peaceful slumber with the buzz of their gas mower. I’m not sure if it’s a sense of guilt, a “keeping up with the Jones’” mentality, or simply an auditory reminder that your grass needs mowing too, but more often than not, if one guy starts, the neighbours will follow.
Since mowing your lawn has a greater effect than just keeping your yard from looking like a hay field, there is actually a right and wrong way to mow your grass.
Don’t Go Too Short
The number one error that home owners make is cutting their grass too short because they think that they won’t have to mow their lawn as often. While this may be true, cutting it short isn’t good for a couple of reasons – it’s not drought resistant and it will make your lawn a haven for weeds.
Your lawn should be approximately 3” in length at all times and you should never remove more than 1/3 of the blade leaf. Your blades should be really sharp and your grass dry in order to make a clean cut and keep your mower working most efficiently.
Like healthy hair grows more quickly, the same can be said with grass, so you should cut it often enough to keep it trimmed to the 3” guideline. But, it also means that your grass will have a healthy enough root system to choke out the weeds, and a thick enough grass cover to keep the moisture in the soil even during the hottest, dry spell.
Remove the Grass Clippings?
No. It’s a good practice to leave the grass clippings most of the time. Grass clippings can hold a lot of moisture and are high in protein, so they act like a natural fertilizer when they biodegrade into the soil. Using a mulching type mower helps to speed up the decomposition process.
Only rake up and remove the grass clippings if your grass was really long or wet when you cut it. If you leave it, it can take a long time to biodegrade, creating thatch, which can choke out your lawn and not allow for precipitation and nutrients to absorb into the soil.
Mow the Same Direction Every Time?
No. Changing the direction in which you mow your lawn allows the grass to grow strong and straight and allows for a more even distribution of grass clippings. Cut your lawn vertically, horizontally and even on an angle. Some people cut their lawn in a circle, but isn’t the best look aesthetically.
Because keeping your lawn maintained properly and regularly can be an effort physically as well as time-consuming, look into hiring a landscape company. They have all the proper equipment and know-how to keep your lawn beautiful, giving you time to enjoy those beautiful summer weekends.