Mr. B’s Lawn Service sometimes gets questions from the public about proper lawn care such as how often a residential lawn should be mowed. Because of the variations between types of grass, fluctuating summer temperatures and changes in precipitation throughout the spring and summer, however, the issue is actually more complicated than you realize. There are several factors to consider.
The length of your grass is actually critical when choosing whether or not to mow, so don’t worry about mowing every week or every three days. Instead, take a look at the grass after you’ve mowed. Does it look dried out and brittle after mowing? Is it yellowish in places with a rough, straw-like feel? Then you’re probably cutting your lawn to short, not too often.
Many people want their lawn to look as lush and green as a golf course, but this isn’t easily achieved because there are so many factors you can’t duplicate. For instance, most golf courses use a particular variety of grass that was developed specifically for softness and water retention even when cut short. These grasses require a lot of watering and fertilization as well, so they are time intensive and costly.
The first time you break out the lawn mower on a warm afternoon, don’t immediately take the blades down to the lowest level. Instead, use the highest setting because you don’t want to shock your newly emerging grass. As the summer progresses, you can slowly move the blade down to the middle setting, but no lower. If your grass starts to look yellow again, simply raise the blade to the next highest setting. For most homes in our area, mowing once a month is sufficient.
The height of your lawn is also a consideration. Generally speaking, a healthy lawn is always growing and so will need regular mowing. If you’re using a good fertilizer and watering regularly, your grass is probably growing rather rapidly and may need to be mowed more often. Many people make the mistake, however, of cutting it too short so that they don’t have to mow as often. This is a mistake because cutting off half or more of the blade will encourage it to yellow quickly. A good rule of thumb is to never cut off more than the top third of the blades of grass.
One of the most common mistakes people make when they are caring for their lawn is improper watering. They water their grass frequently, but they don’t put enough water on to make a difference. If you water just enough to dampen the ground, you’re actually damaging your grass in the long run because the roots will remain shallow in order to get the water. Instead, water less frequently, but saturate your lawn each time so the water sinks into the earth, encouraging deeper root growth.
There are several other factors besides your mowing schedule that come into play when you want a beautiful lawn. Keep these factors in mind when you’re taking care of your lawn:
- Keep your lawn mower blades sharp so that they are giving each blade of grass a clean cut. One of the most common causes of a browning or yellowing lawn is mowing with a dull blade that shreds the grass instead of giving each blade a clean cut.
- Use a string trimmer or weed whacker sparingly because they tend to wear out quickly and can cause fraying of the grass, which will lead to more water evaporation.
- During the hottest months of the summer, keep your grass taller so that it can absorb and use more water and stay soft. Longer grass when it is excessively hot out will also help to protect the roots from damage.
- If you have grubs or other damaging insects in your yard, not even the best mowing and watering schedule will help. Make sure you have your lawn treated at the right time of year for grub control.
All of this yard work can get complicated and time consuming. If you’d like your lawn to look its best, consider outsourcing its care to Mr. B’s Lawn Care, which can evaluate the condition of your lawn, discuss the options with you and draw up a mowing and weed removal schedule that will be ideal for your grass. PennTurf can also help with grub control, fertilization and more. If you would like a quote for your home’s lawn care, call Mr. B’s at 724-752-5551 or visit us online and request a quote.