don't realize how much proper mowing contributes to the overall health and appearance of
their home lawn. Therefore, let's take a look at some of the mowing basics that will
provide you with the best possible results for your grass.
of a clean "scissor cut", a rotary-mower "whacks" the grass blade off.
Therefore, it is especially important to keep rotary mower blades very
sharp. Remember to balance the blade if you sharpen it yourself.
grass in the coolest part of the day for the cleanest cut."
Grass blades are more turgid when they aren't under heat stress (Example: summer
afternoons). However, dew interferes with good early-morning mowing, especially
if you are mulching your clippings, so evenings are usually best. Also remember that
"wet grass conditions" will aid in the spread of turfgrass disease pathogens
that are already present on your lawn.
longer the grass, the deeper the root."
This saying reminds us to cut turfgrass at the highest setting possible. 2-1/2 to 3
inches is the ideal height for most home lawns. Grass growing in the shade needs to
be cut as long as possible, since it needs more leaf area to intercept limited light.
remove more than 1/3 of the height of the grass at a time." (Example: If you are
mowing your lawn at 3 inches, always cut it before it gets beyond 4-1/2 inches in height)
your clippings helps return nutrients to the soil. Try to mow often enough, and
under the right conditions, so that clumps of grass aren't left on the lawn. Under
"thick thatch" conditions it is probably advisable to bag your clippings. Clean your mower deck after mowing.
refuel mowing equipment on the lawn in case there is a spill.
This photo illustrates
various mowing heights on different grass varieties used on a golf tee. The
shortest grass is bentgrass, which can tolerate very low mowing heights of less
than ½" tall. In stark contrast, most grass varieties in home lawns in northern
climates need to be mowed at 2½" to 3" for best results.
LATE FALL LAWN
would be November
in the Northeast)
your grass is cut short enough (but not scalped) to prevent it from
"laying over" under deep snow cover. Using a 2 to 2-1/2 inch cutting
height should be sufficient. It's actually best to gradually lower your
cutting height over the final three cuts of the year, instead of trying to
do it all in one final cut. Shorter grass is less likely to suffer from snow
for any last minute leaf accumulations that may smother your grass.
your lawn soil test calls for lime, late Fall is considered the best time of
year to make a lime application. Retest your lawn soil every three to five
years for deficiencies.
Fall is the time to apply "winterizer" fertilizers -- these are
usually high in potassium, which helps winter hardiness and disease
prevention. Even though top growth of your lawn has ceased, the roots remain
active to "pick up" the nutrients. If you're applying both lime
and fertilizer, it's best to separate the applications by two weeks.
the final cut, service your lawnmower: Add fuel stabilizer to the gas tank
and run the engine for 5 minutes to stabilize the fuel system (better yet...
follow this step by draining the fuel tank and the carburetor). Perform all
scheduled lawnmower maintenance such as oil change and lube, cleaning the
air filter, replacing worn out or damaged parts and sharpening the blade(s).
This is also a good time to install a new spark plug.
September is Lawn Month