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Mowing Tips for Successful Lawns

When to water, when to feed and when to mow are the three most important steps in growing and maintaining bluegrass or any other type of lawn.

In the case of bluegrass, a cool-season grass, the grass blades green up early, don’t go into hibernation until late fall and can survive intense summer heat and dryness by temporarily going dormant. It’s a tough cookie but will happily respond to proper maintenance steps. Here are some successful mowing tips:

1. Don’t mow when the grass is wet. Wet grass pulls and tears instead of separating with a clean cut. It reacts even worse if you are mowing with a dull blade. A “clean cut” lawn responds with health and strength not found with mismanagement.

2. Keep mower height set to 3 inches if possible. Short mown grass plants have less blade surface manufacturing area that normally expands root growth and sod thickening side shoots. Instead any reserve food and strength in the plant is used to grow more leaf surface before any other positive steps can take place.

3. Change your mowing pattern. If you keep mowing back and forth along the same paths each week you will cause soil compaction. That in turn damages the plants crown and makes it harder for water to penetrate into the soil.

4. Frequency of mowing is also important. Do not remove more than one-third of the growth height at any cutting or the result puts damaging stress on the plant. In the heat of summer you may see the need to switch from the automatic weekly cutting to a longer gap.

5. Recycling or mulching mowers which return cut blades to the lawn surface are a good step. Cut grass particles are mostly water and do not add to any thatch buildup. In fact, up to 60-70% of the fertilizer you have already applied is returned in a form that quickly breaks down in recycling. Besides, you don’t have to bag up the clippings and haul them to the trash – that’s good for you, the lawn, our rapidly filling dumps and a real plus for the environment.

Written by Lawn & Garden Expert and Consultant for Revive Lawn & Garden Products, Dale Langford - Have a Question for Dale? Ask Here