Let’s face it: there are many things we’d rather be doing than mowing the lawn on a gorgeous summer day. It’s easy to let this chore fall by the wayside. Doing so can impact the health of your lawn. That’s why it’s better to know how to do it correctly, so you help your turfgrass – not hinder it.
How To Mow Your Lawn – The Right Way
Step 1. Set Your Mower To The Proper Height
Some people set their mowers as low as it can go in the hopes they won’t have to mow as often. Unfortunately, this is only ideal for warm-season grasses like zoysia, centipedegrass, or Bermudagrass. Here in Illinois, we use cool-season grass varieties, and they do not like to be kept short. When mowing, you should never remove more than the top 1/3 of your grass. If you trim more than this, it can stress the grass. Shorter grass also is a haven for weeds. If you didn’t know, weeds need lots of direct sunlight to germinate. Normally, the grass in your lawn is sufficient to keep them at bay by shading them. But if you keep over trimming your grass, you’re opening the door to weed explosion.
Step 2. Mow Across Hills – Not Down Them
If your yard has hills, slopes, or inclines, you need to mow across them, not up and down. It’s easy for you to lose your footing, resulting in or damaged equipment.
Step 3. Keep A Schedule, But Don’t Be Afraid To Be Flexible
Ideally, cool-season grass should be mowed once a week. However, if there’s been extra rain, heavy foot traffic, etc., give your lawn a chance to recover. Once weekly is a good guideline, but ideally, you should let the grass set the pace.
Step 4. Never Mow When Grass Is Wet
Mowing when your grass is freshly watered or after substantial rain is a recipe for disaster. You’re not going to get a clean cut and are more likely to tear the grass. Plus, all that moisture makes it easy to clog the blades and jam the mower.
Step 5. Keep Blades Sharp
You should sharpen your blades at least once a season, preferably twice. The sharper the blade, the smoother the cut, and the less likely you’ll tear the grass, which stresses it out and invites diseases and pests.
Step 6. Mow In Different Patterns
Most of us are guilty of this. We get into a preferred mowing pattern from which we never deviate. Unfortunately, this can create ruts and divots in our lawn. It also trains your grass to lean and grow to one side or the other – not unlike how parting your hair, in the same way, trains your hair to fall to one side or the other. By mowing back and forth, side to side, and diagonally, you can prevent this from happening. And cutting at different angles will train your grass to grow tall and straight.
Step 7. Mulch Is Your Friend
If you mow regularly, your grass clippings should stay short enough that you can leave them on your lawn without a problem. They will break down in a few days and become a free source of fertilizer! Plus, they will help with weed control. It also helps trap much-needed moisture during the heat of summer. Many homeowners are hesitant to do this because they fear that the lawn will look messy or that the grass will become smothered. If your grass is particularly long for some reason – let’s say you didn’t get a chance to mow due to lots of rain – then you might have to bag those clippings for a mow or two until you can resume your normal schedule.
Find Organic Lawn Care Near Cook County
Mowing properly is just one of the many ways you can care for your lawn. The next key step is providing lawn care services that don’t harm the environment. That’s where Pure Prairie Organics comes in. We offer a fully organic program and a program with minimal pesticides to keep your lawn healthy and green. To learn more about improving the health of your lawn, give us a call at 630-780-7939 or leave us a message online.
You can also connect with us on our monthly blog page, where we post articles on topics ranging from natural lawn care to pest control. You can also find us on Facebook, where we post the latest deals, service offerings, and photos of happy green lawns!