Proper mowing has a profound effect on the health of the grass and the appearance of the lawn. It is important to use the right equipment, mow frequently and keep the grass at the optimum height for health. A well-mowed lawn develops a dense turf that successfully shuts out weeds and ultimately requires less time and effort spent on lawn care.
Use the Right Equipment
Lawn mowers are available in two types: rotary mowers and reel type mowers. Bermuda grass, bentgrass and zoysia grass prefer a reel mower. A rotary mower is fine for other grasses.
For yybrid Bermuda grass and zoysia grass, use a bagging mower, removing the clippings to prevent thatch accumulation. For other grasses, a mulching type lawn mower is best, leaving the clippings on the ground to nourish the soil.
Sharpen the Mower Blades
Keep the mower blades sharp. A dull blade shreds the grass leaves, giving the lawn a ragged look and damaging the grass.
Mow grass often so that no more than a third of the grass height is removed at a time. Overgrown grass should be mowed long, then mowed again a few days later to the desired height. For most grasses, a mowing height of 2 inches is ideal. hybrid Bermuda and zoysia prefer a shorter cut, between a half inch and 1 1/2 inches.
During periods of extreme heat or drought, allow the grass to grow an extra half inch to reduce stress from cutting.
Actively growing grass needs frequent mowing. In the spring and during wet periods, fast-growing varieties such as bluegrass and fescue need mowing twice a week. Growth slows when the weather is hot, cold or dry and a weekly mowing will suffice. Slower growing buffalo grass needs mowing ever two to three weeks, depending on water availability.