Proper mowing will help to ensure a healthy, superior lawn. Mowing helps the overall appearance of the lawn and dramatically reduces weed growth. Similar to the pruning of a plant or shrub, lawn mowing entails defoliating the top growth of the lawn by clipping the grass blade ends using a mechanical cutting device, the lawn mower.
Mowing height is one of the important aspects of lawn care. It helps the lawn have a uniform appearance, which gives the illusion of a lush, green carpet. Lawn grass plants use photosynthesis to garner needed nutrients. Mowing the grass too short makes it difficult for the grass plant to utilize the sun to receive its needed nourishment. Grass mowed higher has fewer weeds develop.
Mowing grass too short weakens the root growth and causes poor development. Grass mowed at a 2-inch height maintains a large healthy root system compared to grass mowed at a 3/4-inch height, according to Ohio State University. When grass has short top growth, it develops a weak root mass with shallow roots. A shallow root system is unable to utilize water as easily as a deep root system, so during the summer heat it dries out quicker and sustains more damage from excessive heat.
Only 1/3 inch of grass should be removed per mowing. Only removing a small amount of the tip growth allows the clippings to be spread throughout the lawn without needing to bag during mowing. Many lawns will require mowing more than once per week during active lawn growth.
Grass benefits from alternate mowing directions. When mowing in only one direction each time, the grass is forced to lay in that direction over time. This makes the grass appear to be laying down instead of standing upright.
A sharp mower blade with no nicks or chips is imperative to the lawn's health. A dull, chipped blade will not cleanly cut through the leaf blades. It will fray the blades, giving the lawn an overall unkempt, ragged appearance. The resulting damage to the grass blades will cause the plant to try to seal off the wound, which makes the tips of the grass appear brown over time.