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Lawn Mowing 101

For many new homeowners, lawn care may appear harder than it actually is. By using a few proper mowing techniques, you can promote your grass to grow thick and healthy, says HowStuffWorks.com

A lot of lawn trouble can be avoided by properly adjusting the height of your mower blade in accordance with the kind of grass you have.  Different grasses are mowed at different heights, so you must adjust your lawnmower’s blades accordingly. For example, Bermuda grass lives well at a minimum height of about 1 inch while fescue shouldn’t be cut below 2 inches.  

Commonly, lawnmowers have a height adjustment system located by the wheels. The most recommended way to cut your grass it to take off the top third of the grass blade no matter what type of grass. So before mowing, set the height of your mower blade by the height of the grass, and take off that third for the amount to be trimmed. 

When mowing it may become necessary for you to tame down some unruly grass; either you waited too long between mowing or your area received a lot of rain which stimulated your grass to grow more than usual. Simply take off that top third, wait a few days, then take off another third until you get the grass to the correct height. Letting your lawn grow too tall is hard on your mower, because it tends to clog the blades, while cutting your grass too short can shock your grass. 

Grass turns brown because the sensitive part of the grass below the blade is exposed to too much light and thus dries out. Also, your grass’ root system has to have oxygen to better absorb nutrients and water or it turns brown and thin. Cure that by aerating your lawn with a proper aerating tool. 

To ensure maximum benefit, mow your yard, then follow through with a healthy watering a day or two before aerating. Doing so will allow the soil to clod, as it will be moist enough that you’ll actually be able to pick up soil easily. While aerating, make sure that you’re that your holes are about 2 to 6 inches apart. When you’re through aerating, water your lawn again. 

The choice of when to mow is up to you once your conditions and how often you want to mow are considered.  When in doubt, cut high and you should be fine.  Just mow often enough to prevent mulch clumps from building up on your lawn. These clumps can suffocate the underlying turf causing it to weaken in those areas. Weak turf, in turn, invites pesky weeds to take root. 

So how often should you mow? Timing your mow is important for the health of your grass as well. Mowing once a week during growing season is fine, while others might say that natural conditions, like rain or drought, will let you know when the grass is ready.