Proper mowing practices are important when maintaining a healthy lawn. When incorrectly mowed lawns are unsightly, the turf is weak and lacks vigor; it is more susceptible to weed invasion, insect and disease infestations and will be unable to withstand environmental stresses. If the lawn is properly mowed, let the clippings remain. Returning clippings will benefit the law by recycling nutrients and organic matter back to the root zone. Height, frequency, and blade are the three keys to successful mowing.
Proper Cutting Height
The correct height for cutting depends on the type of grass and the time of year. Turfman recommends the following heights:
- Bentgrass………………..3/4 to 1 1/2″
- Kentucky Bluegrass…..2 1/2 to 3″
- Turf Type Tall Fescues..2 1/2 to 3″
- Course Tall Fescues…….3 to 3 1/2″
- Bermudagrass…………….1 to 1 1/2″
- Zoysiagrass…………………1 1/2 to 2″
During hot, dry weather when the grasses are under stress, the cutting height should be raised to the highest recommended setting. Proper mowing height is important because it encourages deep rooting that makes the grass plant less prone to problems such as drought stress.
Frequency often depends on how fast the grass if growing. The rule that we use is never remove more than 1/3 of the total height of the plant at one mowing. If the desired height is 2 inches then the lawn should be mowed when the turf reaches a 3 inch height, removing one inch.
Sharpen Those Blades!
Mower blades should be sharpened frequently. A dull mower blade leaves the tips of the grass plant shredded giving the lawn a whitish cast.