When you take a look at your lawn exactly what are you looking at? be honest do you really see a nice green lawn which makes you feel relaxed or do you feel as if it’s a burden you need to live with? When it comes to lawn maintenance there are numerous levels of caring for it, but many of us are too busy yet we still want the best looking lawn. The truth is that like everything else in life if you do not put in the time and money you will never have a good looking lawn. In addition you also need to know exactly what you lawn needs because improper mowing is one of the leading causes of lawn damage and numerous other issues.
The real effects of mowing
When most people think about lawn maintenance, mowing is the first thing that comes to mind despite the fact that improper mowing can cause a number of problems. If you have been mowing regularly as recommended by some experts but see that your lawn looks brown or you see weeds ground out from all corners then you know exactly what the problem is. However, the answer to his problem is not to stop mowing your lawn because depending on the grass that you do have it can grow anywhere from 4inches to 24 inches in a few weeks. Plus you will then have to deal with inconspicuous flowers which are the main source of pollen and which can cause allergies for some people, not to mention give your lawn a neglected look. The good news is that the right mowing will in fact make your lawn look better since the grass will be thicker as a result of it.
Get the mowing height right
You probably heard people arguing about mowing height and thought what all the fuss was about. The truth is that every variety of grass is different and so their mowing height also differs. The right mowing height will allow for the grass to remain tall enough for it to recover and to maintain healthy roots yet it needs to be short enough so that the lawn does not look rough. Find out what type of grass you have, visit a gardening supply store and ask the gardener there to take a look at your grass. Then based on what type you have search online for the recommended mowing height.
Do not make the mistake of scalping your lawn
I have been telling people for ages not to scalp their lawns. If you mow it down to the ground you are forcing the grass to tap into its food reserves in the roots. This in the human equivalent of the grass going into starvation mode or survival mode but the chances of survival for the grass is slim.
Do not mow overgrown grass all at once
If you suddenly get into the mood and want to maintain your lawn but see that it has overgrown grass in addition to weeds and other stuff do not mow down the grass all at once. You cannot simply use a machine to mow down everything to one even length and consider your job done because that way you’ll be doing your lawn more harm than good. It would be a better idea to start with mowing just a third of the grass or even less, then allow for it to recover for around a week and then take off another third. Slowly work your grass down to its optimum height.
Vary the mowing pattern
One of the most important lawn maintenance tips that many newbie gardeners and even some professionals overlook is that they mow their lawn in one direction each time which is not a good idea. It is important you shake things up a bit. When you are mowing in the very same direction each time you will compact the soil into ruts. Also, the grass will most probably lean and grow in the same direction that you mow. By employing a slightly different angle each time you will allow for the grass to grow upright which avoids the development of ruts in the soil which can be visible in some cases.
Mark has been a gardener for over twenty years. In addition to being one of the leading authorities on gardens and plants he also has a degree in Botany. He has also over the years written extensively about growing plants and lawn maintenance both on his blog and a number of publications in the country.
Citations: Mow Your Lawn Correctly