Mow, mow, mow your lawn…. Some folks love to mow their lawn. They take such pride in a great looking, deep-green lawn. Gazing at your lawn can have the same blood pressure lowering effect as staring at a fish tank, filled with fish of course! Others hate to mow their lawn. It becomes a weekly chore or perhaps when needing to be mowed twice a week when it rains, it is no fun.
Keeping ahead of the mowing this year has been tough with so much rainfall. One, the excessive rain makes the lawn grow extra fast and two, when it rains you can’t mow the lawn, it’s a catch 22 situation. Mowing your lawn properly is an important part of making your lawn look its best. Do not scalp your lawn; mow often only cutting off 1/3 of the blade height in order to avoid shocking the plant.
Keeping a sharp mower blade is important too. When is the last time you sharpened your mower blade, never? A sharp blade gives a much better looking cut and reduces the chance of “shredding” the blade tips. This shredding effect can weaken the grass plant and make it susceptible to disease infestation. Go to a professional mower repair shop if you are not comfortable doing this yourself. Be careful!
Be sure to mow your lawn when it is dry (as best you can!). Mowing the lawn when the blades are wet can clog the mower housing making the engine work too hard leaving clumps of grass on the lawn. If these clumps are not raked up and removed, they can create a dead spot in your lawn. Mow often without gathering up the clippings; ideally allow the clippings to work their way back in to the soil. These clippings are mostly water and fertilizer and this can help reduce your annual need for water and fertilizer saving you money and reducing environmental impact.
Remember to blow all clippings off of your driveway, sidewalks and the street curb.
Mow your lawn, if you can, at 3” or higher. This helps reduce weed competition and establishment. It also creates a more drought tolerant lawn, again reducing watering requirements during hot summer months. During the summer if you are mowing under 3” height, raise the cutting height to 3” or higher in order to conserve moisture in the blades. Mowing high also creates longer root systems for added drought tolerance. If you ever hit a stump or rock that shuts your mower down and bends the blade, do not
reuse the blade, take it to a professional mower shop for repairs.
Weed whacking also is part of “mowing” your lawn. Be sure to not whack the grass blades too low creating stress points. When weed whacking along driveway and sidewalk edges, be aware that you may bring some weed seeds to the surface that may germinate.
Kids, pets and mowers do not mix. Never mow your lawn with anyone on the property. Wear gloves and long pants in case you hit an object to avoid injury. Never allow kids to ride on your mower for fun, it can be dangerous.
What about automatic rechargeable electric mowers? Wow, what an invention! Who ever thought this would happen? It sounds like a good idea, particularly with so many families having to work hard, or perhaps 1-2 jobs and weekends involving baseball and soccer games too. Maybe someday I’ll get an auto-mower. I hope you can enjoy your summer and not spend too much time mowing.