Mowing may seem like a mundane necessity of keeping your property looking groomed and well maintained. However, mowing is not something to take for granted. It is, in fact, one of the most important lawn care practices you can perform.
There are many factors that can affect the effectiveness of your mowing, including the height at which you mow your grass and the blade of the mower. However, the frequency and time that you mow can have a huge impact on the health and appearance of your lawn.
The One Third Rule
The most important information in knowing when to mow is going by the length of the grass, or the frequency you mow. In a perfect world where you can fit your mowing in with little league games, anniversaries, and trips out of town, you would mow your lawn using what many refer to as the one third rule. The one-third rule says that you should never mow off more than one third of the length of the grass blades.
To put it another way, if you were to mow your lawn to three inches in length, you would not want to mow it until the blades have reached a length of four and one half inches. Obviously you are not going to wade out into your lawn with a ruler and check out the length of each blade.
The idea is that you have a general idea of what you are doing when it comes to how often you cut your grass. Mowing cuts the blades and thus is actually injuring the grass. By not mowing too frequently and keeping the one-third rule in mind, you will be able to minimize the damage you do to the lawn.
No Set Dates
What the one-third rule means for you is that your lawn mowing frequency will vary. Your grass, depending on your climate, weather, and type of grass will grow at different rates during different times of year.
The other thing to keep in mind with regard to the one-third rule is that you should not wait too long after your grass has reached the one-third cut off length. Because, just as you shouldn’t mow too often and cut the grass when it is too short, you should also avoid cutting the lawn when the grass is too long as well.
The first thing that can happen if you let the lawn grow too high is that you are exposing parts of the grass to the sun that are not equipped to handle it. When your grass grows too long, the tops of the blades prevent the bottoms of the blades from being exposed to the sun. When you suddenly then cut off the tops, you expose those bottom parts and your grass will look rough for a couple of weeks.
The second thing that can happen if you cut the blades when they are too long is that you can end up with problems below the surface. The sudden exposure of the bottom blades to the sun can cause the roots to go into shock. This shock can stunt the growth of your lawn for a few days and really add to the shabby look of it. Also, tall grass getting mowed just simply creates larger clippings and thus a bigger mess.
Time of Day
Once you have the frequency down, you should also consider what time of day you are going to mow. Evening is really the best time to mow your lawn. Remember that mowing the grass damages it and it will need to heal.
During the day your grass is already being pounded by the sun, so mowing it will only make that worse. If you mow in the evening, your lawn will have some time to begin healing before it is hit with the sun’s damaging rays the next morning.
Mowing is a very important part of lawn care. If done properly, it can help you develop a lawn that almost takes care of itself in addition to being something you can be proud of. Perhaps the most misunderstood and most important part of mowing is timing. Since mowing is a damaging process, timing is everything.
You need to make sure you avoid cutting your lawn too frequently, or even from mowing it when it is too long; adhere to the one-third rule. Also, be sure to mow in the evenings so that the cool night can give it time to heal before it has to deal with the harsh sun again during the day. Keep these timing hints in mind and you will be on your way to a great looking and healthy lawn.