Mowing is one of the primary maintenance practices essential for a good quality lawn. A smooth, dense lawn is attained by frequent and regular cutting of the grass leaf blades at a constant height.
Mowing too infrequently and improper watering can cause thatch build-up. Mowing too low can also cause problems in turf quality. Constant low mowing reduces the density and vigor of St. Augustine grass. Also, weed problems in St. Augustine grass lawns can usually be attributed to a low mowing height and improper watering.
Mowing Frequency and Heights
The best recommendation for mowing frequency is to mow often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the blade height is removed per mowing. For example, if your average lawn height is 3 inches, then it should be mowed when it grows to a height of 4 to 4.5 inches.
The grass plant is stressed every time the lawn is mowed, but removing only one-third of the leaf blade at each mowing can minimize the stress. It is important to always leave as much leaf surface as possible for photosynthesis to provide food for the re-growth.
Good Mowing Practices
Follow these procedures and precautions for safe, good mowing:
Pick up all stones, sticks, and other debris before mowing to avoid damaging the mower or injuring someone with flying objects.
Never mow wet turf with a rotary mower because clippings can clog the machine.
Sharpen the mower blade frequently to prevent a ragged lawn appearance.
Mow in a different direction every time the lawn is cut. This helps prevent wear patterns, reduces the grain (grass laying over in the same direction), and reduces the possibility of scalping.
Do not remove clippings. If clumping occurs, distribute these by re-mowing or by lightly raking.
Check your mower every time it is used to be sure it is in proper working condition.
Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for service and adjustments.
Adjust cutting height by setting the mower on a driveway or sidewalk using a ruler to measure the distance between the ground and the blade.
Never fill a hot mower with gasoline.
Always wear heavy leather shoes when mowing the lawn.
Wash the mower after use to reduce rusting and weed seed movement.
Keep the mower blades sharp and properly balanced. A leaf cut by a sharp blade will heal over more quickly and lose less water than a leaf shredded by a dull mower blade.
A Green and Healthy Yard
Proper mowing is an important part of your lawn care, but it is only one of many steps to a green and healthy yard. Hulett Environmental Services offers a full array of lawn pest, plant disease, weed control, and specialized fertilization services to meet your landscape's specific needs.