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Bad Mowing Habits to Avoid

The weather is warming up and if you’re not ready to pull your mower out of storage you soon will be.  Having bad mowing habits, however, will keep your lawn from looking its best and when your lawn doesn’t look good you notice it every day.  (And so does everybody else who drives or walks by.) 

Here are some bad mowing tips that you need to avoid becoming a habit:

  1. Dull Blades
  2. Mowing Height
  3. Mowing Time of Day

Mowing will dull blades

If your blade(s) are not sharp you are just asking for trouble.  Would you get your hair cut with dull scissors?  Do you ask your barber to make sure the clippers are dull because you get better looking results?  Absolutely not, it would hurt and look bad.   Why would you hurt your grass with dull blades?  Consequences of cutting your grass with a dull blade include:

  • Lawn Diseases can more easily get inside the grass blade and more quickly affect it
  • Weak-rooted grass areas could be pulled from the ground during your mowing further weakening your grass
  • Recovering from the cut will take longer which gives grass diseases more time to penetrate the plant
  • Lawn discoloration

If your blades are not sharp your grass might look like this:

Sharp blades will give a cleaner cut and your grass should look more like this:

Sharpen your blades 2-3 times per year with your first sharpening right before you cut the grass for the first time of the season.  This will go a long way in keeping your lawn looking great and your grass healthy. 

Mowing Height:

This time of year, your grass will be growing quite rapidly.  The temperatures are not too high and there is usually plenty of rain.  This means you’ll have to mow more frequently lest the nasty HOA fine you.  However, as the temperatures continue to warm up your grass growth will start to slow down.  When this happens, it is critical that you adjust your mowing habits to not encourage weed growth. 

Try to keep your Fescue Grass at a height of 3-5 inches and don’t cut off more than 1/3 of the grass when you mow.  Having a bit taller grass will provide more shade to the soil which will further discourage weed grown and will reduce soil moisture evaporation.  Of course, you can easily track your soil moisture levels by installing Spruce Soil Moisture Sensors. 

Mowing Time of Day

The best time of day to mow your lawn are the mid-morning hours or around 9am, give or take 1hr.  This gives your lawn a chance to dry out from the morning dew and any watering that may have been done earlier that morning.  It is not yet too hot for you as the mower too.

If you can’t mow in the morning, then the late afternoon/early evening is the next best time, once it starts to cool down from the heat-of the day.  

The worst time to mow the lawn is in the middle of the day as the heat will add further stress to the freshly cut grass.  Well, actually the worst time is probably 6am because the lawn is still wet and that will clog your mower plus your neighbors will not be happy at all, or your family.  In addition, mowing when the lawn is wet will leave tire tracks in the grass, leave large trails of grass clippings, and further stress out your lawn. 

Bad mowing habits will affect your lawn in the short term and long term.  Ensure you are taking care of your lawn by mowing with a sharp blade, mowing at the proper height, and mowing during the right time of the day.  While you take care of the mowing, let Spruce Irrigation take care of the watering.  Proper water amounts are critical to a healthy lawn.  Visit Spruce Irrigation to learn more!