After watering, mowing is the most important thing you can do for your lawn to keep it looking healthy and beautiful. It's not scouring the internet for hundreds of videos on YouTube. It's not that 10-10-10 formula that your dad told you about, or that secret concoction of natural additives for your lawn. It's mowing!
Watch this video or keep reading and we’ll teach you how to mow like a Super-Sod boss.
Tip 1: Sharpen Your Blades
Now that we've established how important mowing is. The first thing we need to do is make sure that our mower blades are in good shape.
We need to make sure we sharpen or replace our mower blades at least once a year, or when we notice ragged cuts on the grass. A blade that has dings, dents, or is dull will cause leaf tear or a ragged cut, which will result in your grass to needing a lot more water.
Make sure your mower blades don't look like this! Keep them sharpened.
Tip 2: Mow Frequently
Get out there and mow on a regular frequency. The fastest growing lawns, such as Bermudagrass and Tall Fescue, will need mowing every week, sometimes twice a week, not every 7 to 10 days. That's for the slower growing lawns, such as Zoysia and even longer for Centipede.
The number one best thing to do to have a thick, weed-free lawn is to mow often. If your lawn looks like it needs to be mowed, you probably waited too long to cut it.
Here's a table so you can see how often you should be mowing:
Tip 3: Get the Height Right
It's important to get the right height and don't scalp.
Mowing regularly prevents scalping. How does it do this? You never let the grass get so tall that you cut into the growing point. The less frequently you mow, the more likely you'll end up scalping. We'll talk more about how to prevent scalping next.
Here's a table, so you can look up your lawn height. Make sure to keep your lawn mowed within the range indicated:
Tip 4: Avoid Scalping
If you go on vacation or you just don't have time to get to it, don't mow that tall grass at your regular height. If you do that, you're going to cut into the growing point of your grass and this is called scalping. You’ll cut all the green off your grass and it's going to brown out.
To avoid scalping and having a brown lawn, don't cut into the growing point of your grass.
Instead bump up that mower height so you're mowing only one third of the leaf blade off for the first time you mow. Wait a few days for your lawn to adjust, then mow it again at a lower height so, again, you're mowing only one third of the leaf blade off. Read more details on taming tall grass.
Hopefully you don't have to do this with your lawn more than once or twice a year. But better yet, get a robotic mower so you don't have to worry about that lawn getting out of hand again.
Tip 5: When to Bag Clippings
To bag or not to bag? That is a good question. If you mow regularly, you can leave your grass clippings right there on the lawn and they will recycle the nutrients back into the lawn.
Now, if you miss a mowing or two, you're going to want bag or blow off your lawn because long clippings can smother your grass.
Tip 6: Mix Up Mowing Patterns
Mow up and down every time, the same way, right? Nope. You need to mix it up.
Mow on a grid one way, then another way the next time. And then in a diagonal the next time. You get the idea, rotate your angle of approach every time you mow. Do this to avoid compaction damage to the soil from rolling over the same exact area.
Tip 7: Don't Mow When Wet
Our final pro tip is to avoid mowing your grass when it's wet. That means after a heavy rain, after running irrigation, or after a heavy dew.
This is one of those picky points, but have you ever mowed grass when it's wet? It clumps up and sticks to the mower deck and bag. It's hard to clean off your mower. It's a mess! Plus the mower pushes the grass down and wet grass doesn't pop up well so you don't get as much mowed. There is a chance of spreading disease when you mow wet grass too. Be patient and let it dry.
Of course, during a rainy season, it may be difficult to find a dry window. In that case, get out there and do your best. It's more important to mow your lawn than to not mow it at all. Sometimes we have to dance around what Mother Nature is delivering us.
Ready to Mow Like a Pro?
By now you're probably visualizing your own mower. Whether it's a push mower, gas or electric mower, robotic mower, zero turn or reel mower, it doesn't matter what you use. The most important thing is to get out there and mow your lawn!
Remember, adequate moisture and getting out there and mowing your lawn frequently are the biggest secrets to having a beautiful lawn.
And you can always stop by your local Super-Sod store and talk to one of our experts.