Mowing can be intimidating at first, but you realize that it is not a challenging task as you learn. However, it requires tact to do it right. Employing lawn mowing services every week could be an extra cost to your household. For this reason, learning how to cut grass could save you money.
Mowing is actually pruning grass in your lawn to give it a more decent appearance and boost the quality. The reason why most people mow their grass is to give it a desirable look. The appearance of your lawn creates an impression of your home and personality.
As we are about to discover below, grass cutting can affect the quality of grass on your lawn. But if you do it right, you will never need to replace grass even after winter. I have prepared some helpful tips to make your work easier if you are new to the task.
Tips on cutting grass
1. The best time to mow your lawn
Most people mow their lawns during their spare time, which might not be appropriate for the health of your grass. Another factor to consider when mowing your lawn are your neighbors. Although we hardly think of it, the sound of a mower can be disturbing to a sick person or a baby trying to nap.
Early mornings are not appropriate for lawn mowing as the grass is still wet from dew. This also increases the chances of ripping the grass, making it more prone to fungal infections.
Mid-morning is the most appropriate time for mowing your lawn as the grass is dry, and you won’t possibly disturb anyone from their sleep.
Mid-day and mid-afternoon is also the wrong time for mowing your lawn as the sun is high in the sky and photosynthesis is at its peak. Cutting your grass at this time would harm the growth of the grass.
Late afternoons also make a perfect time for mowing as you allow the grass a few hours to recover before night creeps in. Also, at this time, most people are still away from their homes.
Mowing your lawn in the early evenings will also cause diseases like fungus spores and mold. Additionally, people are trying to relax after a long day.
2. How often should you cut your grass?
Always cut your grass at the beginning of spring, before it starts to grow and turn green. At this time, you should cut the grass by clipping off the dead-old tips. Once you do this, it gives your grass more space to grow afresh.
The number of times you mow your lawn varies, depending on the type of grass and how fast it grows. The standard time for cutting grass is weekly. However, this might not apply to everyone. As you mow your grass, always aim at leaving one-third of the grass blade.
The size of the grass should direct you to the right time to cut it. Professionals will always advise you to let your lawn grow before you cut it. There are certain advantages to letting your grass grow before cutting it. For one, the longer it grows, the stronger its root system and the higher its ability to withstand stress. This also ensures a more resistant grass root system that lasts through harsh climatic conditions.
You should, therefore, wait for the grass to grow up to three inches before you cut it. Studies also show that this grass length discourages weeds underneath by reducing their exposure to sunlight. Another advantage of this is that there is a reduced need for watering. Moreover, the long blades can process food for the plant.
3. Tips on Cutting grass before winter
Caring for your grass just before winter is essential in keeping your lawn healthy. During this period, you should aim at boosting the health of your grass as much as possible.
How you cut your grass before winter is critical in its survival through the season. When cutting grass for the last time in anticipation of winter, you should leave it short. This lowers the risk of matting which kills grass during winter.
Apart from cutting grass, you should also fertilize and clear all the leaves and other dirt from the grass.
4. Using a mower
The type of blades you use determine the success of your mowing and the effect it has on the grass. Sharp blades always make a perfect choice. Dull blades damage the grass by ripping it off instead of cutting.
Whenever you tear off the grass, you create an opportunity for attack by diseases. These infections cause stress to the grass and affect its growth, and if it affects the whole area, you are left without grass.
Like any other machine, your mower requires regular servicing. Your mower is essential. The servicing routine should be at the beginning of every season. Keeping it in good condition will ensure that you get a clean every time.
Keep in mind that if your mower is not properly functional, it could damage your grass by causing bruises on the edges. As we saw earlier, it can cause diebacks at the tips.
Don’t forget to read and follow the mower manufacturer’s instructions whenever you are using a new mower. This will give you an easy time working and putting the machine into proper use, which increases its life and efficiency.
5. Clearing clippings
Whenever you clear the clippings, you leave your lawn more presentable. However, if your grass is healthy, this is unnecessary as these clippings act as mulch. This is more essential during summer as they help retain the moisture in the soil. As the clippings break down, they leave your lawn more fertile for the growing grass by adding nitrogen to the soil.
If left in excess, these clippings will cause damage to your grass by denying it access to light. This will cause the grass on the affected areas to turn yellow or rot. Unless you intend to use the clipping as compost, you should spread them evenly over the lawn.
6. Mowing grass length
The length of grass recommended for mowing depends on the grass type. Here are the different grass varieties and the recommended mowing height:
- Bahiagrass, blue grama, fescue tall, and buffalo grass mowing height are two to three inches.
- Bermuda grass common should be cut at the height of one and a half inches.
- Bentgrass is mowed at the height of one inch.
- Bermuda grass hybrid is mowed at the height of one inch.
- Centipede grass; zoysia grass is mowed at two inches.
- Fescue, fine; St. Augustine grass is cut at two and a half inches.
- Kentucky bluegrass is mowed at two and a half inches.
- Ryegrass, annual and perennial, is cut at the height of two inches.
7. Edging and trimming
Edging and trimming provide your lawn with a clean-cut finishing. Edges define your lawn by separating the lawn from other spaces such as walkways, driveways, and gardens.
When working on the edges, use an edger to cut grass along the edges. These are equipment designed to cut grass alongside a hard surface and are suited for the edges of a sidewalk or driveway.
Trimmers are used to cut grass anywhere and are most appropriate in spaces where a mower cannot reach. These include tight spaces and grass close to flower beds and gardens.
After using both types of equipment, make sure you clean up the debris and grass cuttings left behind.
8. How to cut grass on slopes
You should always pay close attention when mowing slopy areas because it requires more stability while preventing the mower from tipping over. Here is the procedure for cutting grass on slopy areas using a walk-behind mower:
- Never cut grass up or down a slope. The recommended and the safest way of cutting grass on slopes back and forth across the hill. If you dare going up or down the hill, you risk the mower tipping over, which could be dangerous.
- You should always avoid turning the mower on a hill. And if you should do it, always turn it heading up the hill.
- As you cut the grass across the hill, avoid rushing. Mowing in slow motion helps you retain control of the mower and avoid holes ad other obstacles that could cause the equipment to trip.
- Avoid mowing on slopes that are too steep. Besides, in such areas, you should consider planting trees instead of grass.
9. How to cut grass on a new lawn and newly planted grass
When it comes to newly sown grass, always avoid mowing these areas until the grass is well established or at a length of 4cm. Cutting newly planted grass can lead to stunted growth or cause the grass to die if its roots are not well established. Moreover, if you mow the grass too soon, you risk pulling it off the ground instead of cutting it.
As you embark on cutting new grass, ensure that the mower blades are sharp enough and the mower is in good working condition. Newly planted grass, despite its height, is yet to establish its roots, and any infections can affect the grass quality. You should also avoid mowing the grass when it is still wet as it also increases the risk of infections.
10. Safety precautions when using a mower
Mowers can be dangerous and often cause injuries. As a precaution, you should never pull a mower. Keeping your mower in proper working condition through regular servicing reduces the risk of injuries. The same applies to reading the manufacturer’s instructions. Here are more safety tips:
- Check the mower before you start working to prevent cases of possible injuries.
- Always wear protective clothing when mowing to prevent injuries from flying glass and debris
- Use earplugs to protect your ears from the noise while mowing.
- As you mow, keep children and pets away from the grounds.
- Stop the mower and allow the engine to cool for ten minutes before fueling the mower.
- Always turn off the mower and don’t leave the mower unattended while running.
- You should also turn off the mower when crossing nongrass areas.
Grass mowing doesn’t have to be so hard. It would help if you went through your mowers guide following the above tips, and you are good to go. Important also to remember, as stated above, is that you ought to wait for the lawn to achieve the desired height before mowing. Endowed with all these tips, mowing doesn’t have to be a tasking job.
If you are thinking about what happens when you do not cut your grass. I have an article about that. Read it here.
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