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Early Spring Mowing Tips for your Lawn

Early Spring Mowing Tips for your Lawn

As a general rule, your lawn should never look worse after you mow it, then it did before you mowed it. If it does look worse after mowing, like the left side of the picture below, chances are you’re either cutting too much off at once, or mowing with a dull blade. Mowing properly can help your lawn look terrific. Mowing improperly can encourage weeds and browning.


Mowing Tip 1: Sharpen Your Mower Blade

Dull mower blades rip the grass, instead of cutting it. This leaves your lawn vulnerable to disease and also dehydrates the grass blades, causing them to turn brown. A hardware store should be able to sharpen your blades for you. Try to do this every 20 hours worth of cutting or at least once per season. Click Here To Learn How To Tuneup Your Lawn Mower

Torn Grass From Dull Lawn Mower Blades versus Cut Grass From Sharp Mower Blades


Mowing Tip 2: Follow 1/3 Rule

One of the worst things you can do for your lawn is to remove too much of the grass blade in a single mowing. Removing more than 1/3 of the grass blade length in a single mowing will turn the grass brown, stop root growth, and invite in weeds. It is important never to mow more than 1/3 of the grass blade at one time.

If you have clippings on the lawn after you mow and/or the area you’ve mowed looks worse than the area you haven’t mowed, like the picture below, you’re probably removing too much of the blade so go ahead and raise it.


Mowing Tip 3: Mow High

Not what it sounds like…we’re talking about your mower height. Be safe out there! If you only remember one thing about mowing, mowing high should be it. You’ve seen that mowing high makes it easier to follow the 1/3 rule which will make a huge positive impact on your lawn.

Want to mow your lawn less often? If so, mowing high is for you! Let’s assume that you’re going to follow the 1/3 rule. If you mow at 2 inches, that means you can let the lawn grow 1 inch, reaching 3 inches in length, before you need to mow. Now suppose you don’t like mowing the lawn that much, so you decide to mow at 4 inches instead of 2. That means that you can let the lawn grow to 6 inches tall before having to mow. This would allow the grass to grow twice as much, meaning you only have to mow it 1/2 as often, make sense?

Mowing Height_2 inches
2″ Mow Height  |  1″ Growth Between Mowings
Mowing Height_4 inches
4″ Mow Height  |  2″ Growth Between Mowings

Another benefit of mowing high, is that you’ll be crowding out weeds, like Crabgrass, and also encouraging deeper roots, which will keep your lawn greener during the hot Summer months.

Mowing Height Weeds

3.5-4.5 inches is a good mowing height for today’s modern grasses. Some older grasses won’t stand up straight enough to grow that high, so use your best judgment. Just remember to mow as high as you can handle and follow the 1/3 rule.

Note: In the Fall and late Fall, it is a good idea to gradually lower your mowing height down to 2 inches so the grass doesn’t fold over under the snow.

Take a ruler and measure from the top of the soil to the tips of the grass blade. Mowing height is not how long the blade is, it’s how far the tip is from the soil to the surface.

Mowing Tip 4: Mulch Your Clippings

Most of the time we recommend that you leave the clippings on the lawn, as long as they don’t clump and smother the grass. The clippings will not contribute much to Thatch and can return nutrients to the soil. If weeds are an issue, you might consider bagging and composting the clippings whenever weed seed heads are visible, such as white Dandelion puff balls, and others.