When the temperature warms up and the last of the snow melts, lawn care is probably one of the first things on your spring “to-do” list. But don’t be too quick to get out there and start mowing.
Your lawn has some waking up to do from winter. And you’re in luck as NexGreen has answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about the best mowing practices for a beautiful and healthy lawn all season long.
Wait until your lawn is mostly green again before you pull out the lawnmower for that first cut of the season. Give your lawnmower blade a good sharpening, too. A sharp blade makes a cleaner, less damaging cut to the blades of grass.
Rake up and dispose of any visible snow mold. Make your first cut shorter than usual, 2-2.5 inches, and bag the cuttings so you don’t leave dead plant tissue on your lawn. Apply a bio-nutrient supplement that will promote spring green-up and help prevent crabgrass.
There are other simple steps you can take to keep your lawn looking beautiful. These healthy lawn tips will give you a yard that you will be proud of:
Mow high after the first cut of the season: 3-3.5 inches is ideal. This creates a canopy effect over your lawn, helping to shield the roots from the hot sun. Once you’ve bagged and disposed of the cuttings from your first cut, mulch your cuttings for the rest of the season. They provide an excellent nitrogen food source for your lawn. Mow in the opposite direction each time you cut the grass. This encourages healthy grass growth and helps the blades grow straight. It’s also the way to get those great looking stripes in your lawn. Continue to sharpen your lawnmower blade throughout the season.
How often you mow is not as important as how much you should take off at each cutting. We recommend taking off no more that ¼ – ⅜ of an inch every time you mow. At the absolute most, do not remove more than ⅓ of the blades’ height at each cut. It’s important to pay attention to how your lawn looks. If it seems scorched, you may be mowing too often and/or cutting the blades too short.
Mid-morning is an excellent time of day to mow, as the dew has soaked in, but the lawn still has plenty of recovery time before nightfall. Early evening, with its cooler air is another good time as long as there is sufficient recovery time before your lawn becomes vulnerable to fungus and disease development which occurs at night.
Continue to mow your lawn as long as it’s growing which will likely be well into autumn. For your last cut of the season, lower your lawnmower blade by ½ – ¾ of an inch so the grass is cut shorter before winter. Early autumn is an ideal time to reseed if needed, as the weather is cooler and rainy, making ideal conditions for new seed to take hold. You may also consider a final fertilization to feed your lawn’s root system and help it better endure the stress of the long winter.