Why your lawn looks like Crap! And what you can do about it.
Springtime comes around every year just like Christmas, except the only gift we receive is the task of mowing our grass and trying to make it look good. To some of us this is like getting a set of handkerchiefs for a Christmas present. For a lot of us, mowing our lawn is something we look forward to and anticipate because we want our lawns looking tight and crisp. But here is the biggest problem I see home owners doing: mowing too low. Trying to get your lawn to look like Wrigley Field, by mowing too low will fail you every time. Wrigley Field has a full time staff that constantly fertilizes, irrigates, and applies fungicides and insecticides. If you aren't prepared to follow those procedures, then raise your darn mower deck.
What Happens When You Mow Too Low
Several things happen when you mow too low. First, you allow more space for weeds to infiltrate your turf which increases the need for weed control . Second, you stress your turf by cutting off most of the grass blade. Scalping the turf weakens the root system because it is always in recovery mode. Mowing at three to three and a half inches creates a strong, deep root system, greatly reduces weed pressure in your turf and will increase heat tolerance. Not to mention your lawn will look a lot better.
Best Practices For A Nice Looking Lawn
Being an army of one with limited resources what can one do to create a nice looking lawn? First thing, if you currently do not have a weed control/fertilization plan in place, refer to my last blog on DIY lawn care or call us for a lawn care plan. Second, raise your mower deck. Cool season turf (fescue, bluegrass) wasn't meant to be cut at 2 inches . Adjust your mower deck to the highest setting if you have a push mower and 3.5 inches if you use a riding mower or zero turn mower. I cannot stress enough the importance of mowing at least three inches. Third, make sure the mower blades are sharp. Mowing with dull blades injures the turf and can bring on disease. I recommend sharpening your blades at least three times per year. Lastly, mow on a consistent basis. Mowing every five to seven days is a good practice. This schedule will reduce clippings, keep diseases at bay, and it will prolong the life of your mower.