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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Proper Mowing

Many people who want a handsome lawn do not realize just how important the job of mowing really is. There are five dimensions of mowing to be considered. (a) Cutting height (b) Mowing Frequency (c) Mowing pattern (d) Blade Sharpness, and (e) Disposal of clippings.


Cutting height of different varieties of grass is mentioned below. Lowering the cutting height can be disastrous. Removal of a large portion of the leaf results in reduced carbohydrate production, because the leaves are largely responsible for photosynthesis.


The general rule for mowing is that no more than 1/3 of the leaf should be removed with any one cutting. Mowing frequency varies according to the time of year, weather conditions, and general rate of growth.


The mowing pattern is far less critical but should be considered. A side-by-side mowing pattern is acceptable if the 360° turns can be made on sidewalks or roadways. If the turf is thinning due to about face sums, try a circular cut.

Blade Sharpness

Sharp mower blades cut the grass blade cleanly. If the blades aren't they don't cut cleanly they will shred your grass. Shredding the grass blade makes the grass more susceptible to disease.

Do not remove clippings.

Short clippings decay quite rapidly and do not contribute to thatch formation. The only two situations when clippings should be removed (a) When excessive clippings may smother the lawn. (b) When surface clippings give the lawn an objectionable appearance.

The two most common errors of mowing are:

Lawn isn't mowed often enough.
Lawn is mowed too short.

The proper heights are:

Bluegrass (Common Kentucky) — 2" to 2 1/2"
Bluegrass (Improved Varieties) — 1 1/2" to 2"
Fescues — 2" to 3"
Ryegrass — 2" to 3"


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Nothing as annoying as a lawn that's too short! Leaves it looking dry and yellow. Better do little but often.

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