PROPER LAWN MOWING TECHNIQUES
Mow Tall and Mowing Weekly will Make Huge Improvements to a Lawns Overall Health
Mow the Lawn Tall
- It is extremely important to raise the mower height to 3 inches or taller from the middle of April through September. This could be the very highest setting on the lawn mower.
Mow the Lawn Weekly
- Mow the lawn once per week and don’t remove more than 33% of the grass’ foliage per mowing.
Organo-Lawn DOES NOT offer lawn mowing as a service, but we do understand how to properly mow a lawn. Two small changes to lawn mowing will dramatically improve a lawn’s appearance and overall health.
How To Properly Mow a Lawn
Set the Lawn Mower on the Highest Setting! More Lawn Mowing Tips
Always Mow at 3 Inches or Taller
Often the highest setting on most mower types is 3 inches. Mowing the grass at 3 inches or taller will prevent diseases, promote deep digging roots, help the grass conserve water, improve turf density, and improve turf color. This one minor change of mowing on the highest setting will make a major improvement in the overall health and beauty of your lawn.
Exception to the Rule – For only the first and the last mow of the season – the recommended mowing height for Colorado’s cool season lawns is 2.5 inches.
The middle setting of the lawn mower is too short. The correct setting is the highest setting on the lawn mower.
The Taller You Mow the Deeper the Roots Will Dig!
The 3x Rule
Grass root depth and mowing height are correlated. Grass roots will dig about 3 times as deep as the height the lawn is mowed.
- Mow at 1 inch then the grass roots can dig to be about 3 inches deep.
- Mow at 2 inches the grass roots can dig to about 6 inches deep.
- Mow at 3 inches the grass roots can dig to be about 9 inches deep.
A very small change in mowing height makes a huge difference in lawn appearance, drought resistance and overall health.
Why Do So Many People Mow Their Lawns Too Short?
Aesthetics, Golf Courses, and The Middle Setting
#1 – Aesthetics: A lot of people think a short lawn looks better than a taller lawn. The problem is short-cut lawns uses more water, have more weeds, are thinner, have shorter roots, and are not a dark green in color.
#2 – Golf Courses: Yes golf courses mow the grass very short. Most people think golf courses look nice, but what they don’t realize is that golf courses have different types of grass than are in a residential lawn. The golf course grass types can handle being mowed short, while most residential lawns cannot.
#3 – The Middle Setting: The lawn mower settings can be confusing. There are about 6 different settings on a lawn mower. We suggest mowing on the highest setting. The numbers on lawn mowers do not correlate with lawn cutting height. Most homeowners don’t know the height of the lawn mower settings and think the highest setting must be too tall and the lowest setting must be too low, therefore the best setting is the middle setting on the lawn mower. The middle setting is the WRONG setting and is typically way to short. The middle setting is typically around 2 inches. The correct setting on most lawn mowers is the highest setting.
Is Mulching the Grass Clippings Good or Bad for the Lawn?
Mulching the grass clippings is almost always good for the lawn!
Mulching the lawn’s grass clippings is very beneficial for the lawn because this will recycle organic matter and water back into the soil. Grass foliage is comprised of 90% water and will decompose quickly becoming almost invisible within a few hours after lawn mowing. Mulching grass clippings will be very beneficial for the lawn and will stimulate beneficial microbial activity in the soil. As long as no more than 33% of the grass’ foliage is removed during the lawn mowing the grass clippings will not cause thatch buildup.
How Often Should the Lawn Mower Blade be Sharpened?
About Every 4-5 Cuttings
Lawn mower blades should be sharpened once every five mows. An easily noticeable sign of a dull blade is when the tips of the grass are ripped, turning them white. One final suggestion for how to properly mow a lawn is to rotate the direction of the cut every mow. For instance, mow lengthwise one week, width wise the next, and diagonal the following. By following these instructions, there will less stress on the lawn, helping create the lush green lawn that you desire.
What is the Ideal Mowing Height?
3 Inches or 3 1/2 Inches
A lawn should be mowed at 3 inches or taller. The ideal mowing height would be 3 inches to 3.5 inches in height.
To learn more about the three most common lawn mowing mistakes that homeowners frequently repeat, please read our blog about the most common lawn mowing mistakes homeowners make.
Lawn Mowing Made Simple:
Mow the lawn at least once per week.
- Set your lawn mower on the highest setting. This should be 3 inches or taller.
- Sharpen the blade about once per month. If you are seeing white tips on the lawn then the blade needs to be sharpened.
- Mulch the grass clippings, as long as they don’t clump up all over the lawn
- Rotate the mowing direction every week.
- Mow Length-wise
- Mow Width-wise
- Mow Diagonally
How Mowing a Lawn Properly will Improve a Lawn
- The turf color will improve dramatically.
- The lawn will use less water because the roots will be able to dig deeper.
- The lawn will spread out and thicken up.
- The lawn will be more drought tolerant.
- It will be easier to mow your lawn and take less time than cutting the grass on a lower setting.