Lawn Mowing Guidelines

Poor mowing practices can completely negate the best fertility, irrigation, or overall management program. Mowing affects all the components of turfgrass quality: density, texture, color, uniformity, and smoothness. Here are some general guidelines to follow.

Be sure your mower blades are SHARP! Dull blades "whip" off the grass blades instead of cutting them. This leaves a jagged edge and a way for moisture to escape from the plant. If you are mowing with a dull blade, your lawn will have a white-tipped appearance.

Mow it tall, 2 - 3 inches in height. Your lawn will look and perform much better if mowed tall. Taller grass shades the soil which helps to conserve moisture. A lawn that is mowed tall will also have much fewer crabgrass and broadleaf weed problems than one mowed too short.

Follow the One-Third Rule and remove no more than one-third of the leaf tissue at any one mowing. Exceeding the one-third rul will result in shock to the grass plant and a yellow color.

Leave your clippings on the lawn. As long as the one-third rule is followed, clippings contribute additional nutrients to the turf and organic matter to the soil. Also, there is no scientific evidence to indicate that clippings contribute to thatch accumulation. Thatch is composed of dead and living shoots, stems and roots, not leaf clippings.

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