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There’s more to the importance of mowing than keeping your yard from going wild. Let’s discuss some helpful tips for a beautiful healthy lawn. In order to keep your lawn healthy and looking at its very best, it is important to mow it at the right time, to the right height, and using the right equipment. By mowing grass to the correct height, it works to increase the overall density of the turfgrass, as well as promote a deeper growth of the roots. This leads to not only stronger grass, but more agile grass that is able to better compete with weeds and survive under stressful conditions.
Two of the most important factors when it comes to mowing grass is the height of the cut and how often it is done – the frequency. These are not things that are universal and vary depending on the species of the turfgrass in question, as well as the cultivator, the utility, and what the desired final outcome is. Other important things that require consideration include the mowing equipment used, mowing safety, and how clippings are disposed of.
The perfect height that turfgrass should be cut at is based on the width of the leaf and the way in which it grows. Those species of grass that have more narrow leaves and that grow in a horizontal formation are able to withstand a shorter mowing in comparison to those species that grow straight up and have wider leaves. Examples of these include creeping bentgrass and bermudagrass which both can be cut very short as a result of the way in which they grow and their narrow leaves. These differ from St. Augustine grass which has to be cut at a higher length due to its wide and thick leaves.
Each and every time that turfgrass is mowed, it is subject to a certain amount of physiological stress. This is especially true if it is the case that a large amount of leaf has been removed. Where too much leaf is removed – a process is known as scalping – it can cause damage that lasts for quite some time. As a result of this damage, it can leave the grass highly susceptible to experiencing other stresses, such as sunscald, drought, disease, and insect infestation.
Mowing also has an impact on the depth of the roots of the grass. The shorter that it is cut, the shorter that the roots will be and vise versa with longer mowed grass. Having deeper roots means that the turfgrass is better protected against stresses, such as disease, insect infestations, drought, temperature fluctuations, nematodes, traffic, nutrient deficiencies, and even poor soil conditions.
Where turfgrass is repeatedly mowed too short, it results in injury and should be avoided at all costs. Similarly, it is equally as important to not mow the turfgrass any higher than what is suitable for the species at hand as it can and will result in increased thatch. So as you can see the importance of mowing includes paying attention to the length your grass to help it stay healthy.
Frequency of mowing
A key part of the importance of mowing is when you should mow your grass. How often you should mow turfgrass is solely determined by the utility of the species and the rate at which it grows. There are a number of different factors that impact the rate at which any given species of grass grows and include variables, such as the weather, the time of year that it is, and to what degree it is managed. For instance, in the southern states of America, such as Florida and Alabama, it is likely to be the case that grass requires cutting all year round, whereas, in more northerly states, such as Oregon and New Hampshire, turfgrass only needs cutting during the spring, the summer, and the fall.
Where the grass is exposed to frequent use for athletic purposes, such as for playing American football or soccer, it requires frequent mowing in order to minimize the potential for injuries to occur, as well as to make the playing surface better. Those garden lawns that are not maintained and very rarely walked on, do not need to be as frequently mowed in order to keep the turfgrass healthy and in good condition.
With some species of grass, like bahiagrass, it needs mowing in order to remove seed heads rather than for the purpose of reducing leaf blades.
It should be the case that turfgrass is moved so frequently so that no greater than a third of the height of the blade is removed in a single go. By leaving as much leaf as possible it increases the area of the surface, thus enabling the process of photosynthesis to happen. This is particularly beneficial to those grasses that are subject to both site and environmental stresses.
Disposal of clippings
Depending on what the turfgrass is used for has a direct impact upon whether the grass clippings are removed or left there on the ground. When grass clippings are broken down by microbes in the soil, they release organic matter as well as various beneficial nutrients. The turf takes up these nutrients and reuses them, and the organic matter goes into the soil to make it better. Leaving clippings on the ground does not cause thatch, as they are quickly decomposed by the microbes that are in the soil.
On some certain types of lawns, such as golf greens and athletic fields, clippings are not wanted and so are typically bagged up and disposed of instead of being left on the ground to decompose by themselves.
Where clippings make their way onto hard surfaces, such as driveways or sidewalks, it is important that they are swept back into the grass as they have the potential to pollute bodies of water if they get into them. This is because they contain various different nutrients that are harmful if leached into the water.
It is clear to see the importance of mowing and taking good care of your lawn is not only something that is important. But, is also something that actually takes a certain level of skill and know-how. If you do not possess this information or simply do not have the time to correctly look after your lawn, then the guys at
Elkhorn Lawn Care can do all of this for you using their expert knowledge and equipment.