Grass cutting is a weekly ritual for most lawn owners. Here are some things to remember to help you get the best from your lawn mower and your lawn.
Remember that mowing is pruning. Proper mowing increases the density of the lawn, which in turn decreases weeds. Each type of grass has a recommended mowing height. Find out which type of grass is in your lawn (you may have more than one) and mow at the proper height.
Stick to the 1/3 rule — never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade length at any one time. A healthy lawn can survive an occasional close cut. Repeated close mowing produces a brown lawn and has several harmful side effects, including:
Also remember to:
Mowing new grass
Newly-seeded grass needs three to four weeks to get established after germination before you should mow it for the first time. The grass blades are tender and easily damaged and the foot and mower traffic could compact the soil, especially if the soil is moist. Mow when the new grass is 3/4 inch to 1 inch taller than its recommended regular mowing height.
Always follow the mower manufacturer's operating, maintenance and safety instructions, including instructions on safety gear. Here are some general tips:
Pre-season and post-season mower maintenance will prolong the life of your mowing machines and produce a better looking lawn. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for proper maintenance. See How to Maintain a Push Mower and How to Maintain a Riding Mower to get an idea of good maintenance practices.
Before performing any maintenance, cleaning or inspections on your mower, turn it off and remove the ignition / safety key (if equipped). On a gasoline-powered mower, unplug the spark plug wire(s) as instructed in the manual. If you have an electric mower, disconnect if from its power supply. Make sure all blades and moving parts have come to a stop. Follow any pre-maintenance procedures the manufacturer specifies.
These are basic guidelines for mowing heights. Keep weather conditions (hot, cold, drought) in mind whenever you mow.
Mowing Height for Cool-season Grasses
Bentgrass - 1/2 to 1 inch
Bluegrass - 2 to 2 1/2 inches
Perennial Ryegrass - 2 to 3 inches
Fescue - 2 to 3 inches
Mowing Height for Warm-season Grasses
Bahia - 2 to 2 1/2 inches
Bermuda - 1 1/2 to 2 inches
Centipede - 1 1/2 to 2 inches
St. Augustine - 2 to 3 inches
Zoysia - 1 to 2 inches