Category Archives: Grass Cutting

Mowing Digest

Mowing Heights

Mowing heights are based on the growth habit of the grass. Some grasses grow tall and straight, others low and wide. If you’re not sure how high your mower cuts, insert a ruler or your finger through the grass after mowing (your index finger is about 3 inches).

Highs and Lows


  • More leaves
  • More upright growth
  • More shade tolerance
  • Deeper roots
  • Drought tolerance
  • Slower regrowth after mowing
  • Fewer weeds, pests


  • More compact dense lawn
  • Shallow roots
  • Less vigor
  • More rapid growth after mowing
  • More weeds, pests
  • Higher maintenance
  • Scalped patterns on uneven ground

This blades for you

Lawns mowed high have more leaf blades so they capture more sunlight. More sunlight means more energy for the grass, and more energy makes for a stronger, tougher lawn with deeper roots.

Care for your mower

Spring tune-up

  • Remove engine shroud and clean around air-cooling fins
  • Change oil
  • Check, clean or replace air filter
  • Clean deck top and bottom
  • Change spark plug
  • Lubricate controls and linkages
  • Sharpen blades

Season’s end

  • Fill fuel tank and add fuel stabilizer
  • Remove spark plug and drop a teaspoon of oil into cylinder, replace spark plug
  • Brush or wash away dirt and debris
  • Store in a dry, ventilated area

Bag or Mulch?

Contrary to common wisdom, grass clippings neither add to thatch nor increase chances for disease. As long as you mow your lawn at the right height and at proper intervals, clippings quickly bread known without a trace because they’re mostly water. As they break down, they contribute nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil and supply it with organic matter.

The clippings from a 1,000-square-foot lawn contribute 1/2 to 2 pounds of nitrogen, depending on how much you fertilize. The more you fertilize, the more nitrogen the clippings return to the soil.

Mowing Frequency

How often should you cut the grass? the simple answer is, as often as it takes to maintain its recommended height. That depends on the species of grass, the season, growing conditions, and the amount and type of fertilizer used. Generally, every five to seven days is enough, keeping the basic rule of thirds in mind. Its also important to cut the grass regularly throughout the growing season. The more moisture the grass receives, the more often you’ll need to cut it. You may find yourself mowing twice a week during extended periods of rain. During wet periods some suggest a practice known as double cutting. This involves moving the mower height up a setting during wet periods, then after the clippings dry, lowing the mower to the correct height and mowing a second time in a different direction.

Mowing Tips

Be sure your mower blade is sharp. sharp blades cut the grass cleanly and help mulch clippings into small pieces, which break down quickly. Conversely, dull mower blades shred the grass, leaving a ragged cut at the top of the blade, which gives the lawn a whitish, diseased appearance. Some grasses, such as perennial rye grass, take on a particularly ragged look if mowed with a dull blade.

Change the direction and pattern each time you mow. Doing so reduces turf wear from mower wheels. This damage is even more pronounced in thin or shady areas. If you mow repeatedly in the same direction, the mower tends to push the grass over rather than cut it cleanly. Eventually, the grass begins to lean in the direction mowed, producing light and dark patterns or stripes.

Don’t allow newly seeded grass to grow excessively long before the first mowing. If the grass gets too tall before mowing and you mow it to, say, half its height, you’ll shock the plants, stressing them and slowing the process of forming a healthy lawn.

As always, if you’re not the do-it-yourself type, give us a call and we’d be happy to help with your lawn mowing service needs.

Sharp Lawn Mower Blades: A lawn’s best friend

Lawn cutting is a necessary evil. For some its a weekend drudgery, for others its a time to don the headphones and escape from the world for an hour. Whether for pleasure or business, the grass has to be mowed. At the very least to keep angry neighbors and Johny Law at bay. Lawn cutting opens leaf tissue and exposes it to pests such as molds and fungus. The great thing about grass, and why it makes such a great plant for lawns, is that it has a very high tolerance to being cut on a regular basis. Unnecessary cutting however can be damaging.

lawn mower blades
lawn mower blades

The objective when cutting grass is to cut as little leaf tissue as possible. Kind of like surgery, precision cutting is the key. A sharp blade will make clean, straight cuts, minimizing grass tissue damage. On the other hand, a dull blade will hack at the blades, tearing and shredding the ends. This opens the lawn up to diseases and weakens the overall health of the plant.

How often should you sharpen the mower blades? A good rule of thumb is every 25 hours of cutting, you should have the blades sharpened. Obviously if your using the mower to mulch up leaves and sticks, that time will be shorter. Take notice of the grass blade ends after a cutting. If you notice the ends are jagged and look like they were hacked with a machete, its time to get them sharped.

Where is a good place to take the blades for sharpening? We recommend Suburban Lawn & Equipment. They take care of the local grass cutting pros and know what they’re doing.

Remember to keep your mower blades sharp and you lawn will thank you for it.

If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, give us a call and we’d be happy to help with your lawn mowing service needs.

Stewart Bros. Turf, LLC
Servicing Wimington, Brandywine, Pike Creek, Newark, Hockessin, Delaware

Lawn Cutting Height: What’s best for a healthy lawn?

Best Lawn Cutting Height
Best Lawn Cutting Height

Everybody wants a weed free, dark green and lush lawn. Did you know that a simple thing like choosing the correct lawn cutting height for your grass type can go a long way to contributing to that goal.

Delaware is largely made up of what are called cool season grasses. Species include tall fescues, fine fescues, ryes and kentucky blue grass. The one warm season grass that can be found is zoysia grass. More about grass types.

Cool season grasses grow up whereas warm season grasses grow out. In other words, cool season grasses spend their energy growing as tall as they can while warm season grasses stay relatively short but grow out as wide as they can, aggressively spreading throughout a yard. Case in point, if your next door neighbor has zoysia grass and you do nothing. Eventually your lawn could be mostly zoysia grass as well.

The best lawn cutting height for cool season grasses is as high as you can tolerate. 3.5″ is a good height. If you don’t mind higher grass, 4″ to 4.5″ is even better (most people find a property cutting of 4″ and above too high for their preferences). Cutting the grass higher has several benefits that contribute to a healthy lawn.

Benefits of higher yard cuttings:
1. Taller grass will choke out lower growing weeds.
2. With more leaf tissue, grass can produce and store more food.
3. The soil will be better shaded and kept cooler, keeping in more moisture and helping the lawn to be better drought resistant.
4. Taller grass is healthier, promotes good root growth, and more insect and fungus resistant.

We find that 3.5″ provides the best combination of being high enough for a healthy lawn while being short enough to look clean and sharp after a mowing. Although we are always happy to mow at a higher height upon request.

Keep in mind that it is best not to cut more than 1/3 of the blades at one cutting. More than 1/3 is traumatic for the grass plants.

If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, give us a call and we’d be happy to help with your lawn cutting service needs.

Stewart Bros. Turf, LLC
Servicing Wimington, Brandywine, Pike Creek, Newark, Hockessin, Delaware

Lawn Bare Spots: A simple guide to repair

Repair Lawn Bare Spots
Repair Lawn Bare Spots

Lawn bare spots in your yard can be annoying and unsightly, they also can be pesky and stubborn to fix.

Here are some simple steps that will work every time.

1. Loosen the soil with a garden weasel or rock rake.
2. Use sun or shade friendly grass seed depending on conditions.
3. Put a little planting soil or top soil on top.
4. Lightly water the spot once a day just to keep the area damp.
5. For an added bonus, put a little fertilizer down in the repaired spots as well. Use what’s called a “starter” fertilizer. This fertilizer will contain more potassium which is important for sprouting grass.

Grass loves lose, damp soil. As long as you apply the seed to those areas, you’ll have a fuller looking lawn. Just remember to keep the soil moist until the grass has really taken hold and is starting to grow. Don’t let your lawn’s bare spots dry out on hot days.

We recommended Alexander’s Lawn and Garden in Newark, DE for picking up you grass seeds, fertilizer, and other lawn care propducts. The staff really knows their stuff and the prices are much better than the big box home stores.

If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, give us a call and we’d be happy to help with your yard cutting service needs.

Stewart Bros. Turf, LLC
Servicing Wimington, Brandywine, Pike Creek, Newark, Hockessin, Delaware