The way grass grows is what allows it to form a lawn. It’s how it is able to withstand abuse.
Most plants can’t survive mowing. This is because their growth points are on the ends of stems at the top of the plant. Grasses, however, grow from the base of their leaves, close to the ground. Below the mower’s reach. Of the more than 10,000 species of grass, only about 50 can be grown as a lawn.
Grasses get their green color from chlorophyll, a key component in photosynthesis. Through photosynthesis, plants take carbon dioxide from the air and turn it into carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the plants food, which fuels shoot and root growth.
Any excess carbohydrates are stored within the plant as food reserves. Stored carbohydrates allow grass to form a dense turf in the spring.
Mowing removes the leaf tissue the grass uses for photosynthesis. Lawn grasses compensate for the loss by becoming a denser turf, i.e. growing a larger number of leaves. The plants must use carbohydrates to constantly replace the leaves at the cost of root growth and storage. The shorter you mow the grass, the greater the effect.
Fertilizing helps to compensate for mowing. By fertilizing, you ensure the grass leaves are loaded with chlorophyll so that they continue photosynthesizing at a normal rate.
Keys to Success
Grow a grass right for your climate. Feed it at least 3 times a year during the appropriate seasons. Mow often and high. Give the lawn long drinks of water.
If you’re not the do-it-yourself type, give us a call and we’d be happy to help with your lawn mowing needs.