Mowing Digest

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.