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Mow The Lawn Without Killing It – Top 3 Tips

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The American preoccupation with lawn care is one of the few things that almost no one wants to shun. When it comes time to mow the lawn, little thought is usually given to the mechanics around it. While there are some out there for whom the perfect lawn means nothing, most people want their grass to live green and healthy, and have been known to stop at almost nothing to ensure that theirs is the greenest sod in the neighborhood.

Sometimes it is difficult to remember that a lawn, with very few exceptions, is never a single, large plant that spans from our driveway to the flowerbed, but instead consists of thousands upon thousands of individual plants, all working together to form a cohesive ecosystem where they can all thrive equally.

Tips to Mow the Lawn

The secret to a perfect lawn really isn’t a secret at all perfect grass requires time, patience, and work, so don’t think that all you have to do is throw down some fresh grass seed every year, and all your problems will disappear. One of the keys to a perfect lawn is actually one that many people take for granted- cutting the lawn. Scalping the grass is generally a bad idea, though some people never change the settings on their mowers to allow for the grass lawn to thrive.

photosynthesis infographic

Dont Cut Short

Remember that grass is a plant and a leaf, and that leaf must be able to carry out photosynthesis if it is to spread or return each year. With that in mind, your springtime lawn cutting should leave at least 2-3 inches of the blade intact. This rule also applies to autumn and summer trimming. Only in late autumn should you cut most turf back below 1.5 inches. This is the time in which the grass will go dormant, anyway, and you won’t damage the plant by cutting it so short at this time.

If you are going to mow your lawn with an electric mower, make sure that you have enough power for the job. If not, then consider using a gas-powered mower instead. You can find these machines on sale all over during the fall months.

Keep the Blades Sharp

The blade on your mower should be sharpened every year. As the year goes on, you will find that the number of toys, rocks, sticks, and roots you’ve hit with your mower will have damaged or dulled the blade. Anything other than a sharp blade on your mower will tend to rip the blades of grass rather than cutting them, which damages the lawn. The blade should be as sharp as you can get it, or if you don’t have time to think of such things, take the mower to a local shop where they can properly sharpen it for you.

Dont Bag Clippings

After cutting, you might be tempted to rake up the clippings left over on the lawn, but you must resist that temptation. The only time that grass clippings should be removed is if they clump up and completely cover the turf. If that is the case, you are either cutting your grass too short or not often enough. While once a week may seem like a lot already, keep in mind that some grasses grow at a faster rate than that, and cutting once per week will be counterproductive.

If you need an in-depth explanation of why you shouldn’t bag grass clippings after you mow the lawn, please see this post on ways to avoid chemicals in your lawn care routine. It discusses all the advantages of going completely chemical-free.

Taking into account these few tips before you mow the lawn, you should be on your way to a greener, healthier grass in no time.

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