Mowing lawns can seem like a rather simple task, and in essence this is of course true. For the lawn care professional though, there is so much more involved in mowing lawns correctly, not just to achieve a beautiful looking carpet of green once the mowing is completed, but in knowing that how a lawn is regularly mowed also plays a large factor in the overall health of the turf itself. Yes, mowing practices do have a direct health result to the lawn when either done correctly or incorrectly.
When we think about what we can do and alter with lawn mowing practices, there really are only two factors that come into play. The first is how long we keep the leaf of the turf when mowing, and the second is the frequency of the lawn mowing service. And it is from these two practices that we can greatly alter the health of our lawns for the better or for the worse.
Keeping Lawns With A Long Leaf
Photosynthesis is the process of lawns and plants which takes direct sunlight and uses that energy to create food for the lawn or plant out of the available nutrients in the soil. The longer the leaf of the lawn, directly increases the amount of food the turf can then produce for itself to stay healthy and strong. While a lawn which is mowed at very low heights can produce much less food, and thus these lawns will require far greater attention to their overall health, or otherwise risk becoming sick or even at risk of possible death of the lawn.
With this knowledge, we can then easily see that lawns which are subject to partial shaded conditions will need to have their leaf kept longer than a lawn which is being grown in full sun. The partial shaded turf requires a longer leaf to power more photosynthesis with less direct sunlight. Whereas a lawn in full sun can easily have its leaf length kept much shorter and still maintain the same level of photosynthesis and food production.
Therefore, this lawn mowing tip is a rather simple one to understand and adjust to, and is something which can have a major impact on the health of our turf, just in the simple fact of how long we keep the lawn leaf under different direct sunlight or shade conditions.
Frequency Of Lawn Mowing
While lawn mowing can be a chore for many busy people, and something which we are all guilty of putting off for too long sometimes, regular lawn mowing is also important for overall lawn health.
The first reason for maintaining regular lawn mowing is that if we leave lawns to become too long between mowings, then the thatch layer will increase in the lawn, and the crowns of the turf will raise higher… which when eventually mowed, can easily cause lawn scalping or having the lawn dying off in areas where the crowns of the lawn have been removed when mowing. Leaving lawns too long between mowing is always a high risk of causing lawn damage when the turf is finally mowed.
While the above example is a worst case scenario of leaving lawns for far too long in between mowing, even regular mowing should be given careful consideration as to frequency.
While regular maintenance ensures that not too much leaf material is removed at any single service, which then keeps the lawn looking greener and without even mild scalping, there is one more factor to consider as to the timing of cutting our lawns… which is mulch mowing.
Mulch mowing is when we put a plug into the rear of a specially designed lawn mower, which instead of collecting the grass clippings, sends those same clippings through the blades of the mower several times to finely chop them into very small pieces, before depositing those same clippings back into the lawn.
Mulch mowing is a wonderful way to feed the lawn with its own supply of nutrients, as well as insulating the lawn soil from excessive moisture loss in warmer weather. Mowing more regularly will ensure these grass clippings will be cut up even finer and will be in less quantity, which then allows this natural mulch to break down into the lawn soil much more quickly. So the overall mulching process is greatly more efficient when the lawn is being mowed more often.
While there are many factors involved in keeping any lawn green and healthy, one of the least thought of considerations of this process is the humble lawn mower, which we hardly ever think of as a lawn care tool that can improve lawn health on its own. However we can see clearly how just two small changes to how we mow our lawns can have tremendous benefits on our lawn health.
Roger Everett has been a professional operating in the lawn care industry for 15 years, who now shares his experience, as well as his love and passion for lawns with others at his dedicated Saint Augustine grass lawn care site. Roger covers most turf care topics in depth for homeowners, such as discussing the correct fertilization of lawns for Winter, as well as more specialized St Augustine turf care topics including natural prevention of lawn pests. For more articles similar to this one, please visit The Saint Augustine Lawn Care Site.