5 Easy Lawn Mowing Tips for Apex, NC Homeowners
Apex is most often linked with education and technology. There are 36 colleges within 50 miles, and Research Triangle Park stands as an icon of science and innovation. Residents of Apex may be affording themselves of the academic opportunities; other residents are surely some of the 60,000 employees of the Park. All the residents have the advantage of small-town living.
Apex is more a community than a town. People are neighborly, greeting each other as they participate in local sports and the year-round festivals. The homes are welcoming, from the charming cottages to the elaborate estates, and well-kept lawns add to the attractiveness of the homes, as well as to the overall appeal of Apex.
You probably think you already know how to mow a lawn. And you may. These tips are for the homeowners who could be damaging their lawns without realizing it.
Photo: Flickr / rickpilot_2000
It’s an unfortunate fact that mowing your lawn can cause it great damage. The good part is that you can easily change the way you mow. A well-mowed lawn will be healthier, more drought-tolerant, and dense enough to smother those weeds who are just waiting to intrude.
Remove no more than one-third of the grass blades each time you mow.
A buzz cut just doesn’t work for your lawn. The grass is then susceptible to an array of maladies. When you cut your grass too short, the production of food through photosynthesis is adversely affected, because the surface of the blade is smaller. Weeds take root more readily because soil is exposed, and the weed seedlings flourish since the sun is able to reach them. The development of the root system is inhibited, and the lawn is more susceptible to damage from drought or high temperatures.
1. Mow when the grass is dry
When the grass is dry, the blades are standing there at attention, and they get a nice, clean cut. Wet blades tend to fall over and clump together and are left with an unattractive raggedy cut. Those clumps stick to and clog the mower deck, and you must then spend time and labor getting them off the lawn. Otherwise, they will kill the grass.
If you absolutely must cut damp grass, coat the underside of your mower with oil or silicone spray.
Photo: Flickr / Gust
2. Mow in the shade
You might “make hay while the sun shines,” but you don’t make a nice lawn by mowing while the sun shines. Mowing is stressful for your grass under the best conditions. If you mow it in the hot sun, it gets even more stressed. (Not to mention how stressful that is for you.) If you mow when it’s shady or during a cooler part of the day, your grass loses less water and recovers more quickly from the “trauma” of being cut.
3. Keep your mower blades sharp
Sharp mower blades cut the grass cleanly. A dull blade tears the grass and leaves openings that pests and diseases use to sneak in and start their destruction. Also, a dull blade can cause individual grass blades to die back.
4. Recycle your grass
Let the grass clippings stay on the lawn—unless they form clumps or rows. The clippings return nutrients and nitrogen to the lawn. In fact, they can provide up to 25% of your lawn’s fertilizer needs. So not only does the recycling save you time and labor, it saves you money.
You can replace your current mower blade with a mulching blade that cuts the grass into smaller pieces that decompose more quickly.
5. Vary your pattern of mowing
Photo: Flickr / muffinn
Alternate your pattern of cutting each time you mow. Your grass will grow straighter and healthier. Grass leans in the direction in which you mow it. If you mow in the same direction or pattern each time, you will create ruts and compact the soil. Compacted soil is one of weeds’ favorite places!
Just as an aside, you will mow in a straighter line if you focus about 10 feet ahead rather than looking down at those front wheels as we tend to do.
Mowing is not the time to train for the Turkey Trot 5K.
“Haste makes waste.” This is sure true of mowing, particularly when the grass is tall or wet. Even if the grass is regular height and dry, racing around that lawn with your mower is going to leave behind unevenly sheared grass and clumps of poorly mulched clippings.
You’ll see the difference in your lawn if you make a few adjustments to your mowing habits. Your lawn will reward you for the extra TLC by being a decorative and useful addition to your home for many years.
Still have questions about lawn care? Visit our Apex, NC lawn care page or share your thoughts in the comments section below.