Being the brand new owner of a brand new home is one of the most rewarding feelings in life. Success and self-satisfaction – news that you just can’t wait to share and makes you burst into excitement around friends and family. You finally got away from that tiny apartment in the middle of the city and you’re excited to have more space and oh no… the lawn. What are your going to do with the lawn? Don’t worry, we got you. Here are some basic lawn lawn mowing tips to help you (and your lawn) survive the summer for the first time homeowners and home-owning pros alike.
Always remember to…
Mow the lawn regularly and move the mower blade to a higher setting when you do.
It might be tempting to cut your grass extra short just so you could maybe get away without mowing the lawn every three weeks. Neglecting to mow regularly and higher will not only put you at risk of scalping your lawn (especially during the summer time) but will also cause the grass to go into shock every time the lawn is mowed.
A good rule of thumb is to only remove one third of the grass blade at a time. This means mowing weekly and setting the mower to a higher setting. As with most homeowners in the Charlotte, North Carolina area, you most likely have Tall Fescue or Kentucky Bluegrass, which needs to be maintained at 3½-4-inch height to be kept lush and green.
The alternative is watching your grass deteriorate because essential vitamins and minerals that the grass needs to maintain healthy growth will simply be cut off the plant. Similar to a cutting your bushes back too far. Insects and various diseases are also more inclined to creep into the shorter, less healthy grass. Wreaking even more havoc on your lawn. Other problems that could occur include excessive sunlight and soil damage.
All of which can be prevented by mowing once a week and checking your mower blades before mowing the lawn to ensure that you are cutting away no more than one third of the grass blades.
Always cut dry grass, and never wet grass.
Mowing the lawn right after a heavy rainfall never sounded like a good idea too anybody. There are reasons for that. Cutting wet grass is not only messy but also causes the grass to be clumpy. Leaving those clumps all over the lawn can suffocate the grass and create a spotty lawn.
Wait for the grass to dry enough so that it’s no longer soggy – not even damp. It’s better to skip a day or two and let the grass grow in and soak up the rain and subsequent sunshine before you cut it again.
Pro tip: Wait at least 24 hours before mowing the lawn after fertilizing the grass. This ensures the fertilizer is completely absorbed into the soil and fertilizer still stuck to the blades isn’t cut away.
Mow early in the morning or later in the evening.
Remember the temperature is in the late 80’s. And if you have been outside in this summer heat lately then we shouldn’t have to remind you – it’s humid out there, folks. Just like you wouldn’t rather be doing chores during peak sunlight, your grass doesn’t want to be working to repair itself after being mowed (especially if you forgot to sharpen that mower blade at the beginning of Spring). Give the grass a break and let it soak up the rays and enjoy photosynthesis.
Give yourself a lawn mowing schedule.
It’s a good idea to set a schedule for mowing the yard during the summer, or assigning one to the teenager of the house (if you have that wonderful privilege). Whether it’s the weekend or the beginning of the week, choose a day that best works for you. This makes it easier to keep up with the necessary weekly mowing frequency. Mowing on the same day gives the grass exactly a week of growth all season long. Which sounds like common sense, but what’s often overlooked is how smart plant life is.
Putting yourself on a schedule allows your lawn to be on a schedule. A lawn that is on a rigorous mowing and watering schedule will be the lawn that makes every neighbor drive down the street jealous.
Alternate mowing direction every other mow.
When mowing the lawn, choose a direction – either diagonal, side to side, front to back, etc. – and create nice, even lines by pivoting the lawn mower around on one of its wheels. The next time you mow your lawn you should choose a different pattern (example: if you made vertical lines the last time, make horizontal lines this time) then the last time.
Lawn mowers are designed to cut the grass in a specific direction. Mowing grass by pulling the lawn mower in reverse actually shears the grass instead of cutting it (remember that lawn mower blades are typically sharpened on one side).
Have additional questions about lawn care? Visit our Charlotte lawn care page for more information and ways to get in touch. You can also visit our Lincolnton, Cornelius, Concord, China Grove, Kannapolis, or Rock Hill pages if you aren’t located directly inside Charlotte.
Top Photo: Husqvarna