How to mow and stripe a Lawn like a professional?
How to mow a lawn if you want a greener, healthier lawn. Here are a few good mowing practices.
One of the most frequently asked questions we get at PPLM is, can I/you mow my lawn lower? The short answer is no. When mowing your lawn, there are some mowing practices that will help keep your tall fescue lawn looking great and help keep it healthy all at the same time. We are going to share them with you!
Tall fescue is called “tall” for a reason, mowing it too short will stress it out. Tall fescue does not spread laterally so mowing it a taller height promotes a thick and healthier lawn. Tall Fescue prefers to be mowed at a minimum of 3 inches or at the highest possible setting on your mower. Be careful when purchasing a residential mower as some mowers will not even raise to a height of 3 1/2 inches
PPLM recommends it actually be mowed higher, especially in the summer.
*PPLM likes to say…
*The taller the plant the deeper the root.
*The taller the plant the deeper the root.
*The taller the plant the more shade it provides, in return it helps keep the soil moist.
*The taller the plant the more shade it provides, keeping sunlight from getting to the low growing weeds, depleting them of the sunlight they require to thrive, in return this helps to control the weed population.
When is the best time to mow your lawn?
PPLM suggests mowing your lawn during the coolest time of the day. Mowing your lawn already stresses the plant; pair that with high heat in the middle of the day and extra stress is created. By mowing early in the morning or later in the afternoon, you can at least reduce some of the stress on the plant
*Always try to mow when the lawn is dry from irrigation or dew.
*Mow the lawn as often as needed. Do not take off more than 1/3 of the plant at a time.
*Never bag the grass clippings. Mulching the clippings allows nutrients back into the soil and acts as free fertilizer. The only time we recommend bagging is if the lawn gets too tall between mowing.
Do my mower blades really make a difference? Do I need more than one set of blades? Do they need to be sharpened? Yes, yes, and yes!
We recommend having at least 2 sets of mower blades. This allows you to have a sharp set on your mower while the other set is being sharpened. Summer is of course the busiest time of year for the shops that sharpen blades, so you can’t expect to drop them off one day and pick them back up the next. We suggest changing your mower blades at least 3 times a season.
When are those 3 times?
*First…We would like to see that you start with a freshly sharpened blade at the beginning of the season. A new blade isn’t necessarily a sharp blade.
*Second times is around the 4th of July this is approximately mid season
*Third and final time is after your lawn has been seeded. The new baby grass is very tender and a dull mower blade can damage the new grass.
How do I know if I need to change my mower blade sooner than recommended above?
* If you hit something while mowing. roots, sticks, rocks, or anything that can damage a blade, it’s time to change it.
* If your tips of the grass start to look like “Bart Simpson’s” haircut. (Raggedy at the tip of the grass blade), it’s time to change it.
* The tip of the grass blade starts giving off a “white appearance”, it’s time to change it.
* It is just time.
Remember mowing with dull blades will rip the tip of the grass making it more susceptible to disease, and causing it to dry out more quickly.
How to mow a lawn pattern? Should I alternate mowing directions?
We like to switch lawn striping and mowing patterns since the weight of the mower will compress the soil causing compaction. It will also start to leave ruts in the soil causing the grass to start laying over and stressing the lawn.
After the first 4 mows, you can start following those 2 directions alternating every other mow. If you really want to get creative you can mow in a diagonal direction to really alternate your mowing patterns.
First mowing, go back and forth from road to the house (we’ll call this front to back). Mow this direction the first 2 times. Then for the next two mows, switch and go driveway to driveway (we’ll call this side to side). Alternating from a front to back and side to side pattern will help with soil compaction and ruts and will also create that checkerboard appearance that so many people want.