Your lawn can be compared to a small forest. The denser the tree canopy, the more shade will be provided below. The exact same theory applies to your lawn. The higher the mowing height, the more shade there will be below, and the soil will be much cooler as well. Cooler soil means fewer weeds will germinate! Cooler soil also means the soil isn’t hot, therefore eliminating much of the heat and drought stress brought on by the warm summer days.
The ideal height range for most grasses in the United States ranges from 3 to 3.5 inches during the majority of the prime growing season. In the early spring (the first cut of the season) and late fall (the final cut of the season), drop the cut down to 2 inches. A proper mowing height provides more leaf blade for the lawn to capture sunlight and manufacture its food. This fact is especially important in the shade where light levels are already diminished. Maintaining a high cut in the shade is critical in allowing your grass to capture all of the diffuse sunlight possible. A high cut also promotes a deeper root system that can capture more water while withstanding drought, heat, and foot traffic to a much higher capacity.
Mowing your lawn with a dull blade does a few naughty things to your lawn. First, it shreds the ends of the grass blades, leaving them fully exposed for a host of fungal diseases. Second, the next day your entire lawn will have a lovely brown/tan tint to it instead of the green you strive to maintain. Just wonderful! Third and perhaps worst of all, because shredded blades cannot heal over properly, your lawn loses gallons upon gallons of water up and out of your soil. Dull blade mowing is a leading cause for drought stress and browning because the soil dries out as the roots pull up the water and it evaporates out of the shredded leaf blades. That borders on being criminal to say the least!
TIME OF DAY
Mowing your lawn in the morning or late afternoon is the best time because the grass is generally not under heat and humidity. The danger of mowing a lawn when it’s very hot and or dry is two fold. Not only does the physical weight of the machine cause damage and leave tire marks, but the water loss from the plant in midday can literally cause a lawn to brown out within hours.
Mulching your clippings is a great way to enrich your soil over time with organic matter, a critical factor in maintaining and improving a healthy soil. Contrary to what many think, clippings do not contribute to thatch buildup. Mulching your clippings over a season is equal to one free fertilizer treatment in terms of nutrients returned to your lawn. It’s free, natural, and easy - so why not mulch your clippings?
THE RIGHT MOWER
Regardless of whether you have a mowing strategy or not, owning a mower that will fit your yard and your needs is a big deal! Understanding your lawn and your mower are keys to having a successful landscape. Should you have any questions or need to update your lawnmower, Spartan Mowers guarantee we have the answers, AND we have the mower that is perfect for you. With less maintenance requirements, an easier ride, cost-saving technology - all in a mower built by a company you can trust, your purchasing and mowing experience will be more enjoyable. Use our dealer locator to find a Spartan Mower Dealer near you, and see for yourself how easy it is to drive a Spartan AND how much easier it will be to take care of your lawn during the summer months! Proper mowing is one of the most important factors to having a healthy, lush and green lawn. So adjust your mower height, sharpen those blades, don’t mow in the middle of a hot dry day, and mulch the clippings. HAPPY MOWING!