As the days get warmer and we’ve made it to early spring, it’s time to get prepared for the mowing season. Spring lawn care has many of its own challenges……clean-up of winter leaves and tree debris, management of weeds, and dealing with an abundance of rain showers. Here are 7 mowing tips from Morrison Lawn & Landscape that will help you maintain a healthy and attractive lawn throughout the rainfall in spring and heat of the summer for homeowners in Gastonia, NC.
GIVE YOUR LAWN MOWER A TUNE-UP
Drain last season’s gas. Change the oil and filter. Sharpen the blades. Check the tires.
Wear closed-toe shoes and protective eyewear. Use safety headphones for noise reduction. Apply sunscreen for UV protection. Never leave a mower unattended with the engine running. Always mow slopes from side-to-side instead of up and down.
REMOVE YARD DEBRIS
Take a few minutes to do a clean-up of the lawn. Remove leaves, sticks, rocks, and other yard debris that have accumulated over the winter months. Roll up the garden hose. Collect pet and children’s toys. Move the lawn furniture. Pick up litter that may be in the path of the lawn mower.
DON'T SCALP YOUR YARD
Mow at the proper height and frequency for the grass you are growing. This concept seems to be the most troublesome setback for do-it-yourself mowers.
All varieties of grass have their own recommended mowing heights – fescue is cut tall, while bermuda is cut shorter. Setting the mower blades to a very low height increases weeds and the invasion of bermuda grass. In addition to making the turf unattractive, scalping the lawn exposes the soil surface to sunlight and heat, removes stored nutrients in the leaf blades, and results in a shallow root system.
The piedmont area of North Carolina generally receives frequent rain showers during early spring, causing rapid growth. Spring fertilization in combination with abundant rainfall will prompt you to adjust your mowing frequency. Thick, lush fescue lawns may need to be mowed every 4 to 5 days under these conditions.
If circumstances arise to where the lawn is overgrown, follow the “1/3 rule”: no more than 1/3 of the leaf surface should be cut at one mowing. Raise the blades and mow it tall. After a couple of days, lower the blade height and mow in the opposite direction. This will help you to avoid long rows of unsightly grass clumps.
AVOID MOWING WHEN THE GRASS IS WET
Lawns are best mowed when the turf is dry. When the grass is wet, the cut may be uneven and clippings clump inside the mower and are dumped in piles on the grass. Grass clumps should always be immediately raked. Wet turf is more easily torn from the ground when the lawn mower makes turns at the end of a row. The weight of a mower in soft, wet soil can also create tracks on the lawn.
Grass-cycling is leaving grass clippings on your lawn. Many homeowners bag lawn clippings because they think that the clippings add to the buildup of thatch. Actually, thatch is made up of roots, stems, and the lower portions of leaves that are below the mower blade. Frequent mowing, mowing when the grass is dry, and proper fertilization are the best ways to reduce thatch build-up. Clippings that remain on the lawn quickly decompose and release valuable nutrients.
It’s easy to get into the habit of mowing your lawn in the same pattern week after week. Rotating the mowing direction ensures a more even cut since grass blades will be more erect. By varying mowing patterns, you will reduce turf wear and soil compaction from the mower wheels and avoid ruts in the lawn.
When in doubt, hire a professional for your mowing service. Morrison Lawn & Landscape is a full service lawn care company. We have served the Gastonia, NC community for 12 years. We hold a landscaping business license from the City of Gastonia; certification to apply lawn care products from the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services; and maintain general liability insurance for the business. If you are have interest for us to visit your Gastonia, NC property for a free consultation for lawn care maintenance, contact us today at (704) 813-2545. Click here to contact us via email.