The way you mow your lawn can affect its health and appearance, as well as the environment. Here are some tips to make the most of your mowing efforts.
Mowing Height: for grasses such as tall fescue, the most common grass in our area, and bluegrass, mowing height should be at least 2 inches, preferably 3 inches. Mowing at this height allows the grass to shade the soil, conserving water and discouraging weeds. Shorter grasses—creeping red fescue, perennial rye, or Zoysiagrass—mowing height can be 1 ½ to 2 inches.
Grass Clippings: recycling of grass clippings, grasscycling, can add nutrients and moisture (grass
clippings are 75-85% water) to your lawn, as well as save much needed space in landfills. Leaving fine clippings on your lawn will not smother the grass, nor will it add to the problem of thatch build-up. Grass clippings break down quickly and can also be recycled by composting. Consider also the savings in plastic or recyclable bags.
Mowing Time: optimum mowing time is in the evening so that the lawn has a chance to recover without the stress of mid-day heat. Mow when grass is dry, as wet grass clippings will clump, impeding their filtration down through the turf blades to the soil. Mow only as often as needed to meet the height recommendations listed above.
Mowers: keep the mower blades sharp. Dull blades tear at the grass, leaving the lawn vulnerable to disease. Using a mulching mower makes grasscycling easier.