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Lawn Mowing Tips

No Putting Greens

Many people think that by cutting their lawn really short, they will have to mow their lawn less often. Most grass types can safely be moved to 2 to 2-1/2 inches tall. Any shorter than that and you risk stunting your lawn's growth. Really short grass does not retain as much water as longer grass. Different types of grass require a different mowing heights. For more information on what height to cut a specific type of grass, contact your local college extension.

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Don't Cut Too Much at Once

Don't mow more than 1/3 of the grass height in one mowing. If you need to cut really long grass, mow it over a couple of days, cutting 1/3rd of the grass on each day. If your grass is growing too quickly, try scaling back how much you water it. You may also be using too much fertilizer.

Sharp Blades

It's important to have sharp mowing blades. Dull blades don't cut the grass, they tear it. This causes stress to your lawn and makes it more susceptible to disease and insect problems. When grass is torn rather than cut, it can also develop a brown appearance.

Mow in Different Directions

Mow in a different direction each time you mow your lawn. This will help prevent wear patterns that can develop when grass is always pushed in the same direction. Mow at a right angle to the previous direction that you mowed.

Don't Bag It, Use It

Use the grass clippings to help feed your lawn. The clippings will work as slow release fertilizer for your lawn and help encourage growth. If the grass clippings are in clumps, use a rake to spread them out. Clumps of grass will create a thatch problem which will smother the grass and discourage its growth.

Don't Mow Wet Grass

Try to avoid mowing your lawn when it's wet. The clippings will stick to the blade and interior of the mower and will clog it. Also, clippings will clump together, and won't disperse throughout the lawn. If you are letting clippings fall back into the lawn, rather than bagging them, you won't want the grass clumped together. If you do mow grass when it's a little wet, spray the blade with some spray cooking oil (like Pam) to help prevent sticking.

Cleaning Up After Mowing

Use a blower or broom to clean grass clippings off of walkways and make sure to remove grass from any drains to prevent clogging. If you are bagging your grass clippings, be sure to compost them instead of throwing them away. If you don't want the grass clippings, you probably have a neighbor with a compost pile that would love them. Use a broom or blower to clean under the mower.

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