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Mowing: Rule #1 - Sharp Blades

  • The quickest way to improve lawn quality and turf health is to mow with a sharp blade.
  • Cutting with a dull blade results in jagged edges at the cut and provides a point where diseases can enter plant.  
  • Sharpen the blade at least three times per growing season
    • Start the year off with a sharp blade (perhaps you can do this when you put the mower away for the winter).
    • Sharpen it again in late spring.
    • Once more in mid-late summer.

Mowing: Rule #2 - Don't Cut Too Much!

  • Use the "1/3rd rule" of mowing.MowerBladeSharpness
  • Never remove more than 1/3rd of the leaf blade at any single mowing.
  • Removing most of the foliage in a cutting shocks the plant.
  • Forces the plant to redirect its food resources from roots and stems to growing new leaves.
  • If the grass has gotten away from you, resist the temptation to scalp it in a single mowing.
  • Instead, slowly drop the mowing height every 2-3 days while returning the turf to its ideal cutting height.

Mowing: Rule #3: Don't Bag Those Clippings

  • Return clippings as often as possible to your turf.
  • Clippings are nothing more than organic fertilizer for your lawn.
  • Follow the 1/3rd rule, you will never produce enough clippings to cause problems with your lawn.

Mowing: When to Stop?

  • sharpen_blade_295231760If environmental conditions, no rain, hot temperatures or a combination of both, cause the grass to stop growing...stop mowing.
  • Continued mowing will cause more stress to the grass plants.
  • Fescue grasses will turn brown under stress conditions and is nothing more then the plants protective response. They will usually recover with adequate moisture.