Idaho is known for its beautiful landscapes, but there’s likely only one that you put time and effort into – your own lawn. At Lawn Love, we understand the importance of caring for a lawn with creativity and consistency, which is why we offer a large array of services in and around Boise, such as:
- Lawn Mowing
- Lawn Fertilization
- Lawn Aeration
- Weed Control
- Lawn Seeding
- Yard Clean Up
- Leaf Removal
- Gutter Cleaning
- Snow Removal
The way you mow your Idaho lawn is the difference between a healthy, thriving lawn and a lawn that looks sad and neglected. In fact, lawn mowing – while a common activity – is an incredibly important one. Don’t take it for granted!
Here are a few of our best lawn mowing tips to help you (and your lawn) get off to a great start!
What’s Growing in Your Lawn?
The very first thing you should do in order to understand how to mow your lawn properly is to find out what type of grass you have growing in it. In Idaho, the most common types of turf grasses found are:
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Fine Fescue
- Tall Fescue
- Blue Grama
Buffalograss and blue grama warm-season grasses native to the plains in the west. In Idaho, buffalograss can be dormant for up to seven months of the year and when active grows very slowly. Blue grama grows well in areas with low precipitation and is a low maintenance grass.
The rest of the grasses listed are cool-season, meaning they’ll grow best at cooler temperatures in the spring and fall. Kentucky bluegrass is a very common variety found in Idaho. In the southern parts of the state, ryegrass is very effective in establishing lawns in the climate, so it’s a common type of grass as well. If you need help identifying which type of grass you have, this turf identification tool can help!
Ideal Mowing Height
Now that you’re familiar with the type of grass growing in your lawn, you can understand how to care for it. Mowing the type of grass you have to its ideal height each time you mow will have the biggest impact on its health and hardiness. The ideal mowing height for grasses that may be growing in your Idaho lawn are:
- Ryegrass – 1.5 to 2.5 inches
- Kentucky Bluegrass – 2.5 to 3.0 inches
- Fine Fescue – 2.0 to 3.0 inches
- Tall Fescue – 2.0 to 3.0 inches
- Buffalograss – 1.0 to 2.5 inches
- Blue Grama – 2.0 to 3.0 inches
Mowing your lawn to the higher end of the height spectrum is a good thing. While you want to make sure you never cut off more than one-third of the height of the grass when you mow, leaving it longer provides the grass with more leaf area to absorb the sun’s ray and create food from it. It also shades the soil, giving weeds less of a chance of germinating and taking root in your lawn. Taller grass also develops a deeper root system that makes it more tolerant to heat and drought.
Let your lawn guide you when it comes to mowing frequency. At certain times in the season, you may need to mow a couple of times a week. In others, once a week or every 10 days may suffice. Don’t worry as much about mowing on a schedule – mow when your grass reaches a certain height instead.
Your Lawn Mower
An artist has his paintbrush – you have your lawn mower! It’s important to keep your lawn mower in good working order for the health of your lawn and your safety too! When it comes to mowing, one of the most important factors is the sharpness of your blade. A sharp mower blade will cut the grass cleanly, shocking it less as you mow and encouraging good health. Dull mower blades, on the other hand, tear the grass. This causes water loss that can impact its health and cause discoloration. It’s a good idea to have two sets of blades – one to use and one to keep sharp as a backup.
What About the Clippings?
Some people leave the clippings on the lawn while other rake them up – which is right? Well, it really depends on the circumstance, but generally, leaving the clippings on the lawn after you mow is the right choice.
When you mow as frequently as you should, the clippings will decompose quickly, a process that returns water and vital nutrients back to your soil. It won’t contribute to problems with thatch, either.
There are a couple of other important things to remember as you mow. First, try to alternate your pattern and direction when you mow. Mowing the same way every time will eventually cause the grass to lean in the direction you mow, which will result in an uneven cut that can impact your lawn’s health. The wheels of your mower can also cause problems with soil compaction, so varying your route is recommended.
Finally, only mow when the lawn is dry. It’s much safer for you and better for your lawn, too. Plus, you don’t want to mower deck to get clogged up with wet grass clippings that will clump together on your lawn and possibly smother the grass beneath.
Caring for your lawn is something that requires consistency and reliability. If you need help, never forget the pros at Lawn Love are here to help!