No doubt about it – lawn care takes a lot of time and effort! For many Illinois homeowners, lawn care and maintenance can be overwhelming. That’s why Lawn Love is here to help. We offer a variety of services to fit your needs, such as:
- Lawn Mowing
- Lawn Fertilization
- Lawn Aeration
- Weed Control
- Lawn Seeding
- Yard Clean Up
- Leaf Removal
- Gutter Cleaning
- Snow Removal
You can find us throughout Illinois and the Chicagoland area. Our services are offered in:
- Arlington Heights
- Des Plaines
- Oak Park
- Tinley Park
- Orland Park
Whether you hire someone else to take care of it for you or do it yourself, mowing your lawn is one of the most common but important things you will do. Understanding your lawn’s needs is essential to its health and hardiness, which is why we have put together a few of our most important lawn mowing tips just for you!
What Kind of Grass Do You Have?
Your lawn is probably made up of a few different types of grasses. In Illinois lawns, you’ll most likely find these grasses growing:
- Tall Fescue
- Fine Fescue
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Rough Bluegrass
These are all cool-season grasses, which mean they thrive in the Illinois climate, growing their fastest in the spring and fall. They may go dormant in the heat of summer, meaning their growth slows down.
You may have one or several of these grasses growing in your lawn. If you need help identifying what you have, then this turf identification tool can help!
Ideal Mowing Height
Now that you know what type of grass you have, you can understand what height it should be mowed too. Each type of grass has a height that it does best at, meaning that it has enough leaf area to produce food from sunlight and keep weeds at bay. If you follow these guidelines for mowing height, then you’re encouraging your lawn to be more resistant to disease, pests, drought, heat, and weeds.
The ideal mowing height for common Illinois grasses is:
- Tall Fescue – 2.0 to 3.0 inches
- Ryegrass – 1.5 to 2.5 inches
- Fine Fescue - 2.0 to 3.0 inches
- Kentucky Bluegrass – 2.5 to 3.0 inches
- Rough Bluegrass – 1.0 to 2.5 inches
- Bentgrass – 0.25 to 1.0 inches
The rough bluegrass variety does well in the shade and you should aim to cut any grasses growing in the shade at the taller end of its ideal height spectrum. It’s important to remember that you want to mow frequently enough that you don’t have to take off more than one-third of the height of the grass at once. If you take off too much, you may scalp your lawn – which shocks the grass and can make it more susceptible to environmental stressors. Plus, it won’t look good and that’s the whole point of mowing your lawn the right way!
A Few More Tips
How you mow your lawn is just as important as how often you do it! You should make sure to only mow when the grass is dry, otherwise, you endanger your own safety and the health of your lawn. Wet lawns are a slipping or falling hazard and all that wet grass can clog up your mowing deck too before it spits out in clumps onto your lawn. Mowing when it’s dry is safer and smarter.
Speaking of clippings, what should you do with them? The best strategy for lawn clippings is to leave them. If you’re mowing your lawn as frequently as you should, then the light layer of clippings will decompose quickly and return important water and nutrients back to your soil. Leaving clippings on the lawn is environmentally responsible and it saves you time and money because you’ll have to buy and spread less fertilizer. It’s the way to go!
Also, make sure your mower blades are sharp. Sharp blades provide a clean cut to your grass, putting it under less stress each time you mow. Dull blades will tear the grass, causing it to lose water and discolor. It will make your lawn more susceptible to environmental stressors too. It’s a good idea to always have two sets of blades, one that is sharp and ready to switch out with the other pair on your mower. You can tell blades needs to be sharpened if they are dented, nicked, or bent.
Understanding the ins and outs of lawn care and maintenance is important but can feel overwhelming at times. If you need help keeping up with all your lawn needs, then the pros at Lawn Love are always here to help!