Caring for your Maine lawn is an important part of life. When you really think about it, lawns provide an area where you and your family can play and relax, they create a sense of home, and they make your house look really nice!
At Lawn Love, we know the ins and outs of lawn care and maintenance. That's why we offer these services in and around Portland, Maine:
- Lawn Mowing
- Lawn Fertilization
- Lawn Aeration
- Weed Control
- Lawn Seeding
- Yard Clean Up
- Leaf Removal
- Gutter Cleaning
- Snow Removal
Lawn care sure can be challenging, but with the help of the pros at Lawn Love, it's a challenge you can face. Here are some of our best lawn mowing tips to help get your lawn off to a great start this season!
Just the Facts
Mowing doesn't just make your lawn look good, it also helps to keep your lawn healthy and free from weeds and disease. But to do it right, there are a few important things to take into consideration such as:
- Type of grass
- Environmental Conditions
- Stage of growth
If you can determine these facts, then you're on firm footing in your lawn.
Type of Grass
When it comes to the different types of grass that are best to grow in Maine, there are a few basic types that thrive in the climate. You may have one or a mixture of the following:
- Kentucky Bluegrass — This cool-season grass is the most common type grown in Maine. It has a high tolerance for wear but needs fertilizers, regular irrigation, and well-drained soil to thrive.
- Fine Fescues — Fine fescues can be found in three different varieties: red, chewings, and hard. They all have a high tolerance but aren't well suited for heavy traffic.
- Tall Fescues — This grass does best in weed-controlled soil and handles drought and heat well. It does require overseeding or weeds can easily creep in.
- Bentgrass — This type of grass grows easily due to its shallow root system and does well in high traffic areas.
- Ryegrass — This grass is slow to establish itself and is best when mixed with Kentucky bluegrass. It has a poor tolerance for heat and cold, but it does withstand foot traffic well. It does require a bit more fertilizer and watering than other types of grass.
If you aren't sure what type of grass is growing in your lawn, then this identification tool just might help!
Ideal Mowing Height
You should never cut more than one-third of the height of the grass off at once. If you ignore this cardinal rule of mowing, then you could damage your lawn and make it susceptible to pests, disease, and damage. Plus, it won't look very good since it increases the chances of patches of your lawn turning brown, or worse — dying.
Once you know the type of grass growing in your lawn, you should try to keep it at its ideal mowing height. The ideal heights for grasses that thrive in Maine are:
- Fescues — 3.0 to 4.0 inches
- Kentucky Bluegrass — 2.5 to 3.5 inches
- Bentgrass — 0.25 to 0.75 inches
- Ryegrass — 1.5 to 2.5 inches
Cool-season grasses, such as the kind that grows best in Maine, are generally grasses that thrive if you cut them high.
When the dog days of summer are upon you, then you'll want to make some changes to the way you mow. You should mow just a little bit higher to help protect your grass. It will guard the root systems, encourage more photosynthesis, and provide more leaf area -- which all work together to help the grass withstand the stress of high summer temperatures.
You should also remember that lawns will grow fastest in their ideal weather conditions. So, in the spring and fall when temperatures are milder, you'll likely see rapid growth. This might mean you need to mow your lawn more frequently to keep it within the parameters of its ideal height.
The Stage of Growth
If you have an established lawn then you should start to mow when the grass begins growing, usually in May. If you have a newly established lawn, you should wait for it to grow to about four inches before mowing for the first time, but you shouldn't let it get too long before the first mow.
It's very important to keep your equipment in tip-top shape. Always have your mower blades sharpened at the beginning of each season. This will ensure your blade makes a clean cut rather than tearing the blade of grass, which results in water loss and may make your lawn turn brown.
Contrary to what you might think, there's no reason to remove the clippings from your lawn. While you may think it looks nicer to rake them up, when you remove clippings you're removing essential nutrients from your lawn too. As the clippings decompose, they supply your lawn with nitrogen and add organic matter back into the soil. It won't create a thatch problem because the clippings break down quickly.
If you'd rather spend your summer enjoying the great outdoors rather than mow it, don't forget that the pros at Lawn Love are always here to help!