Mowing your lawn properly is one of the most important things you do for your lawn all year. You may think that once the snow recedes and spring emerges that dusting off the lawn mower and mowing every once in a while will get the job done. Well, at Lawn Love, we know that there's a little more to it than that when it comes to mowing lawns in the Great Lakes State. That's why we offer our services all over Michigan. You can find us in:
- Sterling Heights
- Farmington Hills
- Dearborn Heights
- Rochester Hills
- Redford Charter Township
And we do a lot more than simply mow lawns. Our teams of skilled and experienced lawn care technicians perform:
- Lawn Mowing
- Lawn Fertilization
- Lawn Aeration
- Weed Control
- Lawn Seeding
- Yard Clean Up
- Leaf Removal
- Gutter Cleaning
- Snow Removal
Whether you're going to have professionals care for your lawn or you're going to tackle it yourself, it always pays to know a little about how to keep your lawn healthy and thriving. Here are a few of our tips to help you care for your lawn and mow it the right way.
Get to Know Your Grass
The first step to caring for your lawn properly is knowing what type of grass you have growing in it. In Michigan, there are a few common types of grass. They are:
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Fine Fescues
You may also find bentgrass growing in your lawn, but in Michigan, it's more of a weed than actual turf because it's not resistant to drought or heat and tends to look rough in otherwise healthy-looking lawns.
Another important aspect of lawn mowing is understanding ideal mowing height. This largely depends on the kind of grass you have growing, because there are slight differences between ideal mowing heights for different varieties of turfgrass. In general, the ideal mowing height is:
- Kentucky Bluegrass — 2.5 to 3.0 inches
- Ryegrass — 1.5 to 2.5 inches
- Fine Fescues — 3.0 to 3.5 inches
Why is this important? The grasses grown in lawns have adapted well to frequent cutting, but if you mow too short then you reduce the plant's ability to make food for itself through photosynthesis. The goal when mowing is to leave enough leaf on the plant catch sunlight, which it then turns into food. Plus, taller grasses help to shade the soil underneath, reducing the chances that weeds will take root.
How Often to Mow
One of the questions on every homeowner's mind is just how often they should mow. This answer isn't as cut and dry as you'd probably like it to be. In general, you don't want to cut off more than one-third of the grass blade when you mow. So, when it's growing fast in the spring this may mean mowing every four to five days. But when the growth slows down in the heat of summer, then you may not need to mow quite as often.
If you've missed a mow and the lawn has grown longer than you want, don't try to cut corners by lowering the height of your blade and cutting the lawn shorter. You can damage the lawn, causing the grass to lose water, and make it more susceptible to pests, weeds, and disease. Cut it high, then go back a few days later and cut it again to get it to the desired height.
What About Clippings?
Many people don't like the look of clippings left on the lawn from mowing, but it's actually really good for your lawn to leave them where they lay. Plus, in Michigan laws restrict the dumping of yard waste into landfills, so it's better if you leave them on your lawn anyway.
If you're worried about clippings contributing to problems with thatch, you don't need to be. The parts of the plant cut off during mowing contain mostly water, so they break down fast and provide your lawn with much-needed nutrients to keep it healthy. Think of it this way: When you leave lawn clippings, then you'll have to fertilize less. It's a winning situation for everyone!
A Few More Tips
There are a few more small details that are important to remember when mowing your lawn. You should:
- Never mow a wet lawn
- Keep your mowing blades sharp
- Change the direction you mow frequently
There you have it! Now you're ready to maintain a healthy, happy, and lush lawn all season long. Of course, if you're rather hit the beach or take the family to enjoy taffy and fudge on Mackinac Island, the experts at Lawn Love are always here to help!