One of the most important things you can do for your lawn's health is mow your lawn the right way. Your lawn may not look like Arrowhead Stadium, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't aim high for your Missouri lawn! At Lawn Love, we understand the quest for lawn care and maintenance that's practical, which is why we offer an array of services 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 in:
- Kansas City, MO
- Springfield, MO
- St. Louis, MO
Since mowing your Missouri lawn is so important, we've decided to share a few tips you need to make sure you're doing it right.
What's Growing in Your Lawn?
The first step to mowing your lawn properly is figuring out what type of grass you have growing there because it takes the guesswork out of how to care for it. In Missouri, the most common types cool-season grasses are:
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Tall Fescue
The most common warm-season grasses are:
- St. Augustinegrass
Because Missouri is subject to both cold temperatures in winter and warm temperatures in summer, due to its position in the transitional climate zone, most people have a mix of warm-season grasses and cool-season grasses to keep their lawns green all year long. Warm-season grasses will thrive in the hot summers while cool-season grasses will thrive in cooler temperatures.
Ideal Mowing Height
Each type of grass has an ideal height you should cut it to in order to keep it resistant to drought, free from disease and pests, and keep weeds at bay. The ideal heights are:
- Kentucky Bluegrass — 3.0 to 3.5 inches
- Tall Fescue — 2.5 to 3.5 inches
- Bentgrass — 1.0 to 2.0 inches
- Ryegrass — 2.0 to 3.0 inches
- Zoysiagrass — 1.0 to 2.0
- Bermudagrass — 0.50 to 1.0 inches
- St. Augustinegrass — 2.0 to 3.0 inches
- Centipedegrass — 1.0 to 2.0 inches
- Buffalograss — 2.0 to 3.0 inches
Right before the spring green-up or at the end of its growing season, you should mow warm-season grasses to the lower end of their ideal height range. This will help them to grow healthier in the spring, then you can gradually raise the height of the mower as the summer wears on.
Mowing your lawn isn't something you should do on a set schedule. The frequency of the mow should be dictated by the height of your lawn, which can be impacted by a variety of factors such as weather. The most important thing to remember is that you never want to cut off more than one-third of the grass blade at a time. If you cut off too much at once, then you risk scalping your lawn and making it more susceptible to environmental stressors — plus, it won't look very good!
A Few More Mowing Tips
There are a few more important things to highlight to help you reach lawn mowing success. First, make sure your mower is up to the task. The blades should be sharpened to cut the grass cleanly without tearing it, otherwise, it could cause water loss and lead to some unsightly spots on your lawn.
It's also important to switch up the direction in which you mow your lawn. If you follow the same pattern each time the grass can start to lean or fall in the direction you mow, resulting in an uneven cut that doesn't look great and isn't healthy for your lawn.
Finally, make sure to leave the clippings on the lawn. If you're mowing as frequently as your lawn needs, then the light layer of clippings will actually add to the overall health of your turf. The clippings will decompose and return essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, back to the soil. And don't worry — it won't add to any kind of thatch problem.
Mowing your Missouri lawn takes time and patience, requiring you to understand some of the subtle details of your lawn and how to care for it. If you need help tackling your turf, the pros at Lawn Love are always here to lend you a hand!