Having a Virginia lawn a cut above the rest may be your goal, but it's not going to happen without understanding a few important things about your lawn! At Lawn Love, we strive to deliver the quality lawn care across Virginia. That's why you can find us in:
- Arlington, VA
- Northern Virginia
- Falls Church
- Norfolk/Virginia Beach, VA
- Richmond, VA
We provide an array of services to meet all the needs of your Virginia lawn, such as:
- Lawn Mowing
- Lawn Fertilization
- Lawn Aeration
- Weed Control
- Lawn Seeding
- Yard Clean Up
- Leaf Removal
- Gutter Cleaning
- Snow Removal
Whether you choose to care for your lawn on your own or enlist the help of the pros at Lawn Love, it pays to know the needs of your lawn, especially when it comes to one of the most common things you do: mowing. Here are some essential lawn mowing tips for your Virginia lawn.
Get to Know Your Grass
Virginia is right in the middle of the transitional climate zone, meaning it has cold winters and hot summers. Both cool-season and warm-season grasses can grow in Virginia. The most common grasses found are:
- Tall Fescue
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Fine Leaf Fescue
- St. Augustinegrass
If you need help identifying what type of grass you've got growing, you can use this easy grass identification tool to help!
The reason it's so important to understand the type of grass you have growing is that the information can be used to understand what height your grass should be mowed to. The ideal mowing heights for the different types of grasses is:
- Tall Fescue — 2.0 to 3.0 inches
- Kentucky Bluegrass — 1.5 to 2.5 inches
- Ryegrass — 1.0 to 2.5 inches
- Bermudagrass — 1.0 to 2.5 inches
- Zoysiagrass — 1.0 to 2.5 inches
- St. Augustinegrass — 2.0 to 3.0 inches
Remember, cool-season grasses such as fescues, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass will grow their best — and fastest — at cooler temperatures. Usually between about 60 and 75 degrees, making them grow fastest in early spring to early summer and then in the fall.
Warm-season grasses will do best when the temperatures is between 80 and 95 degrees. In Virginia, the dormancy period of warm-season grasses tends to be about three months when the temperatures are cooler.
How often you mow depends on how fast the grass is growing. Each grass will require more frequent mowing when they're at their peak of the growing season. When you mow, you should never cut off more than one-third of the grass blade at a time if you want to keep your lawn healthy, so use that as a guide to help you know when it's time to mow.
If you have cool-season grasses, you should also make sure to cut it at the taller end of its ideal height in the late spring and early summer. This will help to create a strong root system and make it more tolerant to pressure from the environment as temperatures rise as well as pests.
Sharpen Your Blades
When it comes to your lawn mower, make sure you keep that blade sharp! Sharp mower blades will cut the grass cleanly, helping to reduce water loss and keep it healthier. Dull blades will tear the grass, making it more susceptible to disease and pests that could wreak some serious havoc in your lawn!
Anytime you notice white or brown tips on your grass, then it's time to get that mower blade sharpened.
Mow When Its Dry
The blades of your mower can get a cleaner cut on dry blades of grass, so make sure to mow only when it's dry out. Otherwise, wet blades of grass can clump together or fall over, resulting in an unattractive cut that can kill the grass underneath. Plus, it can clog your mower deck.
Remember, even in the best conditions, mowing is stressful for your lawn. If you mow when it's wet or when it's the hottest part of the day, it stresses the grass even more. Wait until the cooler part of the day to mow so your lawn can recover faster, and you won't get overheated in the hot Virginia sun either!
Recycle the Clippings
Should you leave your lawn clippings or not? This is a question debated by a lot of homeowners, but the truth of the matter is that grass clippings are good for your lawn. They often decompose so quickly that they won't contribute to a buildup of thatch and they'll return important nutrients back to the grass. It saves you time and, in the long run, money because it means you'll have to fertilize less in order to keep your lawn healthy and happily fed.
If you have questions or concerns about your Virginia lawn, the pros at Lawn Love are always here to help!