5 Grass Cutting Mistakes You Might Be Making

Sure, a freshly cut lawn may look great, but done improperly, mowing can put a lot of stress on grass plants, injuring roots and blades, making it easier for turf to become infected and even killing the plants. Many homeowners don’t know the do’s and don’ts of good mowing, and they may actually be doing more harm than good. To see if your mowing technique is up to par, have a look at the five most common mowing mistakes most homeowners make:

Mowing too soon after planting sod

New grass plants need time to adjust to their new environment. After a deep “watering in,” sod should remain unmowed for at least two weeks to allow roots a chance to grab hold of the soil and begin drawing up necessary nutrients.

Hiring Amateurs

Many homeowners try to save a few dollars by hiring an unskilled person to cut their lawn during the summer; after all, it’s “just” grass – what’s to know? A lot, as it turns out. Professional lawn care specialists understand turf’s special needs and how to properly treat it so it won’t become diseased or die. A little more money spent on proper care can protect your bigger investment in a beautiful lawn and even improve your property value.

Cutting it Too Short

When grass blades are drastically shortened, the plant can go into shock, causing it to turn brown, become infected by fungus or diseases or even die. A good rule of thumb: Never cut off more than a third of the height when you mow. That means that if you want to keep your lawn at about two inches in height, you shouldn’t let it grow beyond three inches before cutting again. If you do let it exceed three inches, don’t make the mistake of thinking you can mow an inch in the morning and then another inch in the afternoon; ideally, you want several days to pass between mowings to allow the plants to recover before subjecting them to another cutting.

Using Dull Blades

Dull mower blades tear the grass, weakening roots and leaving ragged edges that can allow fungus and diseases to enter the plant more easily. Torn, uneven edges also tend to make the lawn appear brownish even though the underlying plants may be healthy. Before mowing your lawn, take some time to carefully inspect the blades to ensure they’re sharp.

Mowing Too Soon After Seeding

Grass seed needs time to penetrate the soil and form healthy root systems. When the soil or young seedlings are subjected to too much traffic like the back and forth motion of mowing, tender new shoots can be damaged and killed. Ideally, wait until your new lawn is at least three inches high before mowing it for the first time.

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