LAWN CARE 101: MOWING

MOWING YOUR LAWN properly is fundamental to the overall health of your turf

The two main factors in proper mowing are height and frequency.  Both are equally important.

MOWING HEIGHT

Lets start with the mowing height.  There is a different height for each type of grass.  It is always best to mow at the highest recommended setting for your variety of grass.  Mowing below the recommended height is a primary cause of turf injury.  Mowing too short causes more damage than an immediate mechanical turf wound.  This blog will explain how.

When your lawn is consistently cut too short it will remain in a state of stress and be forced to pull stored carbohydrates to repair itself.  Carbohydrates are necessary for turf’s overall ability grow and also to withstand environmental stresses. Mowing too short will therefore leave your turf more vulnerable and less able to fight off drought, foot traffic, cold damage and other environmental conditions.  This article explains how your lawn will use carbohydrates to deal with environmental stress: Environmental Stresses and Your Florida Lawn

Mowing your lawn at the appropriate height will leave enough leaf tissue to convert sunlight into energy in the form of carbohydrates through the process of photosynthesis.  On the other hand, mowing too short will cut into the stem tissue, removing the leaf, and quite literally cut off the plants ability to create energy necessary for growth, repair, and supporting life.  Check out the University of Florida’s mowing recommendations for specific mowing heights for your turf type. Mowing your Florida lawn

MOWING FREQUENCY

The next factor is mowing frequency.  Mow frequently enough to not remove more than 1/3 of leaf tissue.  This is important because mowing at 4″ once a week verses once every 2-3 weeks will produce a very different result.  Your lawn will require weekly mowing from May through September, and only as needed the remainder of the year in Jacksonville.

As the grass grows not only the leaf tissue is growing upward but also the stem tissue.  A 4″ cut when performed once a week will leave enough leaf tissue to sustain the life of the grass. Mowing every 2-3 weeks will not produce that same result.  As the plant increases in height the height of the stem tissue will also raise.  It is possible to mow at the correct height and still remove 100% of the leaf tissue.  This will force your lawn to pull energy to repair itself while at the same time cutting off it’s ability to convert sunlight into energy.  If the grass is then asked to fight off other environmental conditions such as drought or foot traffic it often does not have the energy and the result is death of the plant.

For more help with mowing or inquiries about our monthly lawn care service feel free to give us a call!

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