The Importance of Proper Mowing in the Spring
It’s officially the Spring season! We know you are ready to get out in your yard and start working if you haven’t already. We want to caution you to maintain proper care for your lawn this time of year.
Mowing is usually one of the first things you want to get started with in the spring. Many of us in the Southeast haven’t been out in the yard for a few months now, and want to make sure we get our lawn green by the time summer arrives (unless you have Fescue grass of course). Mowing can help you achieve a healthy, green lawn and prevent diseases, but only if done properly.
The proper height for mowing in the spring depends on the type of grass you have as well as the conditions of your lawn.
For each type of grass, you should always use a sharp mower blade. A dull mower blade will tear the grass blade rather than making a clean cut. It will and weaken its health making it more susceptible to disease and have a dull, browned appearance. This is an entry way for pathogens.
Take a look at how you should be mowing your lawn right now, depending on the type of grass you have:
Mowing your warm season grass
For each of the warm season grasses, you should mow frequently enough that no more than ⅓ of the grass blade is removed during each cut.
Your Bermuda lawn should be maintained between .75 and 1.5 inches. In the spring, you want to perform what is called “scalping.” Set your mower on the lowest setting, which will make it easier to maintain the proper height throughout the growing season and help your lawn green up faster.
Your Zoysia lawn should also be maintained between .75 and 1.5 inches. However, there are some varieties that are wider blades and can be maintained slightly taller. While a sharp blade is important for all grass types, the turf density of Zoysia as well as its susceptibility to Zoysia patch fungus make it especially important to use a sharp blade.
St. Augustine grass should be maintained between 2-3 inches in height during the spring and summer months.
Mowing your cool season grass
In the Spring (usually beginning in May), your Fescue grass should be at least 3 inches. As the weather heats up, your grass should maintain a height of less than 3 inches. This will increase the levels of heat stress on the turf and increase its disease susceptibility. In general, mowing should be done weekly throughout the year (except when new grass is present). Be careful to never cut off more than 1/3 of the grass blade when mowing. Cutting off too much of the blade at once will deplete the plant’s energy reserves.
Talk to one of our experts to find out what type of grass you have and learn what needs to be done to take care of it. Each lawn is different, and we’re happy to help you understand the basics of taking care of your unique lawn. If you aren’t already a part of our fertilization and weed control program, now is a great time to start. Click here to get a free estimate for your lawn.