A beautiful lawn is never an accident. And among all of the things that make a lawn look its best, mowing properly is one of the most important. Keeping your lawn a cut above the rest is really very simple. You'll be well on your way to having a picture-perfect lawn by following these basic guidelines:

Mow the turf high

Set the mower on one of the highest settings. Setting the blade too low scalps the lawn and removes most of the food-producing parts of the plant. The result is a brown lawn that takes many weeks to recover. A lawn kept clipped at the correct height has more food-producing ability, is able to stay greener, reduces weeds, and conserves water by shading the soil. Taller grass shades the soil which prevents weed and crabgrass seeds from getting the sun and heat they need to sprout, and reduces water loss from evaporation.

Determine appropriate mowing frequency

Mow more often during periods of heavy growth. Lawns grow at very different rates season to season. Turf produces much more top growth during the spring and fall, and your mowing schedule should match the growth of your lawn. During periods of heavy growth, once a week may not be enough, while every ten days might be fine during the summer. The key to mowing frequency is to never remove more than one-third of the total blade height in a single mowing.

Keep the blade sharp for a clean cut

If you've wondered why some lawns look brown even after periods of rain and cooler weather, it's most likely the result of a dull mower blade shredding the tips of the grass. When a blade is dull, it rips the turf instead of cutting cleanly. The ripped tips then bleach out and turn brown, giving the whole lawn a tan or brown cast. Having the blade sharpened and balanced once per year is usually not enough especially on larger properties. You should touch-up your blade edge with a file or have it re-sharpened 2 to 3 times per year. Remember to always disconnect the spark plug anytime you put your hands into the blade area.

Have questions about mowing?

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