Mowing your lawn or cutting your grass is imperative for getting a healthy garden aesthetic. This is because mowing helps the grass grow thicker around the roots. Each blade of grass has hormones that stop it from growing horizontally. So when you cut it down, the tips get removed and the grass gets to spread more widely and become healthier around the root area.
Now the question is: how often should I cut my grass?
The answer is this: when it starts sprouting after a long winter. Grass tends to wither away and go dormant in winter. The green color of the blades fades away and leaves a tan after-hue. If you live in an area where it snows a lot, then you may even get bald spots after heavy snowfalls.
Therefore, it’s during the spring season when the grass will sprout again because the air will imbue moisture within the blades. So, you need to cut the lawn once before it starts turning green to accommodate healthy growth.
It’s only after this that you can make a regular mowing schedule.
What’s the general mowing schedule for grass?
Once your grass starts growing, you need to set a weekly mowing schedule for it. However, this rule of thumb may vary because some grasses grow at a different rate than others. Do remember not to cut off more than one-third of the grass blade. Anything more can harm your lawn.
Step-by-step grass mowing guide:
- Trimming: First of all, you need to use a string trimmer to take off the tops of the grass blades. This will help reduce the need for raking later.
- Know your mowing height: Different types of grasses have different ideal mowing heights. For example, zoysia grass requires a 1-2 inches height while hybrid Bermuda grass needs a 1-inch height. About the type of grass you have and what’s its optimal mowing height read below.
- Double-check your blade height: This step requires you to put the mower on a hard surface, take out the spark plug, and check out the height of the blades with a tape measure. Patch test this new setting on a small part of your lawn before taking on the rest.
- Mow dry grass: Make sure that your grass is completely dry when you’re mowing it because wet grass cuts in an uneven manner. The clippings also get matted to the grass, which requires extensive raking to take off. Otherwise they’d smother the cut grass.
- Rake the clumps away: After the mowing process, you need to rake away the clumps but you can leave the fine clippings as is because they can easily decompose on the soil.
Mowing different types of grass
Now, there are many different types of grasses and you need to learn the tells of when they require a mowing. Let’s take a look:
How often and how short to cut Zoysia Grass
This is a warm-season grass that prefers the sun, can tolerate a bit of winter, and is resilient enough to survive drought and high-traffic. It’s an Asian native, but has been around the USA for a while now. It actively starts growing in spring and fully blooms in the summers. It’s very dense and features a light to medium green color that looks super fresh.
As far as mowing zoysia grass is concerned, you should let it grow to a height of at least 2 – 2.5 inches before cutting it off to 1 or 1.5 inches. Cutting it to a less than or equal to 1-inch height will require a reel mowing. This warm-season grass requires a weekly trimming during its peak growing season.
How often and how tall to cut Bermuda Grass
This is another warm-season grass that is well-known for its amazing heat and drought resilience qualities. It requires a lot of sunlight to reach its peak growing potential. It also requires good drainage to maintain its green visuals. It can even preserve its fresh green hue in snow-free winters. It shows high tolerance for salt and heavy foot traffic, but it also requires a lot of maintenance and nutrients to grow well.
You should adhere to a regular 5-7 day mowing schedule for Bermuda grass. It’s a species that requires to be cut short. If you don’t cut it regularly, the bottom 2/3 of the blades will start becoming a dry tawny brown due to a lack of proper light. The average height of a Bermuda grass blade should be maintained to a height of 0.5 to 1.5 inches. You should also water it once every 2-3 days to retain that dense look.
How often and how short to cut St. Augustine Grass
This warm-season turf grass has a dark green hue and a coarse texture. It also has a dense grown habit that complements almost all soil types. It grows well in summer and is highly resilient against eat, salt, and even drought. It can also tolerate shade, but doesn’t go well with waterlogged soil areas. It’s a highly aggressive species that can hold its own against weeds if managed properly.
The mowing schedule of St. Augustine grass can be set within 5-14 days with ease. You need to set the mowing height at 2.5 to 3 inches. It needs to be 3 to 3.5 inches in shady lawns. Remember that the lower the mowing height of your grass, the more frequently you’ll have to cut it.
Should you change the direction you mow?
Another part of that is the direction in which you mow it. a lot of people will do a square or a circle constantly. Over time you will be able to see that imprint in the grass.
A good way of mowing would be to change your direction. Each time you mow go across, go up and down, go at an angle, go at another angle that gives you four ways.
Did you enjoy this tutorial? You’ll find a lot of technical information here that you might not have thought of otherwise!
Do try it out on your own grass and let me know the results in the comments!