Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's Mowing Season?

Despite the crazy weather we're having this year, the flowers are blooming, trees are budding, and the grass is growing. Spring is my favorite time of year because of all the pretty colors and smells. In fact, just this past weekend I spent the entire afternoon outside watching the kids play while spring cleaning the car and garage. We have a flower bed in our front yard that houses hyacinths and daffodils I planted a couple seasons ago that really multiplied this year. I could smell their fragrant scent all day! It was great!

I also couldn't help but notice that a neighbor's yard had been mowed and it was horribly scalped. Ouch! They've done worse things to their yard like spray Kills-All in the lawn to kill some weeds, resulting in dead weeds and grass. That was last summer and those spots are still trying to recover even after planting seed there. Oh well, not everyone has a green thumb! Mowing at the proper height, though, is not difficult. By keeping your mower blades sharpened and at the right height, your lawn will look well groomed and healthy. Keep in mind, this is your lawn, not a golf course! Short is not the goal - healthy is! Here are a few mowing tips for a healthy turf:

1. Don't mow more than 1/3 of the grass blade. Most lawns should be about 2 1/2" to 3" in length. By cutting more than 1/3 of the blade, you expose the root system to direct sunlight, it dries out and dies.

2. Make sure your blades are sharpened each season to avoid tearing and splintering the tips of the blades - which results in the lawn looking dry and brownish.

3. Mow weekly. When you let the lawn grow too long, you get back to the "removing more than 1/3 of the blade" problem and the lawn looks bad - yellowish and not attractive. If circumstances prevent you from mowing one week, mow the grass at the highest level on your mower and then again a few days later at the normal height.

4. Prevent thatch build-up. By mulching too often or leaving too much mulch in the lawn after not mowing regularly, you can possibly smother the lawn and increase thatch-build up. Thatch is the layer of leaves and grass clippings that settle into the lawn. When this layer of thatch gets more than an inch thick, it prevents water absorption and creates a shallow root system. Aerating in early Spring, preferably March, helps reduce thatch and allows thicker, stronger grass to grow, which also helps choke out weeds, resulting in a beautiful, healthy lawn.

If you find yourself too busy to care for your lawn this year, give us a call and we'll be happy to maintain your lawn for you! We also aerate and power rake.