It might look good immediately after mowing, but it could be killing your lawn.
Before the invention of the mower, bluegrass (the prevalent turf in the Salt Lake Valley) grew long blades full of chlorophyll which captured the energy of the sun and provided energy to the grass. Mowing the lawn too short reduces the amount of chlorophyll exposed to the sun, increases the amount of water needed for the lawn because of evaporation from un-shaded soil, and generally stresses the plant. Cutting the lawn too short isn’t healthy for the plants and will look worse in the long run.
Here are six steps to help you keep your lawn looking great all season long:
- Never cut more than 1/3 of the turfgrass blades off at any given mowing. This reduces plant stress.
- Set the mower as high as you can bring yourself to do. Mow no less often than usual. This will develop into the uniform look you want, just at a higher level.
- The longer the turfgrass blades are above the ground, the longer the roots can develop below the surface. This allows better water absorption and reduces potential water stress.
- Less stressed turfgrass can better resist damage from fungus and insects.
- Mowing your turfgrass shorter first thing in the spring to remove overwintered dead tissue is OK. Raise the blade height over several cuttings to get to the preferred height. Mowing the last time of the year at a lower level is a good step to remove tissues that would otherwise die anyway, reducing the potential for fungus damage.
- Apply water correctly.
Keeping your lawn a little longer will help keep it healthy, lush, and free of disease. If you have questions, please feel free to stop by and visit any of our expert gardeners at Western Gardens—and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook.
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