Mowing is mowing, right?

No, mowing is not mowing. Far from it. While mowing is basic maintenance, it is a major contributor to overall lawn health and proper mowing technique can promote and foster a healthy lawn. So while it may be a simple and repetitious task, it can go a long way to a healthy lawn. Here's how. First, make sure you begin each season with a sharp blade. If you can't sharpen the blade yourself, find someone who can. Most small communities have a lawnmower shop or hardware store that offers this inexpensive service. OK, so you have a sharp blade, now what? Mow your grass tall and frequently. What does that mean? Simple. Tall grass is healthier and helps choke out weeds. So adjust the height on your mower so that the cut length of your grass is 3-4 inches. Second, as grass grows quickly in the spring, you should mow frequently to avoid lopping off more than one third of the total leaf surface. So if the desired length is 3 inches, that means you should mow every time your grass reaches 4.5 inches. That may mean mowing twice a week when grass is growing really fast. There are mixed opinions on changing up your mowing patterns. Some folks say you should alternate the pattern in which you mow, some say it doesn't matter. The one thing to consider in this area is whether or not your lawn mower is creating ruts in the lawn. This is most common with riding mowers. If you have a riding mower and you're mowing over soft soil, ruts can develop. Especially after mowing the same pattern week after week. If so, change up your pattern to avoid ruts. For those with a push mower, do want you want...sometimes a change in mowing pattern is a good way to break up the monotony. So as spring rain and mild temps cause your lawn to grow fast, consider these tips to ensure it remains healthy all season long. Happy mowing!