Mowing 101: How to care for your Indianapolis-area lawn.

Lawn Pride fertilizer and weed controlOK, so lawns are actively growing and that means you are actively mowing. And while you may think of mowing as a tedious chore,  proper mowing is actually critical to the health of your lawn? Let’s face it. Every aspect of lawn care, from fertilization and weed control to mowing, is an effort to tame Mother Nature. Grass wants to grow. It wants to grow to seed so that it can reproduce. As homeowners, we don’t want grass to grow. But it does. So we mow it. Grass tolerates mowing well as long as we follow some basic rules.

Mow tall. 

Because grass wants to grow to seed it would rather be taller than shorter. So don’t mow short. Set your mower to the highest setting (or maybe a notch down). Some homeowners love the look of a golf course fairway and think they can replicate that look at home. Nope. Golf course have a team of turf specialists to tend to the grass daily and spend thousands of dollars to maintain that look. Most homeowner’s don’t have those resources. Besides, short grass is not healthy. And it allows weeds to pop through. The best thing you can do is compromise with the grass and mow it tall, between 3-4 inches, so it remains healthy (and as a side benefit, the tall grass will block out weeds).

Mow often. 

Most of us mow weekly. It’s sort of a programmed task. But during the spring and fall when grass grows quickly, you may need to mow more often. You should never remove more than one third of the plant per mow. Why? The grass blades are how the plant produces food. The bigger the blade, the more food it can produce. When you mow short, you reduce the food-making capacity of the grass plant. That makes for an unhealthy plant. So…that means if the ideal height of grass is 3-4 inches, you should mow every time it grows to 5-6 inches. That may mean mowing a couple times a week during the spring and fall. During the summer grass slows down and doesn’t need to be mowed as often.

Taming Mother Nature is not easy and does require a little bit of work. It may mean you mow more than once a week and it may mean you compromise on the grass height, but in the end your effort will be rewarded with a great looking lawn.

If you have any questions regarding lawn care, please give us a call or shoot us an email.