Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Mowing Practices: It's Not Rocket Science, but There Are Correct Ways to Do It

Magazine article Landscape & Irrigation

Mowing Practices: It's Not Rocket Science, but There Are Correct Ways to Do It

Article excerpt

Mowing is but one of several important and labor-intensive practices necessary for the successful management of turfgrass. Others include irrigating, fertilizing, controlling surface and soil insects, fungal disease control, weed control, animal control, thatch control, soil aerifying and topdressing. Combined with other practices, or by itself, mowing can make a vast difference in the appearance and longevity of a given stand of turf. Although many sound mowing recommendations are difficult or unfeasible to adhere to, quality lawns and turf rely on the best efforts to abide by "proper mowing practices."

* Keep mower blades sharp and replace blade drive belts before they get too loose.

* Keep inflatable mower tires properly inflated.

* Mow often enough to reduce the grass height by no more than one third.

* Maintain a high mowing height for the species or cultivar of grass being grown.

* Do not scalp desirable turfgrass, unless for thatch reduction purposes (i.e. St. Augustinegrass).

* Do not "weed eat" desirable turfgrass, except narrow strips along edges unreachable by mowers.

* Run the mower engine at full throttle.

* Mow at a pace that allows for clean cutting.

* Mow in a different direction each time.

* If left to grow too high, gradually reduce grass height to desired mowing height.

* Mow often enough that debris--leaves, twigs, etc.--doesn't remain on the turf, causing thinning.

* Make use of "mulching" mower technology

* Mow often enough that clips can be left in the lawn without accumulating visibly. …

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