Lawn mowing seems like one of those tasks that everybody knows how to do. But, unfortunately, that is not the case. Cutting your grass is not as simple as taking your mower out to the lawn and turning it on. In fact, there are mistakes that you could be making that will cause long-term damage and result in forking up money to fix that damage.
Before breaking out the lawnmower, it is important to know exactly how to mow your lawn to protect it from disease, insects, and ruts. Below are the three biggest mistakes that you should be looking out for when mowing your own lawn or hiring a new lawnmowing company.
Mistake #1: Cutting Your Grass Too Short for the Turf Type
Yes - your grass height is dependant on the type of grass you have! All Michigan turf is made up of cool-season grass, meaning that the grass thrives best in cooler weather. Depending on where you are located in the country, you might have cool-season grass like Michigan or you could have warm-season grass if you are farther south! It is important to know your grass type when choosing how much length to cut off of your grass blades.
The ideal mowing height for cool-season grass is 2.5 to 3.5 inches. Cutting your blades too short is actually called "scalping." This can weaken or even kill your lawn by limiting the grass's nutrient supply. This, in turn, gives your weeds complete freedom to take over.
Mistake #2: Mowing Bi-Weekly or Less
In Michigan, your lawns need to be cut weekly from April through October. Skipping a week or more will result in your grass growing too high to maintain the proper height (up to 3.5 inches) and follow the 1/3 rule at the same time. The 1/3 rule states that you should only be cutting 1/3 of each grass blade to ensure that you don't cut off the nutrients supply, leaving your lawn susceptible to infestations and diseases.
If you allow your blades to grow too long in between mowing sessions, you or your landscaping company will have to choose between cutting your blades down to their correct height or continuing to follow the 1/3 rule. Is there a right answer? YES! Always keep following the 1/3 rule, even if your grass blades are still too long when you are finished. Come back a week later and keep cutting 1/3 off of your grass blades and eventually you will reach the correct height of 2.5 to 3.5 inches.
Mistake #3: Not Rotating Mowing Patterns
Humans are creatures of habit. Most people enjoy doing tasks the same way because it is comfortable and efficient. However, this is a bad idea for your lawn. Mowing your lawn in the exact same pattern every week will create ruts and soil compaction. Ruts create visible damage and will make your lawn look messy. Soil compaction, however, is unseen but it is not good for your lawn health.
Soil compaction will block essential nutrients, sunlight, and water from reaching your grass roots. Cutting off this access will cause your grass to grow weak and patchy. If your lawn has experienced soil compaction from mowing in the same direction every time, you will want to sign up for an aeration service to loosen up the soil.
Lawn mowing patterns should be rotated every other week at a minimum to avoid ruts and soil compaction.
Save yourself time and headache - hire professionals to mow your lawn.
Didn't expect to find out about how easily you can ruin your lawn just by mowing it yourself? We know! That's why our company offers our lawn mowing service to take this worry out of your hands. We offer our weekly lawn mowing program to properties that are located in Grand Rapids, Ada, Cascade, and nearby Michigan locations. Give our office a call today at (616) 293-0361 to enroll in our lawn mowing program this year!