Today we are going to talk about the importance of mowing.
Right now, if you were to ask any lawn treatment professional about, “What’s the one thing you wish your customers did properly that would help you the most?”
They would 100% of the time tell you “I wish I could get them to mow properly.”
But before I explain that, I want to let you know, both of my guides, Warm Season Lawn Care Guides and Cool Season Lawn Care Guides have been optimized and updated for the 2020 season.
If you have been wanting to get a step-by-step lawn care schedule that not only tells you “what” to throw down but also “when” and “why” then these are for you.
Cool Season Lawns - Bluegrass, Fescue, Ryegrass. (you folks in the midwest, north, northeast, and northwest)
Warm Season Lawns - Bermuda, St Augustine, Centipede, Zoysia and Bahia. (you folks in the lower midwest, south and southeast, and southwest)
I give you full granular options as well as full liquid options depending on which way you want to go. Options you can find in the local store, or funky fresh stuff available on my website - the choice is yours, I give you both.
Added This Year - for you absolute beginners, I have the “Make Scotts 4-Step Great Again” program where I take you step by step through the old school “Scotts Holiday Schedule” while giving you advice on a few “extras” to spray down along with your Scotts Applications to make it awesome!
Key with this program is it’s super easy and approachable, and along the way you gain confidence with applications with no fear of “burning the lawn.” You’ll get results while learning your land and that is the goal!
Also, you will get immediate access to my private FaceBook group where other lawn care nuts are there to help and encourage you. I also publish videos in that group 1 or 2 times a week offering strategy and advice and sometimes, asking you guys for advice too!
It’s a positive place to talk about lawns and learn - sharing successes and challenges that we all face.
Pick up your guide here today.
The More You Mow, The Healthier It Will Grow
The reason mowing is so important is because it’s a way to control the growth of your turf.
Yes, that’s right, mowing is your way of controlling the growth habits of your turf.
Grass grows towards the sun naturally. If given the chance, it will grow long and tall to soak up all the sun it can.
The more sun it soaks up, the more photosynthesis can take place and therefore more sugars can be produced and sent down into the plant for more root production and tillering.
But a tall overgrown lawn doesn’t look good and if you live where I do, it will get you a letter and fine from your HOA. So we have to mow.
Every time you mow your lawn, you stress it. In fact, that beautiful smell of “fresh cut grass” we love is actually a stress response in the plant.
So your job as a home lawn farmer who is forced to mow is to stress it as little as possible.
Otherwise, it will have to put all of its energy into re-growing and won’t have much left for other important mass production of roots or shoots (tillers, rhizomes or stolons).
This is where the ⅓ rule comes in that you so often hear.
That being stated is “never remove more than ⅓ of the grass blade’s length in a single mowing.”
Depending on your grass type and time of the year, this may mean having to mow weekly or even twice per week.
However often is required, when you follow this rule, you place minimal stress on the plant so it doesn’t feel like it has to rush to regrow everything all back right away and thus taking away vital energy from other functions.
Logic with me here for a moment: just because you are sticking to the ⅓ rule and not stressing the plant too much, why not go more extreme to the positive end and follow the ⅕ rule, or the ⅛ rule?
Just because only removing ⅓ of the grass blades length doesn’t stress the plant “too much”, doesn’t it make logical sense that only removing ⅛ of the grass blades length would cause even LESS STRESS?
Answer: yes, it’s logical, and it’s true.
This is why I always say “The more you mow, the healthier it will grow” meaning, less stress requiring regrowth of the top means more energy and attention to roots and shoots.
Remember, the more roots, tillers, rhizomes, and stolons, the thicker your lawn will become.
If you have a warm-season grass type like Bermuda, St Augustine, Centipede or Zoysia, this is going to be even more evident as you will see “runners” moving out to all sides.
It’s also true to a lesser extent with Kentucky Bluegrass and certain varieties of Tall fescue, but even Ryegrass will fatten up in a big bunch when it’s not stressed from being hacked off and scalped.
If you have not seen it already, review this quick video I did talking about grass types and growth habits as it will drive home this point even further for your understanding.
So I need you to prepare to mow; a lot.
Just get into it and learn to Enjoy The Mow! Think of it as exercise. Think of it as “me time.”
Think of it as time with your kids because you know they love to mow with you, following you around with a bubble mower!
Whatever you must do, get out and mow, do it!
Plus, it’s a satisfying feeling to look at a fresh cut patch that you are caring for. After all, this is your house and it’s your land and you paid for it - so you may as well learn to love it!
Get our free app (Android or iOS) and document your progress too - take a picture after every mow and I bet you after a few months you will look back and notice it looks better from all your effort!
Soil Fertility Matters
All this mowing that you are going to do is great, but don’t forget, in order to have your turf stay healthy, you need to have plenty (not too much) of good nutrients in the soil available to support it.
We are coming up on the time when all grass types, north, south, east and west are going to benefit from a good fertilizing.
I encourage you to review this video and this blog post and start learning what your soil needs to support all this good mowing and growth.
Pick up a soil test kit and get some data and be ready to throw down - we are coming into the big push for all of us and it’s going to be a fun ride.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel too, in case you have not already.
I’ll see you in the lawn!