When Mowing, Follow the 1/3 Rule for Lush, Green Lawns

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Difficulty: Beginner
Duration: 1 hour

Garden tips by region riding-lawn-mower

Your lawn is composed of millions of individual plants that shade each other and deny light to potential weeds. When the weather is hot, this shade helps retain soil moisture, too. Mowing the grass higher than you’re used to benefits the health of your lawn by preventing the grass from getting dehydrated and sunburned and helps push out weeds. 

The results are even better if you allow clippings to remain on the lawn to act like mulch to keep grass roots cool, moist and happy. 

Here’s the rule: Do not cut more than 1/3 the height of the grass. For example, if you usually cut your lawn to a height of 2”, you need to mow your lawn when the grass reaches 3”.

Or just keep your blade height set to the highest setting, about 3”, at all times. Then you don’t need to do the math.

Here’s How to Mow Like a Pro:

  1. Do not water your lawn on mowing day.
  2. Make sure your mower is tuned and your blades are sharp. (See tip: Mower tune up)
  3. Mow your lawn at its highest setting, so clippings will be short and fine.
  4. Leave the clippings on the lawn to gradually decompose.
  5. After cutting, water grass well.

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