Lawnmowing can seem straightforward, but there are plenty of myths and misconceptions about how and when to do it–and how low we should go! That’s why DIY or hiring a local teen to mow may not be the best solution if you have a healthy lawn in mind.
Grass Length: The Shorter The Better?
These days, longer cuts are the trend as lawn care experts come to understand that an additional inch or so can often mean less stress for your grass. In many cases, growth slows as temperatures rise in the summer, so you want to avoid going too low to prevent drying and damage. Even during wet weather, the solution is usually not a shorter cut but more frequent mowing at a higher setting. If you set the blade too low, it can mean burnt, brown grass as the weather gets hotter and drier, so it’s often best to go a little higher in summer. As temperatures cool later in the fall, feel free to go a little shorter as you get ready for cold weather and snow.
The Perfect Cut: Grass Type Matters
The right height for mowing your lawn depends on the season, growing conditions and on the type of grass. Here are some general guidelines for some of the most popular grass types in Northern Virginia. But no matter what kind of grass you have, the best approach is to talk with your lawn care professional about the look you want and how to make it happen with what you have to work with.
- Tall Fescue: As its name indicates, tall fescue, one of the most popular and drought-resistant grass varieties, needs a little length to stay healthy. It should be left 3 to 4 inches high.
- Fine Fescue: This lush, fine-bladed variety is at its best at 2 to 3 inches
- Kentucky Bluegrass: Another favorite variety, known for its gorgeous color, Kentucky bluegrass looks best and thrives at 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches. It tends to be less drought-resistant than varietals so often needs more maintenance.
- Bentgrass: this carpet-like variety, long used for golf and tennis facilities, is now a popular grass for lawns. It’s grown to be cut short and can be cut as short as ½ inch with no problems. We do recommend taking your cut just a tiny bit higher during drought conditions.
How Often Should I Mow?
The simple answer is mow when your lawn needs it. Mowing frequency absolutely needs to change according to weather and other conditions. Epling generally mows weekly during heavy growth periods, and we adapt our schedule during drier conditions in summer to avoid cutting grass too short.
Am I Mowing In The Right Direction?
Experts recommend changing direction every time you mow. In some ways, your lawn has a mind of its own and will start to lean in one direction if you follow the same pattern every time. Changing it up avoids ruts and keeps your grass standing up straight. That’s why our team gets to know your lawn and changes mowing patterns to keep it looking its best.
What Should I Do With Lawn Clippings?
Experts say leaving lawn clippings in place is the best practice since they return to the soil and provide nutrients to fertilize the soil. This advice has led to Don’t Bag It campaigns around the country. At Epling, our grass-cycling program has been in place for years and has been an enormous success. By returning clippings to the soil, we nourish your lawn while we cut it for health and appearance.
The key to a successful grass-cycling program is regular maintenance, so clippings are small and easily absorbed. This avoids clumps and rows of grass which can get damp and block sunlight from your lawn.
The Best Way To Cut My Lawn: Leave It To The Pros
Hiring a professional lawn care team not only saves time and money, but it also helps you achieve the healthiest and most attractive lawn possible. Our knowledgeable team knows when and how to mow to achieve the best results for our clients based on the type of grass and conditions.
Our team is familiar with the ins and outs of different grass types and will help you develop a program that keeps your lawn healthy while giving it a perfectly maintained look. We’re experts at recycling clippings to fertilize your lawn while maintaining that flawless appearance. And finally, our mowing equipment is top-notch and kept in excellent condition since sharp blades are one of the keys to a healthy, beautiful lawn.