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How High Should I Mow my Lawn?

How High Should I mow my Lawn?
By: Ami Halcomb

Mowing your lawn is one of the most basic home owner chores you may have. Believe it or not, though, there are some things you need to keep in mind when it comes to properly mowing your lawn. Mowing is not just about keeping your lawn looking nice, but also about keeping your grass healthy. Many people mow their lawns too short and effectively kill it in the process. Your lawn is a plant, and like all plants it needs leaves in order to make food and survive.
In order to avoid hacking and damaging your lawn you should mow your lawn properly, starting in the spring. If you are anything like me you don’t mind mowing in the beginning of the year. You are itching to get outside, the birds are chirping and it means that summer is near. It is a good thing we don’t mind mowing at this point and time because the first time out, you should mow your lawn twice in the same day. You need it extremely short, as short as you can go without scalping, but mowing all of the yellow out. You should mow it this short for the first couple of times.
After a couple of times, you can raise your mower up one notch. Mow at this height for a couple of weeks then rise up another notch for a couple of weeks. Continue with this pattern until you get to the last height setting on your mower which should be about 3 ½ to 4 inches. You should keep your lawn mowed at this height through the heat of the summer.
When the temperature starts to cool off around September you can start to gradually reduce the settings on your mower. Every two weeks lower your lawn mower by one setting. You should do your last mowing toward the end of October or beginning of November. At this time your lawn mower should be set on the lowest setting you can go without scalping. The reason to keep it so short is to prevent snow mold and other fungal diseases that may occur during the winter.
There are several reasons for keeping your lawn mowed high in the summer. A longer lawn will have more surface area for photosynthesis to occur. Increased photosynthesis results in more plant growth, extensive root system and a healthier plant. Weeds can also be reduced when lawn is maintained at a higher cut. Once turf adapts to growing at increased heights, it fills in and becomes dense and lush, crowding out weeds that normally invade when turf is weak and stressed.
Also a lawn that is maintained at a minimum height of 3 to 4 inches is more tolerant to infrequent watering and drought stress because there are increased moisture reserves in the leaf tissue and root system. Your turf will still need consistent watering but the effects of drought will be less noticeable and take longer to occur with a higher mowed lawn.
Your lawn will need to be mowed once a week during the growing season but contrary to popular belief, it will not be more work. Once the grass reaches that uniform height, you will still be cutting off the same amount of grass as you would in a lower cut lawn.
 
Here is a video were Jim Zamzow shows you how to properly mow and water your lawn. This excerpt was taken from Jim Zamzow's Lawn Problem Solver DVD. To purchase the DVD click here.

Don’t forget that a lawn also needs to be maintained with the proper fertilization. We recommend that a lawn be fertilized about every six weeks using our Zamzows all natural, pet and kid friendly fertilizers along with Huma Green.
 
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By dandevarona on 9/1/2008 |
Lawn Maintenance | 6047 View(s) | 1 Comment(s)
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