Last fall was extremely dry and it was the first time I saw turfgrasses not recover completely. Normally, our lawns go dormant in summer and then they green up when rains return in the fall. Except last year the rains were delayed. We’ll see what 2023 brings. But this also gives us a chance to consider mowing tips from the Guelph Turfgrass Institute.
The golden rule
One-third rule: never remove more than one third the height of the plant.
Mowing heights depend on grass species and lawn uses. If you cut your lawn higher, you won’t have to cut as often. I know a dude who cuts his grass very short and twice a week. He loves his lawns and has the time. Others don’t care as much. I visit their homes every two weeks and the grass is fine.
- Water deeply and infrequently as this encourages deep root formation and thus better drought tolerance
- Overseed with drought tolerant species. Check your home region for the best seed mixes.
- Don’t remove grass clippings. The clippings are natural fertilizer. I love this as a landscape professional because it speeds up my lawn care work: no stopping to empty my mower bag and now green waste to remove. I always do this in summer.
- Encourage dense grass stands to out-compete weeds: overseed in spring and fall. This issue comes up a lot. Homeowners are always asking about weeds in their lawns. While their lawns will never be weed-free, dense grass stands will make it hard for weeds to establish and thrive.
- Speaking of weeds, hand pick them and overseed the bare patches you create with seed.
- In the fall, mulch your fallen leaves into your turf.
Learn from Red Seal Vas
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Take good care of your lawns!