GET UP, IT’S TIME TO CUT THE GRASS!!!!
This was the refrain I’d hear from our Dad every Saturday morning around 6:15 AM while lying warm and snug in bed. This started in 4th grade until the day I moved out and passed the weekly duties to the next brother. I’d think to myself…. we just cut the lawn last week, does it really need to be cut again?
Keeping up on mowing – How and Why
In Wisconsin we do need to get that lawn cut weekly and sometimes even more often in the heavy growing season. I learned quickly that a weekly mow made the lawn look nice and green and skipping a week made for a much tougher job, and made the lawn look much worse… One of the main rules to follow when mowing is to only cut off 1/3 of the mowing blade at a time. Cutting more than this can strain the turf and give weeds a better chance to infiltrate.
In the heavy growth season, typically May, June, and July in Wisconsin, when the grass can be very tough to keep up with you want to be sure to get to it at least weekly and even more if possible. In some cases the turf can be very thick and hold a good amount of water this time of year. In these cases even cutting a third of the blade off per mowing can be a challenge. If you see trails of grass clippings on the lawn after mowing you should be sure to either re cut these areas to ensure the clippings are fine enough to get down into the turf and be beneficial to to lawn. The other, more labor intensive option is to rake up or bag these clippings to ensure they are not harming the lawn by matting down and restricting access to the sun and allowing airflow to the soil for water and nutrients.
You have the option to bag your clippings when mowing, or mulching the cut clippings back into the lawn. Mulching when mowing is highly recommended in almost all scenarios. Mulching provides nitrogen throughout the season to the turf and can save you in fertilizer costs and reduce the amount of synthetic fertilizer leaching to places it shouldn’t be. Mulching grass into your lawn can add up to a pound of nitrogen per thousand square feet per year which is typically the amount applied per a fertilizer application. Unless you absolutely need to bag when mowing – keep the bagger off that mower.
Trim for the Win
Completing trimming around the obstacles that you couldn’t reach with the mower is the icing on the cake. This is what make a lawn look as sharp as a tack.
Gone are the days of clipping these areas with a manual trimmer to finish this job as Stacy did as a kid. Today we have electric, gas, or battery powered string trimmers to help us get er done.
Trimming around the obstacles and edges is truly an art and learning to trim properly takes practice. As we all know practice breeds confidence and confidence in your trimming skills is really what is going to get that lawn looking sharp at the end. A mistake I have seen many times before is assuming that the trimming needs to be cut much lower than the mowed lawn. This should not be your goal-you want to keep the trimming level at the same of the mowed grass or maybe slightly lower. The top tip to ensure success in trimming with a string trimmer is to keep the string ‘floating’ and remember that you are trying to cut with the end of the string on the trimmer in the majority of cases and not the whole swath of string. Don’t get the string into the ground, you are going to have burnt out patches of grass and uglyness abound.
Keep it trimmed for the win.
Mean and Clean
Last but not least – if you are obsessed with a clean look like us get your grass clippings blown off the hard surfaces back into the lawn. A broom will suffice but you’ll enjoy blowing the clippings with the blower even more – there’s something satisfying about seeing your lawn art reach completion as you clean up those final clippings!
Keeping up with the Equipment
Keeping up on your equipment will make your job easier and more enjoyable.
Keep the blades sharp! This will help your lawn recover quicker because you won’t have tearing or pulling and you’ll save some gas. Most sharpening can be done with a file and a vice. We sharpen our blades on a regular basis to be sure our customers lawns will consistently look great.
Change your mowers oil. You take your car in to get the oil changed, don’t neglect your mower..it has an engine that needs love too. This will keep your motor humming.
Clean out the deck! Mower not cutting good? Spitting out grass clumps? Make sure the deck underneath is cleaned out regularly to be sure mulching takes place – this can make a world of a difference.
Thanks, but no thanks
Hey, all this stuff takes time. We love to do it, but we get it if you’d rather spend your time doing something else when you get done with work. Check out our mowing service if you’d like us to help out, we’d be happy to do so.