William Moss: Mowing is the common task of summer, but not everyone does it right.
Hi! I am William Moss, Master Gardener with the National Gardening Association and today we're at the Historic Oatlands in Leesburg, Virginia and we're going to discuss some tips that help make your summer lawn maintenance easy.
There are three main tips when mowing your lawn. The first is mow in height; in the summer time you should have grasses a little bit taller than other times of the year. Taller grass help shade out the ground a bit, so there's not as much weed competition, also there is not as much evaporation of moisture right away. So go from about two inches that you had in the spring up to about three inches, three and a half if you got really coarse grasses.
The second one is mowing frequency, and of course, the frequency in which you mow is going to depend on the climate, the type of grass you're going, how often you water, if you fertilize, all those things are going to affect when you have to mow next. However, is a hard fast rule, you never want to mow more then a third of the grass.
So if you're at three inches now when it gets to that four inch line that's when you want to come through and mow. If it gets to be four and a half, five inches then you are going to see problems with the grass growing correctly, you've patchiness and when you choose the cuttage, you're going to have to put the bag on it, because clippings that long would actually lay on top of the grass and cause it to die.
And the third tip is mowing patterns, you never want to go the same way all the time, if you do, you'll form rot. So if you go side to side this time, next time go up and down and just keep crossing back-and-forth like that. That way you'll see the lawn will grow a little bit more evenly and you won't form any rust with the mower or with your foot traffic.
So height raise it up three inches during the summer, frequency once a week or before it gets higher than four inches and then pattern, change them out a time and now you've got the mowing tips you need to be a master mower. Get out and grow.