Turfgrass Maintenance Mowing Tips

Mowing

Make sure all of your equipment is in top-notch condition for clean cuts and better performance.

  • When mowing, remove no more than 1/3 of your lawn’s height (leaf blade.) This may occur weekly or more often during the growing season and less frequently at other times of the year, depending on your turgrass species.
  • Raise your mower. A slightly taller leaf blade helps shade the soil holding moisture. (heights vary per turf species)
  • Don’t bag your grass clippings! Mulching your grass clippings in place provides water and nutrients back to your lawn.
  • Change your mowing pattern regularly to prevent ruts or irregular growth patterns.
  • Aerating reduces compaction of heavy clay soils. Compacted soils contain less oxygen, which is critical for root growth. Aerate when the lawn is actively growing. May, June and September are good aerating months.

Reel vs. Rotary Mowers

Reel Mower

The blades of a reel mower spin vertically (north to south) and use a spinning scissoring action to cut the grass. The scissor-like cut of a sharp reel mower is healthier for the lawn; however, twigs and other debris can stop the reel mower. Reel mowers should be used on sports type Bermudagrass and some fine-blade Zoysiagrass.

Reel mower

Rotary Mower

The   single blade of a rotary mower spins horizontally (east to west) and uses more of a  tearing  action  to cut the grass. Rotary mowers are typically used on Bermudagrass, St. Augustinegrass and medium-blade Zoysiagrass.

Rotary mower
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