It’s officially spring, and yard and garden tasks await! Whether you’re excited to get started or take on the job of cutting your lawn grudgingly, there are a few tasks to consider that will make this whole lawn maintenance process go much more smoothly and yield better results over time. Although the specific time to start a lawn care and maintenance will vary based on your geographic region, here are some tips and advice to help you prepare.
Before the First Mowing
First, is the grass growing yet? If not, hold off for a short time. There’s no specific date when you have to start mowing. The best time for the first mowing is when the new growth is 2-3” long. Until that time, get out there and check the lawn’s health. Do you see bare or thin spots? Does it look like there is even growth across the lawn? If you see a bare spot or uneven growth, now is the ideal time to put down some seed or sod so the new grass has a couple of couple weeks to take root and grow before the first mowing. If you’re not sure how much, or how little seed or sod should be added, contact the professionals at The Grounds Guys to get it done right. They are experts at keeping lawns and gardens looking excellent all summer long!
Related Topic: How to Edge a Flower Bed
How’s that Mower?
When the grass is more established, take a look at your lawnmower. Is the blade sharp? A sharp blade will make every mowing session much easier, and it’s healthier for the grass to have a clean cut. Is the lawnmower clean or grubby? Dried grass clippings and dirt can build up over time, clogging the chute and deck and adding a surprising amount of weight. Clean any residue off with a stick or putty knife; it usually only takes a couple of minutes. The lawnmower also needs fresh gas and oil—check the oil level periodically to avoid damaging the engine. It’s also a good practice to check and lubricate any controls to ensure they continue to function properly.
You will know when mowing day has arrived when new growth has reached 2” or more. Don’t let the lawn grown too high, as this will make cutting more difficult and time-consuming. Another common mistake people make is cutting the lawn too short by cutting off too much at one time. Never cut more than one-third of the existing grass length to ensure your lawn remains healthy and green. While some people may have a strong opinion about the best mowing pattern—no one way is superior—the best approach is usually to change it up every few weeks. This will help avoid creating pattern marks and tracks.
Periodically aerating a lawn is also very beneficial to promoting healthy growth. But this can be a time-consuming task that not everyone is up to performing. The experts at the Ground Guys can help with aerating, fertilizing, and seeding your lawn so it looks the absolute best.
To Mulch or Not to Mulch
Do you bag the clippings or let them fall? A mulching mower is typically healthiest for the lawn, as the special mulching blade cuts the clippings several times allowing them to decompose more quickly providing additional nutrients for the lawn. However, this mulching method doesn’t work very well if the clippings are too long, which is another good reason for keeping the lawn at an optimal height. Clippings that are too long can clump up and smother areas of the lawn. If left to sit, the clumps of dying grass can create brown patches.
Related Topic: What Causes Dead Patches in Lawn?
Right after mowing the lawn, it’s always a good practice to wipe off any clippings and debris before you store the mower away. Also, if the grass you cut was slightly wet or damp, use a hose to remove any clumps of grass that may have become clumped or stuck to the undercarriage of the mower.
Edging always adds a nice finishing touch to a freshly cut lawn. But if you’re pressed for time, it’s not a necessity depending on the last time you cut the lawn. If it’s been a few weeks between cuttings, then some quick edging is probably in order—which will save you time after the next mowing. As for watering, is advisable to wait a couple of days to water to help keep fungal growth in check. Unless rainfall has been infrequent and/or very sporadic, in which case a light watering will not do any harm.
So, how does the lawn look? The smell and look of a fresh-cut lawn can invoke a lot of fond memories for many of us and provide a real sense of pride in a job well done! Maintaining a lawn can also involve a lot of time, energy, and effort to get everything looking just right! If you want the look of a well-manicured lawn, but don’t have the time or energy, contact the lawn care professionals at the Grounds Guys. They can handle seeding, mowing, trimming, and all the maintenance tasks you need to keep your lawn looking it's absolute best!