Lawn Care Ė Iíve Irrigated, Now What?

There are a few key facets to having a beautiful green lawn – nutrients, water and proper mowing. Perhaps you’ve got the watering covered – your in-ground irrigation system takes away the worry that your yard is getting the proper amount of water at the right time. You don’t have to bother with going outside every hour to move the sprinkler from one area of your lawn to another since every square inch gets covered in one watering, saving you both time and money.

But now what?
The more the sprinkler system waters, the faster your lawn grows, but that’s not a bad thing if you know how to properly mow your lawn.  And yes, there is a right way.

When To Mow?
For most people, your sprinkler system will come on just as the sun is rising, so you want to wait until your grass is dry before cutting it, but, you also don’t want to do it in the heat of the day.

Wet grass can clog up your mower, making it work harder and perhaps shorten its lifespan. It also means that you will have to rake up and remove all the wet grass clippings, which isn’t ideal, both because it takes away from the time that you could be sipping your morning coffee, and grass clippings are actually good for the lawn.

Grass Clippings are Good For My Lawn?
The cut blades are great for your lawn and can act like a natural fertilizer as long as the clippings aren’t too long or too wet. When they break down, they add moisture and protein to the soil, creating for a more fertile environment without all the chemicals of a synthetic fertilizer.

Again, leaving clumps of really long or wet clippings can be bad for your grass because they can turn into thatch. Thatch is plant matter that doesn’t biodegrade quickly enough and can impede your grass’s growth by not allowing the proper nutrients and water into the soil.

Can I Mow It Short So I Don’t Have to Cut It As Often?
You can, but mowing your grass too short leads to a weak root system, making it susceptible to drought during the steamy summer months, and opens the door for weeds to dominate. If your grass is too short, it’s easier to overwater since the healthy lawn doesn’t trap the water and can make runoff more likely.

Ideally, you shouldn’t trim more than 1/3 of the grass blade in one cutting, mowing it often enough that the grass stays about 3” long. Make sure your lawn mower blades are really sharp so the grass is cut evenly and not torn. Look into getting them sharpened at least once a season.

Mowing Direction
In order to keep your grass standing strong and tall, and to evenly distribute the grass clippings, mow your lawn in a different direction each time – horizontally, on an angle, or vertically for optimum aesthetics.