When you first prepare to mow your lawn, you may imagine that you cannot set your mower too short. After all, if you mow your turf low it will take longer to grow tall and unruly again. While that may sound good, the fact is you can mow your lawn too short. Doing so can cause a range of both short-term and long-term health issues for your lawn. When mowing your lawn, it’s important to remember that your grass is living and growing all the time. You should treat your turf with the care you provide to flower beds, shrubs, and trees. So, what are the dangers of mowing your lawn short? Read on to find out some of the significant risks.
The Myth of “More Time”
One of the most common reasons property owners mow their lawn low is because they are trying to save time and reduce the amount of labor required to mow their lawn. Unfortunately, this “shortcut” will undermine your lawn maintenance efforts and cause more problems than it solves. There is only a slim chance that you might get an extra day or two between mowing sessions by cutting your grass short. However, the potential for saving time does not outweigh the negative effects caused by cutting your grass too short.
Short Grass Inhibits Root Health
Mowing your grass short puts stress on your turf. Grass blades are leaves and they need sufficient surface area for photosynthesis. When you limit the amount of sunlight and air that can reach your turf, you inhibit the successful development of the turf’s roots and seriously weaken them. Weak roots can leave your lawn more susceptible to invasive weeds, diseases, and pests. Deeper roots are able to utilize deeper soil moisture and need far less irrigation than a more shallow root system.
What is the Optimal Mowing Height?
During warm weather, cool season grasses like bluegrass and tall fescue should be mowed at 2.5 to 3.5 inches. Remember to only mow off the top 1/3 of the grass blades. This means you can wait until your lawn is over 3 inches high before getting out your lawn mower. By letting your grass grow and only removing the top third, you are helping to support deep root growth.
When temperatures dip in the fall, your last mowing of the year can be slightly lower. It is also important to remember to mow your lawn in dry weather to avoid unsightly clumping of grass clippings. Additionally, make sure your mower blades are sharp. Sharp blades make a clean cut while dull blades tend to make a ragged cut.
Scientific Plant Service Is Your Go-To Source In Landscape Healthcare
Scientific Plant Service, located in Baltimore, is a privately owned corporation, chartered in Maryland in 1957 by Frank J. Burke. We started as a full-service Arborists specializing in the care of shade trees and ornamental shrubs, but today we are a Lawn Care company that is a huge part of the community. From aquatic environments and snow management to deer and mole control, SPS has services tailored specifically for your lawn and landscape.
We offer services in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia, including: Harford, Baltimore, Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, Montgomery, Prince Georges, Talbot, Queen Anne’s, Calvert counties in MD, as well as Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria, and Falls Church in VA. For more information, contact us online, or call us at 410-321-0970. Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.