However, it’s not just that you mow that’s important – it’s also how you mow your lawn, which can be just as important. Mowing too short (pros call it ‘scalping’) can have some very serious consequences – as it can weaken and even kill your lawn. Here are some things you can do to avoid scalping and give your lawn the best shot at a strong start to spring.
Grass survives due to photosynthesis, which is the process of taking sunlight and churning it into energy. Cutting a blade of grass too much limits your grass’ ability to absorb that energy. When grass can’t get what it needs, it can get sick and die like we mentioned above. To avoid scalping your grass- you should:
- Never cut your lawn at the lowest setting on your mower
- Remember that 1-2 inches is ideal for warm weather grass
- Remember that 2.5-3 inches is ideal in cold weather
How to mow better
We always tell folks that it’s better for your lawn to be too long that it is for it to be too short. In the spring, it’s a good idea to stick with cold weather lengths (again 2-3 inches) so that it can absorb as much sunlight as possible. Also, during your fist few cuts, a lot of the dead grass left behind will help through a process called ‘grass cycling.’ Grass Cycling is when decomposed or dying grass returns nutrients to the soil. This leads to stronger, healthier lawns and is especially important to remember
if you aren’t using some sort of fertilizer.
Woops – I messed up
If you did accidentally scalp your lawn, just let the grass grow back to its proper height and try not to ever remove more than a 1/3 of a blade of grass at a time. We also recommend watering your lawn at a very heavy but infrequent pace. Make sure when you water – you water a lot. But make sure there’s a solid few days to a week between watering sessions. If scalping has killed off hunks of your lawn, then your only option will be to reseed, unfortunately.
Mowing your lawn is important – so don’t put it off and be sure to put thought into things during the growing season. If you made a mistake or want some advice on how to supercharge your lawn’s health during peak growing season – then give us a call today!