Mowing is an essential factor to maintaining a beautiful lush lawn, and regular mowing is key to a green lawn. Other than the basics, such as never removing more than one-third of the grass blades at a time, and only mow to the height recommended for the selected species of grass, how often the lawn should be mowed is the most frequently asked question posed by property owners. Most experts will agree that during the growing season, mowing weekly is best, and will ensure your grass staying full, green, and healthy throughout the growing season.
Why is it necessary to mow the lawn weekly? In order to understand the reason behind frequent mowing, there are a few facts about grass growth that are important to understand. These factors are:
- Desired lawn height or how low you like to mow
- Health of the lawn
- Rate of Growth
- Type of turf
According the the University of Minnesota SULIS (Sustainable Urban Landscape Information Series), mowing too infrequently can cause damage, as too much of the plant is removed at once. This weakened grass plant will not be as resiliant to environmental challenges, such as drought, heat or other weather stresses. Weekly mowing is the best way to ensure your lawn is healthy, and to avoid shock damage by removing too much blade height at a time. If mowing the lawn weekly seems like a lot of time to invest in your lawn, hiring a professional lawn service is the best way to ensure your lawn gets the care it needs, and you get the time to enjoy it.
Aeration is a process which involves perforating the soil on your lawn with numerous small holes. These holes allow water and air to penetrate the roots of the grass. This means that nutrients can flow deeper into the soil, and be taken up by the grass.
The idea behind aerating a lawn is that it prevents soil compaction. If your soil is compacted, then water and nutrients cannot flow freely through the soil. In addition, lawn thatch and organic debris can build up in the soil and starve the roots of essential nutrients.
When to Get Your Lawn Aerated
If your lawn is used heavily, then it is a good idea to have it aerated. Children and pets running around on the soil can contribute to compaction, and periodic aeration can alleviate this issue.
You should also consider getting your lawn aerated if it was landscaped following the construction of a new home. It is common for home builders to strip or bury old lawns in the building process, and the new topsoil that they put in place once the construction is done could have been heavily compacted by the traffic of construction vehicles. In some cases, newly laid lawns can have a layering problem, with imported sod layered on top of coarser soil, creating a serious drainage problem.
One other sign that your lawn may need aerating is if it dries out easily, or if it feels a little spongy. These problems are both a sign that your lawn could have a thatch problem. To check whether this is the case, use a shovel to dig out a small slice of lawn, going about four inches deep. If the thatch layer is more than half an inch thick, then aerating your lawn could be beneficial.