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Turf Tips

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Mowing Tips

How often should I mow my lawn?

Lawns should be mowed regularly at their proper heights (see below). This means that your lawn may require mowing more than once a week during peak growth and only once every two weeks during periods of slow growth.

Since the root system of a grass plant grows proportionately to the above grounds parts of the plant, a longer cutting height results in a stronger, deeper root system.

Image of calculating mower blade height with the ground.

Calculate your mower blade height by measuring the distance between the ground and the base of your lawnmower.

Cool Seasons Grasses
  • Kentucky Bluegrass: 2.5 to 3 inches (60–75 mm)
  • Perennial Ryegrass: 2.5 to 3 inches(60–75 mm)
  • Tall Fescue: 2.5 to 4 inches (60–100 mm)
Warm Season Grasses
  • Common Bermuda: 0.75 to 1.25 inches (20–30 mm)
  • Hybrid Bermuda: 0.5 to 1.0 inches (12–25 mm)
  • St. Augustine: 2.0 to 4 inches (50–100 mm)
  • Zoysiagrass: 1 to 2.5 inches (25–60 mm)
  • Centipede Grass: 1.0 to 2.0 inches (25–50 mm)

Image of frayed brown grass.

Messy, frayed grass tips from a dull mower blade

How sharp should I keep my mower blades?

Lawn mower blades should be kept razor sharp! A sharp blade makes a clean precise cut of each grass blade. This crisp cut allows the blade to heal quickly and the lawn looks very tidy.

A dull blade chews and frays grass blades. This messy chopping results in straggly rough tips which give the lawn an ugly, gray appearance and expose wounded tissue to diseases attack.

To maintain a razor-sharp blade, it may be necessary to have the blade sharpened three times yearly. Remember to sharpen the blade of even a new lawnmower. As a safety precaution, few new lawn mowers are sold with a pre-sharpened blade. A sharp blade results in a longer life and less wear and tear on your lawnmower engine.

Please mow frequently, no more than ⅓ of a grass plant should be removed with each mowing.

Image grass height

Should I remove my lawn clippings?

It is only necessary to remove lawn clippings if they are long and will smother the lawn. Returning grass clippings to a lawn when mowing is an environmentally beneficial practice referred to as grasscycling. Leaving grass clippings to naturally decompose on a lawn adds valuable nutrients back into the soil and also helps to conserve valuable landfill space by reducing waste. The use of a mulching-type mower is preferred for this practice since it promotes a more uniform distribution of grass clippings, thus allowing for quicker decomposition of the recycled grass plants.

Image of freshly mowed lawn

What are optimum mowing conditions and techniques?
  • If the optimum mowing height selected is 2 inches, then the lawn should be mowed before the lawn height exceeds 3 inches to ensure that only ⅓ of the blade height is removed.
  • To reduce the chance of frayed grass blades and slips and falls, lawn mowings should be done when grass blades are dry.
  • The mowing direction should be altered upon each mowing. This procedure will keep the grass growing strong and straight while reducing weed grass infestation.
  • Lawns cut at the proper height are stronger and healthier because the root system is stronger and deeper. Your lawn will require fewer waterings and will be more able to resist insect and diseases attack!

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Main Service Areas

DeVries services the greater Grand Rapids area with the finest commercial and residential outdoor care. Service areas vary. 

Contact us at 616-669-0500 for more information.

My lawn looks beautiful this year with the Weed Man service!


Holland I June '19

Turf Tip

Red Thread

Red Thread is a parasitic form of plant life called fungi that live in the soil, thatch and dead leaves year-round. Learn what causes Red Thread and how to prevent it from attacking your lawn here.