Your lawn is a living thing. It requires care and attention to stay healthy and growing.
Our mowing instructions are really quite simple:
In the first season, mow frequently to stimulate new growth, which will result in a very thick carpet of turf. Following the initial phase, mow as your needs require. Mowing height should be 2-1/2” to 3”, an optimal height for drought tolerance. Keep this height the same throughout the year to encourage growth.
The mower blade should be kept very sharp to cut the leaf blade cleanly. A dull mower will shred and fray the leaf blades, resulting in a brown-colored, unattractive lawn. When leaf tissue is not “torn” it retains more moisture content, contributing even more to your lawn’s drought tolerance.
When mowed, your grass will have reduced carbohydrate production and shading of lower leaves. This loss can be damaging to your lawn, but can be avoided by never removing more than 1/3 of your grass’ green tissue in any one mowing.
When grass clippings are removed from your lawn after mowing, nutrient needs are greater. That’s why we commonly recommend mowing more frequently and letting clippings remain in your yard. Grass clippings decompose quickly and contain an estimated 4% nitrogen that will return to the grass plant, provided the need nutrients. Grass clippings left in your lawn in general do not contribute to your lawn’s thatch.
Thatch is an accumulation of dead plant tissue under the green blades of your grass. Under normal conditions, plants are in a constant cycle of dying and generating new tissue. The dead tissue that remains, along with other twigs, leaves, and organic material, comprise the thatch in your lawn. The right amount of that can be valuable for a lawn: it aids in mulching and preventing water loss, insulates the soil from extreme temperature swings, and cushions your soil to prevent too much compacting
Of course, too much thatch can be damaging to your turf and yard. Too thick of a layer will not allow moisture or grass roots to reach the soil under the thatch, resulting in a shallow-rooted, and often nutrient-deficient, lawn.
The most effective way to control thatch is with a healthy earthworm population. These nightcrawlers ingest dead plant material, dilute vegetation, and tunnel extensively in the soil. When earthworms are present, there is less need for mechanical verticutting and aerifying of your lawn, as their tunnels have the same effects as these treatments. (If you need to aerate, do so in the fall rather than the spring and conduct core aeration of ¾” plugs, this is also a good time to fertilize).
For Quick Reference:
- Three to four weeks from sod installation, depending on weather conditions, your new lawn will
be ready for its first mowing.
- Mow when grass is dry. Be sure your mower blade is sharp.
- Mow frequently enough so that you remove no more that 1/3 of the height at a time.
- We recommend a lawn height of 2-1/2 to 3 inches for new lawns
- Allow grass clippings to remain in place to add nutrients and improve turfgrass.