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Cut Down on Lawn Maintenance by Mowing Correctly

by Francine Huff, All About Lawns Columnist

One of the most important things you can do for good lawn maintenance is to mow your grass properly. While this may seem like a no brainer, there are things you can do to improve the quality and appearance of your lawn.

How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Lawn Shouldn't Be Too Short

If you want to keep lawn maintenance to a minimum, set your mower so that it cuts grass 3 inches high. Cutting grass too low can make it more susceptible to drought, insects, and   weeds. That's because the root system will be much smaller, leaving room for weeds to spread. A lawn that is too short can also lose more water through the soil. Keep the blades of your mower sharp because grass cut with dull blades may dry out quicker.

When to Cut

During the warmest weather you probably only need to mow your lawn a couple times a month. In the spring grass may need cutting at least once a week. Grass should be cut before it grows as high as 4.5 inches. Avoid overwatering your lawn to cut down on growth. If you use a professional lawn maintenance company, they may be able to use growth retardants. Fertilizing grass in the summer or fall instead of spring can also slow growth.

Leave Lawn Clippings

You don't have to spend a lot of time bagging grass clippings. You can leave grass clippings to help soil get more nutrients. The clippings also can help your lawn retain water and cut down on the need for fertilizer. Leaving clippings can also cut the amount of time you spend on lawn maintenance by 30 to 35 percent.

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About the Author
Francine L. Huff is a freelance journalist and the author of The 25-Day Money Makeover for Women. She has appeared on a variety of TV and radio shows.

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