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Should I Mow My New Lawn?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

If you have recently planted new grass seed or sod, you know how careful you need to be with the grass. Mowing is no exception. Here are a few tips that can help when you mow your lawn for the first time:
How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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  1. Let the grass grow up to 1/3 higher then its normal height before cutting. To find out the optimal height for your grass, see: Getting to Know Your Lawn table. For example, common bermuda grass can be allowed to grow on average of up to 2 1/2 inches before its first mowing. To determine your mower height, see: How High Should I Cut my grass?
  2. Healthy Grass
  3. Be careful the first couple of times you mow. Try to move slowly and take special care in cornering the mower so you don't tear-up the grass. Remember, the grass roots will typically be very shallow and can be damaged easily.
  4. Cut the grass only when the grass and soil are NOT wet. Mowing when the ground is wet can lead to damaged roots and grass that may prohibit proper germination and growth. Since most new lawns require constant water saturation for their first weeks/months, try to mow during the driest period in between waterings.
  5. Try Mulching your clippings. Not only will mulching serve as a fertilizer for your new lawn (see: Do I Bag or Mulch the Clippings?) , but it will also provide good ground cover to help keep the soil and roots from drying out.

About the Author
Dawn West B.A. holds a B.A. in English from Harvard University and teaches writing at Oregon State University.

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