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The Magic of Lawn Mowing

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Preventing our lawns from becoming overgrown eyesores is the main reason we consent to push a lawn mower around week after week. But lawn mowing offers benefits beyond beauty.

Lawn mowing forces your lawn to become denser, which enables it to fight weeds, withstand disease, and resist drought. Follow these lawn mowing tips to coax your lawn into a lush green carpet.

Tip #1 - The Golden Rule of Lawn Mowing Never cut off more than one-third of the length of the grass in a single mowing. Cutting more than this with your lawn mower shocks the grass, and the result can be a root system that fails to go deep into the soil. Even if your lawn is out of hand, don't cut it back down all in one mowing. Give it a trim, and then wait a couple of days before getting the lawn mower out again and trimming it any further.

Tip #2 - Lawn Mower Doubt? Go Longer A longer lawn tends to be a healthier lawn. Keep in mind that the cool soil that results from the shade a long lawn provides helps cut back on the need for irrigation. The shade a longer lawn provides also prevents many types of weeds from ever germinating in the first place. A longer lawn makes lawn maintenance that much easier, not just in terms of mowing, but in terms of watering and weeding as well.
How would you like to improve your lawn?
  • Make it greener
  • Eliminate patches
  • Less weeds
  • Make it thicker
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Tip #3 - Lawn Mower Blades: Sharp Tools Save the Day If you're not using sharp lawn mower blades on your mower, you're tearing the blades of your grass not cutting them. This can make your lawn look ragged, but the rough edges can also increase your lawn's susceptibility to disease. Solve this problem by changing lawn mower blades at the first sign of torn or frayed blades of grass. Like you, lawn mowing services (ahem, your neighbor's kid) can also have occasional lapses when it comes to changing lawn mower blades too, so keep a lookout.

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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