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When Should I Mow?

by Dawn West, All About Lawns Columnist

Again, it seems like a simple question, right? Well, for many of us, it may not be so simple. Have you ever mowed your yard while it's damp? If you have, then you know what we mean. There are a few simple rules to go by when deciding on when you should mow your lawn:
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  • Try to make sure the lawn is not damp or wet when mowing. This can often lead to your mowing not bagging properly, getting clogged with grass, or bogging down. Another problem may be clumps of grass on the lawn. The simple remedy to this problem is to wait until your lawn dries out! For you morning people, this may cramp your style when morning dew sits on the grass. But, at least you won't waste your time fighting a losing battle!
  • Generally, it is best to mow when the lawn has grown to at least a third past its mowing height (see: How High Should I Cut the Grass). Try not to stick to the old "cut every Saturday" routine for you may not be cutting at the right times. Every grass has a "peak" growing season (see: Getting to Know Your Lawn) and tend to grow the quickest during these times. For example, Warm Season Grasses tend to flourish during the summer months and may require cutting every 3-4 days during this time. Conversely, these same grasses may slow their growth rate down in the fall months and only require cutting every other week. As you can see, the grass has its own agenda and it can be very seasonal in its growing patterns. For most grasses, it's a good rule of thumb to plan on mowing more frequently during the summer months and adjust YOUR schedule accordingly. The last we heard, the grasses haven't made any concessions on this point!

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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