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When and How to Mow Your New Lawn

Aug 17, 2007
New lawns require time to become established and set down a root system before they are mowed. If you've seeded your lawn, it may be as long as two months before it can be mowed. Sod, on the other hand, may need to be mowed within three weeks of being laid. Plugs, sprigs and stolons can take as much as six weeks to become firmly established. If you've seeded your lawn, all seeds must have germinated before you mow. Plugs, sprigs, stolons and sod must have roots firmly set before they're mowed to prevent damage, just remember that mowing is the most often incorrectly performed part of lawn care, so arm yourself with information. Generally there are two types of grasses that we deal with, cool season grasses such as Fescue, Bluegrass and Ryegrass; these are the most common grasses in the Southeast. These grasses prefer to be cut at between 2.5 to 3.5 inches in height. Fescue seems to look better at around 3" high. Bluegrass is more tolerant to lower cutting, but don't go lower than 2.5". The other type of grass is warm season grasses such as Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede; these grasses will tolerate a very low cut. A Golf course typically uses a lot of Bermuda, and Zoysia and they usually cut it as short as ". Most typical home lawns will look nice at 1" providing you have a smooth grade.

Mowing

* Never cut more than 1/3 of the grass height.
* Assure the lawn is completely dry before mowing to prevent damage.
* Check your mower's instruction manual and set the mower to the proper height for new lawns.
* Keep your blades sharp for the best results. Dull or out of balance blades will cause you and your equipment to work harder.
* Mow at the highest recommended height and then mow again after a few days.
* Mow your lawn every four to five days if grass has grown adequately. Mowing too frequently will scalp a new lawn. Remember; only cut 1/3 of the grass height. Example: If your grass is three inches high, only cut one inch. This will keep your lawn lush, healthy and well-groomed.

Edging and trimming are the finishing touches of mowing, kind of like getting a shave after you've had a haircut. Edging and trimming are pretty close to being the same thing. Some tools such as edgers are designed to trim the lawn along a hard surface like a driveway or sidewalk. Edgers's cut a nice sharp edge, but leave some dirt and grass debris that will have to be cleaned up. A good trimmer can be used almost anywhere, along hard surfaces, in tight spaces, next to flower beds, and so on. Trimmers will also leave clippings on paths and driveways that you need to sweep up, or you could use a blower, but that's another story.
About the Author
K. Cochran is the author of this article. Visit his website, http://www.StartingaLawnCareService.com and check out his website and Lawn Care Blog. Article provided by StartingaLawnCareService.com
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