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1.What is the rule of thumb for the grass height before it should be mowed?

The general rule is that no more than one third of the leaf blade should be removed at anyone mowing.

Another way to think about this would be to mow the grass when it reaches 50 percent higher than the desired height.

For example, if you are maintaining the turf area at two inches, ideally it should be mowed when it reaches three inches in height.

Of course, turf grass can be mowed more frequently, but the one-third rule establishes the maximum time between mowings.

2. Is there a right or wrong way to mow the lawn? What are the tips?

The one-third rule mentioned above is the most important.If possible, try to change the mowing pattern at each mowing.

In other words, try to alternate the direction of travel each time the grass is mowed. This helps to reduce compaction problems (traveling in the same path over and over) and also helps to keep the grass from leaning or growing in one direction

3 .How dry must the grass be when I mow it?

As dry as possible. If the grass is wet, it won't mulch properly and the clippings will tend to clump together or stick to the mower deck.

It is a good idea to let the dew evaporate before mowing. You should be able to pass your hand over the surface of the grass and not detect free moisture.

4. How can I control weeds with mowing?

The best weed control is a thick healthy lawn.

Proper mowing is an important part of maintaining a healthy turf area. Height of cut can influence weed invasion. A thick or dense turf that is mowed at the higher portion of the recommend range discourages most weeds.

 The best weed control is to do the things (i.e. proper mowing, fertilization, irrigation, pest control, etc.) necessary to ensure a thick and healthy turf area.

5.Should I bag the grass clippings, mulch them, or allow them to remain on the lawn?

a). When should I let the clippings lie? If mulching is possible, and if the use or the appearance of the area will not be affected, mulching is recommended.

If mulching is not available, it is strongly recommended that the one-third rule be strictly adhered to. Keeping the clippings short allows them to more quickly fall down off the surface of the turf to the soil surface and begin decomposing. The shorter the clippings, the more rapidly they fall to the soil surface and the less disruption there will be to the appearance of the turf area.

b). When should I mulch? If possible, clippings should be mulched every time the turf is mowed. Exceptions to this would be when the grass is unusually high and/or wet. In such cases it probably will be necessary not to mulch but rather bag or rake the area after mowing.

c). When should I bag? Bagging should be done only when mulching cannot be done or the presence of even a small amount of clippings left on the lawn is objectionable.

6. How can mowing patterns enhance the look of my lawn?

As evidenced by professional baseball fields, mowing patterns can add an extra dimension to a turf area. The pattern is the result of the light hitting the surface of the turf at different angles. This is often accomplished with rollers that lay the grass in contrasting directions.

Homeowners can achieve this effect to some extent by using certain types of mowing equipment. Traditional rotary mowers will establish patterns also, but the effect is less dramatic.

In any case, mowing the lawn in perfectly straight lines or some established symmetrical pattern is much more pleasing to the eye versus a haphazard approach.

Of course, as mentioned above, it is important to change the direction of mowing as often as feasible.

7. What are the signs of a worn mower blade?

A worn or dull mower blade will tend to shred the grass leaf rather than cutting it cleanly. The result is a jagged tip that turns brown rapidly.

This, in turn, gives the entire lawn a brownish or tan appearance for several days.

The turfgrass might actually appear to be diseased or stressed, but the green color will gradually be restored as the grass leaves grow.

8. Why is it important to sharpen the blade?

A worn or dull blade produces a poor cut. The jagged tips produced by a worn mower blade are also open wounds for the invasion of diseased organisms.

A properly sharpened blade is also a balanced blade, which reduces vibration, extends the life of the mower, and makes it more comfortable to use.

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