Why mowing isn't just a chore
It is almost Friday! Sorry for the delayed blog the wheels have been turning pretty fast here at GCase and in my off time I have been focusing on finals for school. :) Anyways, I stumbled on a pretty interesting article about mowing your lawn. I remember growing up, mowing was my weekend duty, mowing almost two acres that is. My dad being in the lawn business (yes, Gib himself :) ) he always had me and my siblings outside helping or going around and watching him work. University of Florida says mowing isn't just a chore but it is actually an agronomic thing we do to keep a healthy turf system. See below the article as to why mowing is an essential thing to do.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. — With higher temperatures come higher lawns, so now that spring is in full swing, you may mow more often. When you do, you help preserve the environment and keep your yard aesthetically pleasing, a University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences expert says.
Environmentally, proper lawn care can help prevent nutrients from flowing into nearby waterways, said Jason Kruse, a UF/IFAS associate professor of environmental horticulture. Mowing helps increase canopy density, increases soil stability and prevents soil erosion. These changes in the lawn will help limit fertilizer and other nutrients from flowing into waterways, Kruse said.
In addition to taking care of the environment, most people mow their lawns because they want them to look good. So how often should you mow? That depends on several factors, including the kind of grass on your lawn, time of season, amount of shade and desired use, Kruse said. If you have St. Augustinegrass, you have to mow at taller heights because it has course-textured leaf blades. If you have bermudagrass, you’ll want to mow closer to the soil because of its numerous narrow leaf blades and lower growth habit.
Kruse also emphasizes the “one-third rule,” in which you mow your grass no shorter than one third of its current height. For instance, if you mow your St. Augustine grass at a height of 4 inches, you should mow again before it grows higher than 6 inches.
On the other hand, you don’t want to mow the grass too low to the ground, known as “scalping.” Even though you mow to keep your lawn looking good, remember that mowing puts grass under stress. If you mow the grass too low, you can leave the grass susceptible to disease, pests and drought, he said.
“The biggest mistakes are mowing too low and not often enough,” Kruse said. Some homeowners associations and even some cities and counties might cite you for an overgrown lawn.
Also, keep in mind grass that sits in the shade of a tree. Due to the limited light reaching the canopy of the lawn, it will perform better if maintained at a higher height of cut. Consider raising the height of cut in shaded areas of your lawn by half an inch compared to the rest of your yard, to give the lawn access to more light for photosynthesis.
Kruse also suggests keeping your mower blade sharp. Otherwise, the canopy may turn brown, and you increase the risk of spreading disease, he said.
Most importantly, even though it’s hot and humid outside – when a lot of people would rather stay inside and cool – this is the most important time of year to mow frequently, Kruse said.
“Mowing is an activity that many people often discard as something they need to do,” he said. “But at the end of the day, it’s probably one of the most important agronomic practices that we do to keep a healthy turfgrass system.”
By: Brad Buck, 352-294-3303, firstname.lastname@example.org
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