If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, you might be wondering how to optimize your mowing and watering for stronger and healthier looking grass. A Classic Cut Lawn and Landscape offers these practical tips for efficient and effective mowing in Indiana.
Basics for Mowing & Watering Your Lawn
A general rule for mowing, especially with Indiana’s unpredictable weather, is to never cut more than 1/3 of the grass’ height with each mow. Make sure to keep your blades sharpened and avoid cutting when they are dull to maintain clean and precise cuts. You will also want to avoid mowing when the grass is wet to prevent rough cuts and the tearing of grass roots, damaging the lawn.
Another suggestion to keep in mind is changing the mow direction upon each mowing to keep the blades of grass growing strong and straight, while reducing the risk of weed infestation. This could mean alternating between vertical, horizontal and even diagonal directions. Keeping mowing consistent and at the proper height will result in a deeper and thus a stronger root system.
Watering twice a week in early morning (like 5-6am) or evening (around 7) for 30-60 minutes all over, when the temperature is at its coolest for the day, will reduce the risk of evaporation and help to better hydrate your lawn. You may have to monitor the weather so as not to over-water – targeting a deep water of 1.5-2in per week.
Mowing & Watering New Lawns
For a new lawn, it is best to mow as soon as the grass grows to be between 2 and 2.5in tall. Cut at a mowing height of 1.5-2 in for the first few weeks and then gradually increase your mowing height to anywhere between 3 and 3.5in. At this point it is safe to water your lawns less frequently but for a longer duration allowing the soil to absorb water at a deeper level. Prior to this, the first few weeks after a new lawn has been seeded, the lawn should be watered lightly a couple times a day to ensure that the soil around the developing roots stay wet.
Mowing & Watering Established Lawns
With established lawns, it is best to mow to approximately 3-3.5in in height when the tallest leaves are at 4-4.5in tall. It is best to mow frequently, weather permitted, and leave the clippings on your lawn. This allows them to break down and redeposit their nutrients back into the soil. Due to the cool weather and fast growth in the spring and fall, you may need to mow twice a week during these times and less frequently during the warmer seasons.
Water established lawns deeply and less frequently than you would a new lawn. During particularly hot or dry summers it may be beneficial not to irrigate your lawn until the grass leaves prints when you walk on it. The grass will begin to turn brown, however, cooler temperatures and rain come the fall will revive it and return it to its natural green color. This does not mean to stop watering completely, simply just enough to keep the grass alive through the rest of the season (i.e. twice a week with a penetrating amount of water).
Repairing Dead Patches in Your Lawn
Rake the dead thatch out of the way. Then, take some grass seed of your choice (the most popular seed for Indiana lawns and our favorite is turf tall fescue which is good for both sun and shade), mix it with some quality top soil, and put it down onto your bare spots. Water lightly a couple times a day to keep seed wet.
Bonus Lawn Tip
You may also wish to add an iron treatment to you lawn to help the blades retain more water and turn a beautiful dark green.
We hope you enjoyed our tips for basic lawn mowing and watering. Of course, if you would rather, we’d like to take care of your lawn for you – so you can spend your time doing other things you enjoy! We take great pride in providing professional, reliable services to all our clients. We use best practices and professionalism in making your lawn look it’s best! Sometimes we do have to cut when the grass is wet because we take care of multiple properties every day – but the lawns still look great! To request ACCLC weekly lawn maintenance services, reach out to us today! We offer free, no obligation estimates and still have openings in most of our service areas.