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A Practical Guide for Mowing Your Lawn

9 Common Questions Answered

Mowing Your Lawn

For many Raleigh, NC homeowners, mowing your lawn is a weekly chore. Properly mowing your grass is one of the most important practices in keeping your lawn healthy. And while it may seem like a relatively easy task, there are many different factors to take into consideration about when and how to mow your lawn.
Here, we answer nine common questions that Raleigh, NC homeowners have about mowing their lawn.
  1. When Should I Start Mowing Aerating And Seeding My Lawn?
After aeration and seeding, it’s important that you give the new grass time to grow before mowing it. Delaying mowing helps the new grass mature before activity resumes.
As a general rule, you should wait to cut your new grass until it’s above the correct cutting height, which is between 3.5 to 4 inches in North Carolina. Depending upon soil temperatures, this could mean waiting up to 2-3 weeks.
When it’s time to mow your lawn for the first time, use caution when walking over the new grass or turning your mower. It’s okay to walk on the new grass, but try not to grind your feet or turn your mower too sharply. This could dislodge the new plants. Try to mow when the ground isn’t too wet and soft.
  1. When Should I Stop Mowing My Lawn In The Fall (Or Winter)?
Although there’s no set date we can give you, you’ll want to stop mowing your lawn when it stops growing in the late fall.
Cool season grasses, such as fescue, slows and stops growing when soil temperatures drop below 50 degrees. Once temperatures hit this point and you notice your grass isn’t growing anymore, you can mow one last time before winter.
Although some people prefer to mow their grass lower than the recommended height, you absolutely should not do this.
  1. When Should I Resume Mowing My Lawn In The Spring?
As with the question above, there’s no specific date, when you should resume mowing your lawn in the spring. However, here are a few general guidelines to follow.
As the weather begins to warm up, your turf will start growing again. Once your grass grows above the correct mowing height, you can start mowing your lawn at 3.5 to 4 inches.
Don’t mow your lawn if it has frost on it, or the temperature outside is below freezing, as this can damage the grass blades.
  1. When Can I Mow My Lawn Before And After Spraying For Weeds?
It’s not necessary to mow your lawn before weed control treatments. Mowing your lawn at the suggested height of 3.5 to 4 inches will provide enough leaf tissue of your weeds to be present so that the weed control can do its job. Wait a day or so before mowing your lawn after it has been treated for weeds.
  1. Should I Mow My Lawn Before Aerating?
Yes, you should mow your lawn one last time before aerating. Reason being is so that it can grow for a few weeks without getting too tall. Never lower your cutting height or “scalp” the grass. This damages the existing grass and is counterintuitive to what you are trying to accomplish.
  1. Can I Mow My Lawn When It’s Wet?
No, you shouldn’t mow your grass when it’s wet. There are several reasons why you shouldn't do this.
Mowing in wet conditions could lead to injuries due to slipping and falling. Also, this causes the mower to work harder, not allowing the clean cut you get when mowing a dry lawn. The grass clippings will clump, causing the grass to suffocate and leaving your lawn looking unattractive. You should remove any clumped clippings on the lawn, raking only the top of the grass.
  1. Can I Mow My Lawn After Fertilizing?
Yes, you can mow your lawn immediately after a granular fertilizer treatment. Lawn mowers are not vacuums. The fertilizer granules will fall to the soil surface and will not be collected or displaced like a grass blade can.
  1. Should I Mow My Lawn Before Applying Fertilizer?
There’s no need to mow your lawn specifically before or after applying fertilizer. Instead, mow your lawn when you normally would.
  1. How Often Should I Mow My Lawn?
How often you’ll need to mow your lawn depends on a variety of factors, such as how quickly it grows, how often you fertilize, the time of year, how often you water [Link to: “How Often Should I Water My Lawn” blog post], and the ideal height.
In North Carolina, the ideal height for fescue grass is 3.5 to 4 inches. Once your grass is above this recommended height, mow your lawn. This could mean mowing more than once a week or when the turf is not growing due to seasonal weather conditions, every other week.
The general rule is to not to remove more than one-third of the grass blade each time you mow your lawn. Otherwise, it will negatively affect the color of your lawn.
Mowing your lawn isn’t the only thing that makes it look thick, green and healthy. Keeping your turf healthy also means having a comprehensive lawn care plan including items such as fertilizer, weed control, aeration and fall seeding.
However, mowing it at the right time and at the right height will definitely impact how healthy and attractive your lawn looks. Don’t underestimate your role in lawn care success! Having a healthy lawn is a partnership between your lawn care company and your efforts at home.
If you ever have questions about what you should or shouldn’t be doing in regard to mowing your lawn, the best thing you can do is reach out to a lawn care professional for help.
At Weed Man, we provide lawn care services to the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Learn more about how Weed Man can help you achieve a greener and healthier lawn by requesting a free quote.

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