Spring in Tampa Bay is like no other season. We are enjoying moderate temperatures which have not yet gotten too hot, and everyone is excited to be outside and enjoy life in South Florida.
And while mowing, edging and trimming the grass may not be your first choice as to how to spend your day, there is no denying the satisfaction of surveying a beautifully manicured lawn. This spring, take advantage of these tips which will result in a perfectly mowed lawn, every time. Then get out there and have some fun!
Tips for a Perfectly Mowed Lawn:
Sharpen Your Blade:
A sharp blade will result in a precise, clean cut. Conversely, a dull blade will tear at grass blades, resulting in a jagged, rough look. Worse than that, ripped grass blades offer pests and disease an easy foothold, and will begin to die back. Plan on sharpening your blade once per month, and keep a new blade available in your garage should the need arise.
Don’t Scalp Your Grass:
Like a bad haircut, scalping your yard – cutting the grass too short – is tough to come back from. Grass which is too short on a consistent basis will cause shallow roots which are not capable of sustaining the lawn.
Also, exposed soil will give weeds a chance to germinate, and the increased sunlight will encourage them to grow. Taller grasses shade roots and soil, and keep evaporation to a minimum during our hot summer months. Do a little research to determine the right mowing height and adjust your mower for your type of grass or sod, be it St. Augustine, Zoysia, or Bermuda.
Tip: Taller grass is shady areas makes up for the lack of photosynthesis, and could be your answer for shady grass health.
Wait for the Grass to Dry:
Mowing wet grass causes a multitude of problems that will thwart your perfect lawn.
Grass can tear off in clumps and will bend over as you mow, causing an uneven cut. Wet grass can clog your mower deck, and wet grass lying on top of your lawn can kill the healthy grass. If soil is wet, you run the risk of creating ruts and ripping up the grass in places.
However, if you must mow the lawn while it is still damp, be sure to have a properly sharpened blade for best results.
Tip: Tampa and Sarasota residents should set their irrigation schedules so that your lawn is not watered on a mowing day.
Don’t Stress Out Your Lawn:
Mowing your lawn in the heat of the day can cause stress to the grass blades and cause them to lose too much water. (And let’s face it, it’s not too easy on us, either!)
The best time to mow is in the coolest part of the day. If you have shade trees or the shade on your lawn shifts during the day, you may even wish to mow each section when it is most covered in shade. It may mean a little extra time, but it will be worth it to keep your grass as healthy and non-stressed as possible.
Think Green in More Ways than One:
Grass clipping can provide up to 25% of your lawn’s needed fertilization, and so “grass-cycling” is a green and economical choice. It only works if you don’t leave excess, long clippings behind – shoot for mowing more often and only leaving 1/3 of the grass height behind. You may also wish to consider a mulching blade to cut clippings into smaller pieces. Done correctly, you can save time, money and effort by leaving nutrient rich clippings on your lawn.
Note: If you mow less often and have longer clippings, you can gather and compost for future fertilization.
Create the Perfect Edge:
Professionals know that you can often eliminate the need for edging your lawn by doing one simple thing. Roll one side of your mower wheels on the edging itself – be it a sidewalk, gravel, or pavers – and your mower will edge the grass adjacent to it.
You may need to adjust your mower height, but after a little trial and error you are likely to create a beautiful edge without changing implements.
Of course, the quest for the perfect spring lawn may also require weed control, fertilizer, or disease treatment. For these more stubborn problems, turn to the experts at Big Earth Landscape Supply.
They will help you to choose the best products to green-up your perfectly manicured lawn, and make you the envy of the neighborhood. We’d love to help, so stop by today!