Mowing Tips

We are only on your lawn, on average, 6 times a year, your lawn is mowed 5-6 times more than that. There can be a lot of damage done to the lawn in between our services just from mowing and trimming. Please pay attention to the after service notes that are emailed to you as those will include indications that the lawn is not being mowed properly. The most common problems we see with mowing are:


The single greatest contributor to lawn stress (which also contributes to fungal disease) is mowing too short. A grass plant is a living solar panel. It takes energy from the sun, moisture and nutrients from the ground, and creates energy. The longer the blade of grass, the more sunlight the plant collects, the healthier the plant is.

• Mow at the highest setting on your mower (cut height of grass should be at LEAST 3.5 inches)
• Never mow more than 1/3 of the grass blade per cut
Consistently mowing too short will cause your lawn to die!
Trimming too short along edges is THE main issue that contributes to weed growth in those areas!

Some people believe if they mow their lawn shorter they won’t have to mow as often. This is not true! When you mow it too short, it will actually grow faster to try and grow its blades back so it can continue creating the sugar it needs through photosynthesis. This uses up more energy and nutrients and weakens the plant, making it more susceptible to disease and insects. A plant that is at the proper height can use those nutrients instead to create more rhizomes (baby grass plants) to thicken the turf.


This grass is trimmed at about 1/2 inch!

This grass will show drought stress much faster than the rest of the lawn and weeds will invade because the grass is in a weakened state.






You should be sharpening your mower blades every year to make sure that they are cutting your grass, not shredding it. It should be making a clean cut across the top of the blade (Figure A).

If you are noticing the lawn is turning brownish and it is being watered properly, your lawn mower may be shredding or bruising the blades instead. The shredded tips are open wounds that can allow diseases to invade the plants.







(Picture from Purdue University Agronomy Department)



If your lawn is showing signs of drought stress and growth has slowed or stopped, DO NOT MOW! Your grass does not need to be mowed if it is not growing! If you do mow while the grass is stressed you will cause more damage to it. Note: We do NOT service in straight lines like in the picture, if you see damage like this, it is from your mower, not us.

Ways to tell when your lawn is becoming drought stressed:

  • brown spots
  • a silvery sheen (see circled area in picture)
  • your footsteps stay matted down when you walk on it
  • sounds crunchy


Make sure that you are mulching the grass clippings back into your lawn after mowing, not bagging them to throw away. Why? The tips of the grass plants are the healthiest part of the plant and have an abundance of valuable nutrients in them. Mulching the clippings recycles those nutrients as well as the organic matter from the plant material back into the lawn. Throwing them away removes all of those nutrients from your lawn, a lack of nutrients can contribute to a fungus outbreak. Heavy grass clippings, however, should not be left as they can smother the lawn. Heavy grass clippings will only happen if the lawn is being mowed too short or not being mowed often enough.