If you are like me, the very first time you started to cut your grass you had absolutely no clue what you were doing. Just as it is dangerous to give a sharp knife to a baby, it can be dangerous to our lawn to give a man a mower without proper knowledge of how to use it. Since the grass is just starting to grow this season, you should consider when it's the right time to pull out the dusty old lawn mower and give the grass its first haircut. But while lawn mowing seems simple enough, most people don't know that there are actually a few basic things to keep in mind to ensure the best health of the lawn.
Use the 1/3 rule:
You never want to cut your grass more than one third of its current length. Cutting any more than this can be damaging for the turf. If you skipped a week of mowing and now the height of your lawn is excessive, make sure to raise up the height of the mower before you cut, then mow a few days later with your normal mowing height.
Length of Grass:
Since Reno is considered a cool climate consisting of mainly Kentucky Blue Grass and Fescue, our mowing height is going to be slightly longer than that of warm climate grasses. In general, around 2-3" is a good height for our region. Do keep in mind that during the hotter summer months you will want to keep you grass a little longer to help protect your turf.
Bag or Mulch:
If you are a home owner and are on a consistent once a week mowing schedule, I would suggest mulching your grass clippings. Clippings are actually a natural fertilizer for your turf as long as it is mowed properly. If you mow your lawn once a month and ignore the first two suggestions, then the clippings are not small enough to break down to become fertilizer for the soil and will actually damage your lawn if left in larger clumps. If you have large clumps of grass after mulch mowing, then make sure you rake those up before calling it a day.
If you have a string trimmer and want nice edges around your grass, or to clear the grass from around the tree trunks, be careful! It might seem like tree trunks are durable enough to take the abuse of a small amount of string, but after weekly beatings the string will actually break down the bark of the tree and kill it. Check out this BLOG for more information about how to protect your trees for string trimmers and mowers and just be careful.