|Good Mowing Practices
Maintaining the most attractive home lawn in the neighborhood takes time and effort. However, if your goal is an attractive looking, healthy lawn with a minimal amount of effort, it can be accomplished using some simple steps.
The following is a brief description of those steps in order of importance, with emphasis on minimizing the amount of time and inputs dedicated to your lawn.
1. Mow at 3.0 Inches
All cool-season lawn grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue in Indiana and Illinois perform best at a mowing height of 3 inches or more. Set the mowing height on your mower at 3 inches or the highest setting and leave it there all year.
2. Mow Frequently
Mow as often as needed to never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in a single mowing. In other words, if your mower is set at 3 inches, mow when the grass reaches 4 inches. This might be twice per week in the early spring and once every 2 to 3 weeks in the summer.
3. Return the Clippings
Bagging the clippings increases the time and effort needed for mowing. Leaving the clippings returns valuable nutrients and does not harm the turf. Mulching mowers are effective for returning clippings, but older side-discharge mowers will also work acceptably.