Summer droughts create lawn problems, causing grass to go dormant and even turn brown – something that is difficult for homeowners to prevent, even with regular watering. During these times of slowed or halted growth, mowing and other lawn maintenance should always be discontinued, or done much less frequently. When the opposite happens, and there has been a lot of rain, different problems can arise, since grass growth speeds up. Before getting out the lawn mower, or scheduling lawn mowing services after it has rained a lot, check out these tips to ensure mowing does not do more damage than good.
Mow With A Sharp, High Blade
It is always important to mow with a sharp blade, but this is even more essential when a lawn is damp, and grass is long, and growing rapidly. When lawn mower blades are not sharp, they can push grass over, rather than cutting it, leaving a lawn uneven. Softer, wetter grass requires a very sharp blade for a clean cut. It is also important to set mower blades as high as possible when a lawn is damp.
Mow More Often
An obvious result of more rain, is grass that grows faster! This means it also needs to be mowed more frequently. The best lawn mowing services suggest that grass should be mowed when it is fifty percent higher than its ideal height, meaning only one-third of its height is cut. With more rainfall, a lawn that normally reaches cutting height after about a week, may reach it in only a few days.
Cut Slowly – From the Perimeter, Inward
For the best lawn maintenance, keeping grass clippings or clumps off the part of the lawn that has not yet been mowed is even more critical when mowing a damp lawn, or one with thick, heavy grass, resulting from more rain and faster growth. The best way to avoid this is by first mowing the outer perimeter of the lawn, and then continuing around, moving inward by a half row each pass. By doing this, the lawn mower will not pass over any dropped clumps, and they can be picked up afterward.
Bag or Rake Up Clippings
Bagging clippings when lawns are heavy and damp, whether from growth or recent rain, is important, since wet clippings and clumps laying on the lawn will kill the grass underneath. Unfortunately, the more damp grass is, the greater the chance it will plug up lawn mower catch bags, leaving clippings behind rather than collecting them. For better lawn maintenance, it may be easier to mow without the bagger, and rake the clippings.
Keep Underside of Mower Clear
Along with the clippings bag, wet, heavy lawns will also collect grass on the underside of the mower deck, preventing clean cutting and dropping large clumps along the way. It is important to stop the lawn mower every few passes, turn it off, and clear all clippings out from under the mower deck; around the blade; and from the discharge vent, to prevent uneven cutting. Lawn mowing services assert that after mowing is complete, it is equally important to clean under the mower deck before any stuck clippings dry, because these heavier, wetter clippings will stick and become hard to remove later.
While many of these pointers are just common sense, when it comes to lawn maintenance in general, they are especially important when it comes to mowing when there has been a lot of rain. Whether a homeowner hires lawn mowing services, or does it themselves, knowing the best way to handle mowing during the wet season, and periods of high rainfall is critical for reducing damage, and keeping any lawn in its best shape!