Is Weekly Mowing the Ideal Schedule?

A question we often get from clients is, “How often should I be mowing my grass?”.  The answer is not as straightforward as you may think. Ideally, your mows would coincide with your lawn’s rate of growth, which varies based on the time of year, health of the lawn, fertilization schedules, and environmental factors. In the spring when conditions are warming, plenty of rain is falling, and fertilizer is being applied, lawns can experience extremely fast growth rates. The accelerated growth rates call for weekly, or even twice weekly mows. In times of drought, heat stress, or outside the peak growing season, lawns may only need mowing every other week, or even longer in some extreme cases.

Do Not Remove More than 1/3 of the Grass Blade

grass mowing height
A helpful chart with general guidelines from Pennington

Two key factors in determining when you should mow your lawn are: the ideal blade height for your type of grass and the season, and making sure no more than 1/3 of the grass blade is removed each mow. If your ideal grass height is 3 inches, and a week after mowing the grass has grown to a height of 4 inches, you can safely remove an inch or 1/4 of the total height.

Allowing grass, especially in peak growing season, to gain an extra week’s worth of growth can create problems. If you have skipped a couple of mows and now have a 6 inch tall lawn, mowing the lawn down to three inches removes 50% of the grass blade resulting in damage and stunted growth; staying on top of your mowing creates a much healthier lawn and cleaner cut.

There Are a Few Other Issues to Consider as Well

-Grass that is too long can block too much sun and airflow from the lawn. This can create conditions that are too wet and dark creating favorable growth for fungi and other problematic pests.

-Grass that is too long will clump when mowed, leaving piles of debris hat will suffocate the healthy grass underneath.

-The mowers are less able to finely mulch longer grass blades which won’t breakdown as easily or quickly, creating a buildup on the soil.

-Some weeds can grow a lot in a matter of days, allowing weeds time to gain height could lead to increase weed pressure in your lawn.

Does Bi-Weekly Mowing Really Save Money?

Many clients feel that they can save some money with a bi-weekly mowing schedule as opposed to having their lawn mowed every week. While this may seem like a great idea, there are many benefits to weekly mowing and several issues with mowing less often.

Most reputable lawn service companies are going to charge more per mow with regular bi-weekly mowing. It will generally vary from 1.25 to almost 2 times the normal cost of weekly mowing. The simple fact is, mowing overgrown grass is much harder on equipment, tougher on the lawn, and takes extra time as more passes are required in some cases. Companies that plan on staying in business must take this under consideration when pricing their services.

A few dollars saved on mowing now could end up costing you a lot down the line once the damage is done; seed, herbicides, fungicides, pesticides, and labor all add up quick. A proper mowing schedule can save you time, money, and headaches down the line.

In Conclusion

If you are mowing on your own, mow as needed to keep your grass at the proper height while only cutting 1/3 of the height with each mow. The home owner is better able to gauge this when they are cutting their own lawn. If hiring a lawn service, weekly mowing is most likely going to be your best option. When growth rates slow, the mowing service can skip a mow or two if they determine it is necessary; it is much easier to skip a mow with a weekly mowing client than it is to try and find space to fit a bi-weekly mowing client into an already full weekly schedule when their lawns are experiencing a lot of growth.

We offer weekly mowing for our clients to maintain a consistent cut and to allow us to adjust the lawn care schedule as needed without too much hassle. We feel that weekly mowing offers the best balance of value and helps maintain a healthier lawn. Contact Barefoot Lawn Care today for your lawn care needs.