Lawn Care and Best Mowing Practices for Florida Lawns

Mowing is one of the most common tasks you’ll have to do to care for your Florida lawn. While each grass type will have its own specific mowing height and frequency, there are some general principles that apply no matter what style of grass you have. Here’s an overview of our top recommendations for keeping your lawn as green and healthy as possible when mowing.

Always Weed Your Lawn Before Mowing

Take care to remove any weeds before you start mowing your lawn whenever possible. Be aware, merely mowing weeds can actually make the problem worse. The mower distributes the seeds throughout your lawn, enabling even more weeds to take up residence. Pulling weeds out by the roots before you start mowing can save you a lot of frustration in the future.

Know Your Grass Type

Before you get started with mowing, it is crucial that you know what type of grass you are dealing with. This will inform the mowing height and schedule. For example, St. Augustine grass likes to be kept relatively tall at 3.5 to 4 inches, while Zoysia prefers a shorter cut to 1 or 2 inches. Mowing to the wrong height won’t necessarily kill your lawn. However, it can make it more susceptible to disease and pests. Take the time to identify your specific grass variety so that you know exactly how tall to keep it.

Allow Your Grass to Dry Before Mowing

Whatever watering schedule you use for your lawn, save your mowing sessions for times when your lawn is dry. When the grass blades are wet, they tend to be a bit softer. The mower is more likely to tear them rather than cutting through cleanly. This stresses the grass and makes it easier for pests and disease to take hold. Not only that, but wet grass can also stick to the mower blades, potentially clogging your mower. Finally, when the soil underneath your lawn is still wet, your footsteps and the wheels of your mower sink in more deeply, compacting the soil and making it more difficult for your lawn to absorb the nutrients and moisture it needs.

Don’t Over mow in a Single Session

Regardless of how tall your grass likes to be, you shouldn’t trim off more than a third of the grass’s overall height in a single mow. Cutting more than this amount can stress your lawn, leaving it more prone to weeds, pests, and disease. If you have been a bit lax about mowing and let your lawn get overly long, trim a third of the grass during one session. Then, move your next session a bit earlier before mowing another third. Keep doing this until you get your lawn back to the desired height.

Keep Your Mower in Good Repair

Clean, sharp mower blades make the best cuts, so be sure to give your mower regular tune-ups, and sharpen or replace the blades as needed. If you notice that the tips of your grass are looking a bit ragged rather than cut smoothly, your mower blades have likely become dull. When this happens, they don’t cut the grass, but rather rip and tear it, which not only stresses your grass and opens it up to pests and disease, but also makes it look scraggly and unkempt. Keep your mower blades sharp so your lawn can look its best.

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If your lawn has fallen victim to poor mowing practices in the past and has seen better days, fresh sod can help restore it to its former glory. At Duda Sod, our sod farm provides a wide range of sod types, including Bahia, St. Augustine, Zoysia, and more.

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