Mowing your St. Augustine Grass
Mowing is a job so many of us hate, but so nice when it’s done. If you have St. Augustine grass, it’s good to know a little about your type of grass to help understand why and how you should mow it. Mowing St. Augustine grass is critical in protecting your grass and all the benefits you get from it; including a fun place to run and kick off your shoes and keeping your yard cooler. St. Augustine grass is a warm season grass, perfect for Florida. It has thick course fast growing blades. It’s fast growing abilities come from the, “stolon” (scientific term) or runner, part of the grass that reaches out like tentacles and pushes out weeds and other grasses you don’t want.
Here are some basic information about mowing that will keep your lawn investment strong, tough and resistant to pest, disease and weeds. There are 4 basic steps to mowing that will do just that. No matter that you do your own mowing, have the neighbor’s kid do it or the big guys with the big mowers jump on your lawn these four steps are important.
First, make sure your mower is in great shape. Of course checking things like oil, belt condition, and keeping the blades balanced are ultra important but so is keeping the blades sharp. Keeping the blades sharp ensures blades of grass are cut straight and not ripped keeping the tips of the grass blades from turning brown. Not pretty and also weakens the grass!
Second, vary your mowing patterns. Mowing the same direction each and every time eventually creates ruts and weakens the “runners”, those growing tentacles we told you about and the grass itself. Try making your mowing passes with long back and forth passes. Then when you mow the next time, change the direction that you started with on the last mowing day and head in a different direction with your passes. By varying the mowing pattern, it gives your grass a chance to recuperate making for a stronger lawn.
Third, keep your lawn cut to no less than 4”. Florida is a fun filled sun filled state, wonderful for all kinds of outdoor activities. St. Augustine grass can take the Florida sun but a lawn cut too short will fry, leaving room for both weeds and diseases to join in the lawn party. The height of grass blades creates shade not only for the parts of grass itself but helps shade weeds and their seeds keeping them from germinating. Weeds need full sun to spread, another reason not to be too ready to chop away at your lawn.
Fourth, watch out for heavy equipment, especially in the rainy season. When day after day is followed by rain and then a big heavy lawn mower is plunked down on the wet soil gouges are formed ruining the look of our once beautiful lawn and pushing the grass into the wet mud. Most good mowing companies offer a 30” push mow service. Our partners on our BeeGreen partner page offer that service if you’re looking for a service provider who can do it. If you are the one mowing and you are tempted to either mow in the rain or while it is still wet, resist. Not only will waiting until the yard is dry help prevent those ruts in your yard but the wet grass clippings will clog up your mower and make it a miserable job. Waiting until the grass is dry is the best option for a more beautiful lawn.
Mowing is not fun, but when done right it helps support your lawn making it one of the best looking lawns in your neighborhood. You’ll never get tired of hearing your neighbors ask you “How do you always make your yard look so great?”