Hot, sticky days are a miserable time to mow. As it turns out, your grass doesn’t appreciate getting sliced and baked either. Find out how to stay out of the worst of the heat and keep your grass happy this summer.
Start by picking a cooler day to mow. That 89-degree day is better than the 100-degree one. Next, be smart about timing. Never mow your lawn during peak sun and heat hours, between about about 11AM and 5PM. It’s rough on you and stresses your grass. Mornings aren’t much better. Morning mows expose cut grass to excess moisture from dew and well-timed irrigation. This can lead to disease and encourages the clippings to clump up, breeding even more disease and potentially clogging your mower.
The best time for a summer mow is late afternoon to early evening, when the grass is dry and the heat is abating. If you can’t do it then, late morning while the temperatures are still mild but your grass is dry is the next best choice.
In the summer, it’s best to set your mower at least half an inch higher than usual. The added length helps keep your grass from getting stressed and wilting.
A good rule of thumb is to never remove more than 1/3 of your grass’s blade length at once. It prevents shock and stress. That said, longer is better in the summer months. Waiting until the last minute can be a good thing!
What About Clippings?
Raking and bagging clippings is tough, sweaty work. Unless you have thatch buildup or can’t stand the look of loose clippings, leave your rake in the shed. Clippings are nitrogen-rich and make great low-release, natural fertilizer. Invest in a munching mower for the best results.
The more miserable you are while you mow, the less happy your grass will be. Mow on cooler days at cooler times. You’ll be happier and your grass will thank you.