There are a lot of advantages to living in North Texas. One of those is that it’s fairly easy to grow a lush and beautiful lawn. This is the part of the country where grass thrives, but that does mean you have to tend to the grass. Mowing isn’t rocket science, but a few tips and tricks can help you mow more efficiently and take better care of your grass. One of the most important tips is knowing when to mow, and that’s what you’re about to learn.
Let’s start with the general information. You live in North Texas. You already know that summers are long here. The growing season starts in early spring (and sometimes late winter) and lasts well into the fall. The growing season is mowing season. Make that your first rule.
We’ll talk about first and last mows and winter care in a minute, but if the grass is green and growing, it’s mowing season. Think about how much of the year this is true, and you realize that Texas lawns need a lot of attention.
Crafting a Routine
For the bulk of the growing season, you want to mow your grass on a somewhat regular schedule. Weather will absolutely throw it off plenty of times, and that’s OK. It’s not about mowing at the same time, every time. It’s about building a routine so you don’t let the lawn get overgrown.
In North Texas, this means you’ll be mowing about once a week through most of the growing season. You’re in fertile and wet country, so the grass is going to grow and grow. You’ll find that a weekly schedule is the best way to keep the grass at a healthy length.
Part of the reason you’ll be mowing so often is that you don’t want to cut the grass too short in any mowing session. The rule is to never cut more than a third of the blades at a time. Cutting too short will hurt the health of the grass and cause problems. That means you’ll be mowing weekly, weather permitting.
The First Mow of the Season
There are some important special cases regarding the weekly mow. At the beginning of the season, the grass won’t need nearly as much cutting. For the first mow of the season, you’re going to be careful. It’s about stimulating growth and timing.
Grass in North Texas is going to green and grow once the soil can maintain a temperature of 65°F. You want to wait for signs of growth before the first mow, and it’s usually late February or early March. In some years it might even happen in January.
Your first mow should be a long mow. You’re going to raise the blades as high as they can go. By tidying the lawn and getting that long cut, you’ll stimulate the roots and prepare your lawn for a long, healthy growing season.
After the first mow, you won’t have to immediately start mowing once a week. You’ll probably only be working the mower twice a month until you get into the heavy growing season. Just watch how fast the grass grows and base it on that.
The Last Mow
The last mow of the season will also be predictable when you watch the behavior of your grass. By October, you’ll probably only mow twice a month. The growth slows (although some years mowing season might last longer), and it requires less work.
For the last mow, you’re trying to prep the grass before temperatures get low enough to end the growing season. It’s not always easy to time, and if you’re a little late, it’s usually OK. You want to cut the grass shorter than normal (to about two inches tall). This will ensure that there is minimal debris choking the grass through the winter, and it’ll set you up for a good start to the next mowing season.
Throughout the winter, you may want to do a few additional mows. These aren’t to cut the grass (unless it’s one of those winters where grass keeps on growing). Instead, these mows are to get rid of fallen leaves and other debris that covers the grass and prevents it from getting sunlight.
Here are a few mowing tips to help you through every season. First, keep your blades sharp. If you’re tearing the grass instead of cutting it, the lawn is suffering. Second, you typically want to leave grass three inches tall. Lastly, when you mow, you can typically leave the clippings in the yard. They will decompose into a fertilizing agent. As long as the clippings aren’t thick enough to block the sun, this is a more efficient way to maintain your lawn.
If lawn maintenance feels like a lot of work, you can always hire a pro. Main Street Mowing takes care of lawns throughout the Dallas–Fort Worth area. Call us today, and we’ll schedule a service that keeps your lawn in top shape.