Most of the lawns in the Stafford, Spotsylvania, and Fredericksburg area are tall fescue grass. Tall fescue is a cool season grass. It grows well in the cooler weather of fall and spring. Optimum growth occurs at temperatures between 65° – 80°. Growth slows or stops during the summer and winter. This type of grass has a clumping growth habit and is called a bunching type grass. It spreads by seeds and benefits from over seeding in the late summer and early fall.
- Before you begin mowing, check your lawn and remove rocks, toys, debris, etc.
- Always start with a sharp blade for a clean cut. A dull mower blade rips the grass blade, leaving an unattractive frayed edge making the grass susceptible to weeds, fungus, and insect problems.
- Mow often enough to not remove any more than 1/3 of the grass blade at a time. Cutting too much off at one time leaves your lawn vulnerable to disease and pests.
- Avoid mowing when the grass is wet.
The most important tip to keep your lawn thick and strong is to raise your mower to its highest setting. Tall fescue needs to be mowed high, between 3 – 4 inches. Taller, denser grass is healthier and stands up better to weeds and drought.
The plants green color comes from chlorophyll that enables the process of photosynthesis, which is how a plant produces the carbohydrates (food) it needs. Taller grass also means more leaf blade surface, resulting in more green tissue available for photosynthesis.
The Advantages of higher mowing:
- Lawn has lush, greener appearance
- Drastically reduced weeds
- More carbohydrates (food) produced
- Extensive, deeper root system
- Thick, healthy growth
- Less drought stressed
The Disadvantages of shorter mowing:
- Thin, brown, unattractive lawn
- Weed filled yard
- Less carbohydrates (food) produced
- Shallow root system
- Less resilient lawn
- Prone to disease and stress