What are The Best Mowing Practices for Iowa Lawns?

March 16, 2015

In 1976 All American Turf Beauty was the first company in Iowa to offer programmed lawn care. The company founders literally invented and developed the industry in Iowa. Get a beautiful weed-free lawn with our professional lawn care services!

Proper mowing practices are important in helping to maintain a healthy and sustainable home lawn. Mowing is a destructive process that injures the grass plant. Each mowing temporarily stops root growth, decreases carbohydrates production, increases water loss, decreases water absorption by the roots, and creates entry routes for diseases. Sound mowing practices help minimize these stresses while enabling the attractive appearance of a lawn after it is mown.

How often should I mow my lawn? As a general rule, mow as often as necessary so no more than 1/3rd of the total leaf is removed. For example, if you maintain a Kentucky bluegrass lawn at a 3-inch height, the lawn should be mowed when the grass reaches 4 ½ inches. Removing more than 1/3rd of the leaf is detrimental to the health of the grass. A Kentucky bluegrass lawn maintained at a 3 inch height will need to be mown about every seven days.

How high should I mow my lawn? Generally higher mowing heights result in healthier grass that is better able to resist drought and limit the occurrence of weeds. The mowing height also depends on the turfgrass species and environmental conditions. Iowa lawns that consist of Kentucky bluegrass or turf type tall fescue should be maintained at 3 inches. If the lawn contains perennial ryegrass or fine fescues, it should be maintained at 2 ½ inches. Maintaining these mowing heights for these cool-season grasses during the stressful summer months is very important. Mowing below the recommended height can scalp the turf and lead to rapid deterioration of turfgrass quality. Grasses can also be mowed too high. Mowing above the recommended height reduces tillering and causes matting of the grass.

Should I remove the grass clippings? A common misconception about grass clippings is that they contribute to thatch. This is not true. The need to remove grass clippings depends upon the mowing frequency. Clippings only need to be removed when poor mowing frequency lets the grass get so tall that you are making hay. Returning grass clippings to the yard releases nutrients back into the soil and can reduce fertilizer applications.

How often should I sharpen the mower blades? A sharp mower blade is vital to a quality cut. Mower blades need to be sharpened at least once a year. Dull blades shred the grass, which increases the ports of entry for disease. A dull mower blade leaves a uniform whitish cast to the lawn. Sharp blades are especially important for ryegrass and tall fescue.

How can I stripe my lawn? Many homeowners like the visual appearance of a striped lawn. Stripes are created when the grass blades lean in different directions creating the illusion of stripes. Dark colored stripes appear when the grass blades lean toward you and light-colored stripes appear when the grass blades lean away from you. Commercial mowers use metal rollers to create stripes. Stripes can be created using a standard mower by mowing back and forth across the lawn in opposite directions. The rear skirt on the mower helps bend the grass blades in different directions.

What mower safety precautions should I follow?

  1. Review the operator’s manual.
  2. Remove debris from lawn.
  3. Keep children and pets at a safe distance.
  4. Keep feet and hands away from blade.
  5. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants.
  6. Operate mower at low travel speed.
  7. Watch footing on wet areas and slopes.
  8. Do not leave engine running unattended.
  9. Do not disconnect any safety switches.
  10. Refuel engine only when it is shut off and cool.
  11. Stop engine and disconnect spark plug wires prior to working on blade or engine.

If you’re looking for lawn care in Des Moines or Iowa in general, just give us a call at 1-800-365-8873 now!

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Our services are guaranteed!

If you are not completely satisfied with an All American Turf Beauty application to your lawn, we will re-apply the application at no additional cost and continue the regular lawn treatment program. Alternately, we will fully refund your cost for the application and cancel any further obligation on your part.

To qualify for the guarantee, you must call All American Turf Beauty within 30 days of application.

Our goal at All American Turf Beauty, Inc. is a simple one:

To provide you with the highest quality products and methods available.

We offer every kind of service that it takes to develop and maintain a beautiful lawn in Iowa based on the climate, soil types, and the varieties of grass that are commonly grown here.

One of the keys to the success of the program is that we provide treatment to lawns approximately every 8 weeks throughout the growing season. This ensures that the grass has fertilizer (food) available throughout the growing season. Dandelions and other Broadleaf weeds are controlled as they germinate thus enabling a weed free lawn, and our Turf Specialist is at the property four to six times per season to address problems as and when they arise.

Another key to our service is our people. The most important person to you in our company is the Turf Specialist assigned to treat your lawn.

We are proud to say that our Turf Specialists are the best trained and most experienced in the lawn care industry.

When you become a customer at All American Turf Beauty, a Turf Specialist is assigned to your account. You will have the same person treating your lawn each time. It is their responsibility to service your lawn, make sure it is receiving the correct applications as scheduled, and to provide you with the best personalized service possible. Their jobs depend on it.

We have several programs to choose from. Your Turf Specialist will recommend the best program that fits the needs of your lawn and your budget.


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