How often should I mow?
Lawns should be mowed frequently enough so that no more than 1/3 of the vertical height is removed with each mowing. Never should more than 1/3 of the leaf surface be taken off at one time. This helps the plant maintain sufficient leaf area for quick recovery and continued growth. This rule means that if the mowing height is 2 inches, mowing should be scheduled again before the lawn is 3 inches tall.
Along with the height of mowing, the frequency of mowing is critical. The mowing schedule should be determined by how fast the grass is growing rather than by a routine weekly or 10-day schedule. Don't be a once-a-week mower because this may do great damage to turf grass.
Another tip for good mowing is to cut in different directions as often as possible. Always mow when the grass is dry with a good sharp mower. Mowing is probably the most important aspect of maintaining a well kept lawn.
When should I stop mowing the lawn?
Maintain the mowing schedule into the fall as long as the grass continues to grow. The lawn should go into winter at a lower height than it was maintained during the growing season. The last mowing in the Upper Midwest is often in late October or even early November.
Should I water my lawn?
If there is not adequate rain fall you may need to water your lawn to keep it in good condition. The Midwest's climate, along with the natural ability of many turf grass plants to survive dry periods, often makes lawn watering optional. Low maintenance lawns typically are not watered. During spring and fall, natural precipitation is usually adequate to cause excellent growth and color. During summer when rainfall is often insufficient for plant growth, the lawn may turn brown and go dormant. Most grass plants, however, do not die and new growth begins with adequate rainfall. To promote vigorous growth and green color during dry periods watering is required. The average lawn with use about one inch of water per week depending on the time of the year and temperature.