Before you decide to scalp your lawn, read about the damage you could inflict upon the tender grass blades you’ve worked so hard to grow. The Common Sense Approach: “I mow my grass extremely short so I won’t have to mow next week or maybe even two if I’m lucky.” Don’t fall victim to this mentality. You’ll be causing more harm than good and kicking yourself in the long run. Mowing your lawn too short allows cumbersome weeds to outgrow grass and completely overtake your once beautiful lawn. The short grass blades have difficulty retaining moisture and your lawn is prone to dehydration, especially in drought-plagued southern states like Tennessee. Common problems and solutions are as follows:
The best natural defense your lawn has against weeds is overall lawn health. A healthy, thick lawn that is between 3-4 inches tall shades weed seeds so they die out before they can germinate. The few weed seeds that are able to germinate are quickly smothered so they are unable to get a toe-hold in your lawn. When the grass is mowed too short, weed seeds germinate freely and quickly outgrowing your grass. The weed population then uses up the entirety of your soil’s nutrients, uptakes available soil moisture, and shades your grass from essential sunlight ensuring your beautiful lawn dies a slow death.
Short blades of grass reduce the amount of chlorophyll available to each plant and slows growth down dramatically. Longer blades of grass = more chlorophyll made available to each plant which leads to more vigorous growth.
When your grass is mowed too short, it instantly puts an increased demand on the available moisture and nutrients in the soil in an attempt to recover. That increased demand will quickly deplete the food and water supply in your soil causing a loss in plush grass plants due to starvation. When grass is allowed to remain a consistent height of 3-4 inches, the demand for food and water also remains consistent so neither becomes depleted.
The hot, dry southern summers already have lawns growing in drought-like conditions and mowing grass too short dries out your soil even more. The too-short blade exposes the soil surface to the scorching sun and dries it out rapidly, even with regular watering. Taller grass provides shade to the soil so it can retain moisture better and provides the needed hydration and the healthy lawn everyone desires.
The fescue types of grass most often seen in Tennessee grow best when they are mowed frequently. For a good-looking, weed-free, well-hydrated lawn, allow your grass to reach 3.5- to 4.5- inches in height before each mow. Mowing often is key. Remember to only remove one-third of the height with each mow.
Who doesn’t want the best looking lawn in the neighborhood? It’s as simple as mowing high and mowing often. Don’t be the reason your lawn doesn’t reach its fullest potential. Happy Mowing! :)