I was looking through some of our blog posts from back in June of 2015 to refresh my memory on some of the issues we faced that summer after a (then) record-setting amount of spring rain. After all of the hours spent worrying about tornadoes, levees, and rainfall this last month, my brain was pretty much zapped and I needed to cheat for blog topics.
Now that all the excitement is over, we’ll move into the normal Oklahoma hot summer weather with an extra dose of moisture and humidity. So what does this mean for your lawn? MOWING!
With temperatures climbing regularly into the 90’s and a good amount of moisture in the soil, Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass will be exploding in growth, especially with the fertilizer we’ve put into the soil and will keep coming throughout the summer.
The general rule of thumb is to never take more than 1/3rd off of the leaf blade with each mowing. If your lawn taller than it normally is, adjust your mower up to a higher setting and gradually bring it down to your preferred height, usually around 2.5”.
So if your lawn has grown to around 5 inches, it might be easier to keep the height set at 2.5” and get it all cut at once, but that can lead to more problems down the road. Not only does it look like baled hay, but excess clippings left on the lawn can also lead to thatch problems when most of the thatch needs sunlight to decompose. When you cut half of the blade off at once, the turn has to put all of its energy into recovery and growth and the root system suffers when there is no energy left for it to grow.
Your turf and especially your root system will thank you for raising the height and adding an extra mowing a few days later. It also helps to let that top inch of soil dry out a bit so the roots will have incentive do grow deeper while the blades are higher, getting it ready for the summer heat!
I’ve also started to notice more and more of the robot mowers in yards as they become more popular, even getting one myself recently. They are usually set to mow either every night or every other night, rain or shine. I guess if you have one of those, disregard this blog. The only downside is I won’t be able to hand off mowing duties to my son like my dad did!
No, not this kind of robot mower…