Austin has it all: live music, festivals, art, and culture. There’s so much to do, the last thing you want is to get hung up on something as basic as keeping your yard green and lush. While you may think you know all about yard work, you may be in for some surprises when it comes to taking care of your landscape properly. Here’s a quick primer on all things lawn mowing and maintenance in Austin.
Mow at the Right Height
How high or low you mow has more to do with the type of grass than personal preference. If you’re mowing at irregular intervals to an arbitrary length, chances are your lawn isn’t looking or feeling its best. Most Austin area lawns are Bermuda grass or St Augustine. If you aren’t sure, do a little research so that you can get your mowing height just right and keep it that way.
St. Augustine grass performs best when kept shorn to around 2.5 inches or so. Bermuda grass, on the other hand, will be at its best when kept to 1.5 to 2 inches long. Once you know what type of grass you’re dealing with, you can set your mower blade height and forget about it. But first, you need to get that grass down to the right length. If you’ve let it get shaggy and unkempt, you need to slow down and mow it in stages over a few weeks rather than all at once.
Regardless of grass type, it’s important that you never cut more than ⅓ of the blade length in one go. Excessive cutting will injure your grass and leave it susceptible to pests, diseases, and ugly brown spots. Mow it frequently over a few weeks by ⅓ at a time until you get it to where you want it. Then, set your blades at the optimal length and mow as often as needed to take only ⅓ off at a time. Always mow when your grass is dry to avoid clumping of clippings and dulling of your mower blade.
Keep your Blades Sharp
Mower blades get worn down over a season (or many) and eventually come to do more tearing than cutting. If you see blades of grass after a mow that look tattered or brown at the end, it may be time for a little blade maintenance. Dull mower blades can do more harm than good. Tearing the grass can stress the lawn, leaving it open to disease. It will also leave it looking scrappy.
For handy sorts who own tools and are into DIY maintenance, you can sharpen your mower blade quickly and easily. If this seems like too much hassle, you can buy a new blade for around twenty dollars. No matter what you choose, remove the spark plug before removing the blade, to avoid any freak accidents while you’re fiddling around down there.
How you water is almost as important as when you water. Keep to a schedule and irrigate using infrequent, deep waterings rather than frequent, shallow waterings. Watering in the evening can leave grass moist overnight and make it vulnerable to fungal growth. Water early in the morning, and stay aware of watering restrictions to avoid fines.
Feeding and Aeration
Most lawns will benefit from a little feeding and some relief from the compaction that happens over time. You should fertilize at the beginning and end of the growing season. Grass clippings are an excellent fertilizer for the lawn, so letting them stay where they fall is a good policy. Aerate each year to help your lawn “breathe,” which helps it stay healthy.
These are just the basic guidelines for lawn mowing and maintenance in Austin. If you can get accustomed to maintenance and a schedule, you can spend less time slaving over your lawn and more time enjoying the great outdoors.
Have more questions about lawn mowing and maintenance in Austin? We got you covered! Go to our Austin, TX lawn care page for more information.