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Good Mowing Practices

Follow these procedures and precautions for safe, good mowing:

  • Pick up all stones, sticks and other debris before mowing to avoid damaging the mower or injuring someone with flying objects.

  • Never mow wet turf with a rotary mower because clippings can clog the machine. Mow only when the turf is dry.

  • Sharpen the mower blade frequently enough to prevent a ragged appearance to the turf

  • Mow in a different direction every time the lawn is cut. This helps prevent wear patterns, reduces the grain (grass lying over in the same direction), and reduces the possibility of scalping

  • Do not remove clippings. If clumping occurs, distribute these by re-mowing or by lightly raking. A leaf blower can also be used to distribute clippings.

  • Check your mower every time it is used. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for service and adjustments.

  • Adjust cutting height by setting the mower on a driveway or sidewalk and using a ruler to measure the distance between the ground and the blade.

  • Never fill a hot mower with gasoline.

  • Always wear heavy leather shoes when mowing the lawn.

  • Wash mower after use to reduce rusting and weed seed movement.

 

  • Turfgrass Spe

    cies

    Optimal Mowing Height (inches)

    Mowing Frequency (days)

    Preferred Mower Type

    Bahiagrass

    3.0-4.0

    7-17

    Rotary/ flail

    Bermudagrass

    .5-1.5

    3-5

    Reel

    Carpetgrass

    1.5-2.0

    10-14

    Rotary

    Centipedegrass

    1.5-2.0

    10-14

    Rotary/ reel

    St. Augustinegrass

    2.5-4.0*

    5-14

    Rotary

    Zoysiagrass

    1.0-3.0

    10-14

    Reel

    * Dwarf varieties of St. Augustinegrass (Seville, Jade, Palmetto, Delmar) are the only cultivars of this species that should be mowed at less than 3

This document is a reprint of Fact Sheet ENH 10, a series of the Environmental Horticulture Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. First published: May 1991. Revised: January 2001. Please visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu. Written by L.E. Trenholm, Assistant Professor, Turfgrass Specialist, Department of Environmental Horticulture, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Gainesville FL 32611, J.B. Unruh, Assistant Professor, Turfgrass Specialist, West Florida Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, Jay FL 32565, J.L. Cisar, Professor, Turfgrass Specialist, Ft. Lauderdale Research and Education Center, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale FL 33314. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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