A healthy lawn ensures the soil structure stays loose and open. A well-maintained lawn has lots of pores in the soil for the rainwater to soak into. It thus improves soil quality and prevents soil erosion.
This is why it is important to know the best time of the day to mow your lawn and do other activities in your yard or lawn.
Besides making your property look attractive, there are many other benefits of maintaining a lawn. Lawns also help regulate the temperature on your property.
The grass and other plants in the yard keep your home warm through winters and cool through summers.
We are all aware of how industrialization has led to an increase in carbon dioxide emissions. The grass and shrubbery on your lawn help purify the air in your surroundings by trapping in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.
Trapping in carbon dioxide is the need of the hour for our environment. Excess carbon dioxide can lead to an increase in temperature, which can pose many other environmental dangers.
Apart from trapping CO2, the green patch on your property is also responsible for trapping dust. This results in not only pure but also clean air.
One of the key aspects of maintaining a lush and healthy lawn is how well you mow it. It is necessary to understand that each time you mow the grass; you determine the success or failure of achieving a lush lawn.
In a properly mowed lawn, the turf with be healthy, tolerant to drought, and thick enough to crowd out weeds. If the lawn is mowed is not mowed properly, it will struggle to even survive.
Best Time of the Day to Mow the Lawn
The best time of the day to begin lawn mowing is during mid-morning. The best time is between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Before 8 a.m., chances are the grass will still damp from the morning dew or from the automatic irrigation system.
However, by around 8 a.m., the lawn will be dry and primed for a trim. After 10 a.m., the temperature begins going up. Mowing the lawn when it is hot can prove to be detrimental for the grass as well as the lawn mower.
Mowing during hot hours of the day can cause tremendous stress to the grass. It can also overheat the lawn mower.
If you are not a morning person or run a hectic schedule in the morning with the kids rushing off to school and you rushing off to work or run errands, then the next best time of the day to mow the lawn is during the late afternoon.
The ideal hours are between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. the worst of the midday heat has passed, and by this time, the temperatures begin to cool down.
Mowing the grass at this time causes lesser stress to the grass. The turf still has ample time to recover before nightfall. The grass is highly prone to attack by fungal infections and other diseases after dark. And if it has just been cut, the grass will be weakened further.
Cutting of the grass in the late afternoon helps limit the fungal infections and diseases which can harm the grass.
When Not to Mow & Why
Avoid mowing the lawn before 8 a.m. During this time, the grass is wet from the morning dew. If you have an automatic irrigation system installed, the chances are that the timer has been set to 5 a.m. since it is the best time to water the lawn.
Mowing wet grass can give it an uneven cut. Also, wet grass can clog up the mower and damage it. Additionally, when the mower rolls over a wet lawn, the soil gets compacted, there are visible ruts, and the grass blades are damaged.
Another time to avoid mowing the lawn is mid-day and early afternoon. During this time, the sun is shining at its brightest, and it is the hottest time of the day.
Mowing the lawn during this time will put the grass under a lot of stress as cutting off the tops of the grass exposes them to the direct heat of the sun.
Evenings are another crucial time to avoid mowing the lawn. It is definitely cooler than the late afternoon, and neither the lawn nor the mower is exposed to the sultry heat of the sun.
That said, mowing the lawn in the evening leaves very little time for it to recover and makes it susceptible to diseases and fungal infections.
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Best Times for Other Lawn Care Tasks
A beautiful, finely-manicured lawn doesn’t happen overnight. It needs a lot of care and hard work. Tasks like watering,seeding,fertilizing, mowing, de-thatching, aerating, and regular removal pests and fungal infestations need to be carried out periodically to make sure your lawnstays lush and healthy. Let’s understand what each of these tasks entails.
Early in the morning is the best time to water your lawn. During the morning, water evaporation is fairly less, compared to the afternoon.
Besides, watering the lawn during morning helps regulate the temperature of the turf, as the day progresses and the temperature rises.
Seeding and Fertilizing
To begin, check the pH levels of the soil in your lawn. The local county extension office in your area can assist you with information about testing facilities and soil testing kits.
Soil amendments can help restore the pH balance if it is outside the range for healthy turf growth.
Fertilizing the lawn adds essential nutrients to the soil, which are, in turn, provided to the grass. The correct fertilizer application rate is crucial if you want a healthy lawn.
Applying excess fertilizer can cause an increase in the nitrogen and salt levels in the soil, which can damage or even kill the lawn grass.
The best time of the year to sow grass seed is between late summer and mid-autumn. During this time, the soil is damp and warm from the rain, which provides an ideal environment for the grass seed to germinate.
Additionally, the threat of weed growth is comparatively less during this time of the year.
The ideal time to fertilize new grass seed is before or while the seed is being sown. Starter fertilizers vary slightly in composition – Phosphorus supports vigorous root growth, while nitrogen fuels top growth and greening.
Select a combination that gives the seeds the nutritional boost they need to promote healthy germination and quick growth. Lawn soil should be fertilized at least two times a year.
It is only natural that environmental debris gathers around the base of the grass plants. This debris contributes to the formation of thatch. Thatch does not comprise clippings of mown grass.
These clippings usually break down naturally within a week or so. Thatch comprises crowns and clumps which have died or worn off naturally.
Thatch collection in a small amount is useful as it blocks evaporation and helps water conservation in the soil.
It is ideal to de-thatch only when there is a heavy build-up of thatch, which prevents the water and air from reaching the soil, as this can impact the overall health of the soil and the grass plants.
The soil in your lawn can get compacted when it is driven and walked upon. Compacted soil prevents oxygen from reaching the microbes, which helps break down the organic matter, which enriches the soil.
To prevent the compacting of soil, it must be aerated. Aerating the soil involves removing small sections of soil to form shallow holes.
This allows organic material, water, and air to spread into the earth through these holes and help revitalize the soil.
To ensure the good health of your lawn, it is recommended to aerate the soil once in a few months.In case there is heavy traffic of footfalls on the lawn, then advisable to aerate the lawn every month or once in six weeks.
Miscellaneous Tips to Keep in Mind
Use Sharp Blades
One of the key points to remember is, always use sharp mower blades. Blunt mower blades can tear the grass.Thus causing more damage than good to the grass. Unevenly cut or torn grass puts it under stress.
Mow little. Mow often
The best way to ensure your turf is always lush is to mow little but mow it often. It is better to take off a little from the top of the grass blades once a week instead of scalping it entirely once every month.
Health & Safety
Mowing a wet lawn increases chances of injury, as wet lawns can be slippery. Mowing in the sweltering heat can cause fatigue, dizziness, or even a heat stroke.
Hydrate often as sweating heavily can deprive the body of fluids. Also, it is imperative to wear sunscreen since your body is also exposed to the sun.
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