Does your lawn turn brown after mowing? Does the lawn look torn or ripped? Have chunks of grass been pulled up from the lawn while mowing? If you answered yes to any of these questions, chances are the blades on the lawn mower are dull and need to be sharpened. This is common problem among homeowners that may not realize that mower blades dull over time and need to be sharpened at least once or twice a mowing season. In the above featured image the grass blade on the left was cut with dull mower blades and the grass blade on the right was cut with a sharp mower blade.
When mowing, a good rule of thumb is to never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade. Cutting more than 1/3 of the blade off can stress the plant by reducing root growth that is essential for summer drought months. Unfortunately, during the spring rains, this means that the grass may need mowed every 3-4 days depending on how quickly it is growing.
During the summer months, it is still a good idea to leave clippings in the lawn. Mowing time should be cut down to only once a week or possibly every 10-14 days. Cutting the lawn too short in the summer months can cause stress to the lawn as well as contribute to the browning that everyone tries to avoid.
When to Sharpen Mower Blades
Mower blades need to be sharpened every 8-10 hours of actual cutting time. One of the easiest ways to tell if the blades should be sharpened is to look at the lawn after it has been cut. If the tips of the grass look torn, frayed, or are yellowed out, it is time to sharpen. The grass blade should have a nice clean line with very little to no tearing and should remain green in color.
Benefits of Sharp Blades
Mowing with dull blades can contribute to lawn disease, discoloration, and death to the grass plant. Grass with a clean cut will recover more quickly and help eliminate the chance of disease. Sharp blades will also reduce the amount of time it takes to mow the lawn. Dull blades tend to pull at the plant rather than cut it creating resistance.
Sum it up
Following the proper mowing schedule and mowing the lawn as needed depending on the weather conditions, mowing the lawn with sharp mower blades, and following the proper lawn care program will greatly benefit the health and appearance of the lawn.
It is always a good idea to consult with a lawn care professional and ask any questions you may have. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.