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Do My Own Lawn Care - General Maintenance Tips

By DoMyOwn staff

Paul's lawn is starting to really take shape! A lot of the weeds are gone and the Bermuda is filling in nicely. In this video, Paul goes over one of the most important factors in keeping the lawn looking good, mowing!

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Video Transcript

I cannot get over how amazing this yard is starting to look! All of the hard work is really paying off and it's looking good.

I do have to admit, I was a little nervous there for awhile. When I did the Poa Annua video, and I did the drone opening, I flew the drone high above my house to get a birds eye view of the yard to see what it looked like. And...well I'll just let the footage speak for itself.

Looks terrible right? I thought to myself oh my gosh, I've killed my yard. Nothings going to grow back. It's dead! I showed this to the customer service staff, they reassured me, "Don't worry! You've been beating up on the yard, done a lot of stuff to it. It's going to grow back. You just got to give it some more tender love and care!"

So, let's take a look at what it looks like right now!

Huge improvement over where we were when we first started this program.

And to go back even further, I found some footage that I took on my cell phone when I first moved into this house and what the yard looked like then.

Not a lot of Bermuda, lots of weeds, a lot of Poa Annua popping up all over the place, so I'm really happy with where we're at so far.

Finally sprayed and treated this side of the sidewalk, so hopefully a lot of the weeds will start to die off there and we'll get some good Bermuda growing but I just can't get over how good this yard is starting to look and how well the Bermuda is filling in. I'm just really happy with it. I hope you're seeing the results that you want in your program as well.

Let me address this strip real quick. If you'll remember this is where all of that monkey grass was. Going all the way down the driveway here. I'm not going to do anything with it. I'm just going to keep weeds out of it. I'm going to try and let the Bermuda just grow into this area and get grass all the way up next to the driveway.

Now it's not without flaw. I do have bare spots like on this side of the Crape Myrtles, I've got a nice big bare spot. Going along the sidewalk here, and over there right in front of the fort porch where I ripped out all of those shrubs and where those Hostas are growing back. I've got some bare spots there. And I will take care of that a little bit later on.

I already showed and touched on this in the watering video, but this side of the yard, Fescue is starting to grow over here. I do have a lot of bare spots, it still needs a lot of tender love and care. But again I'm not really going to focus so much on this part of the yard this season.

What I want to talk about and touch on in this video is just general maintenance of the yard. And it's mainly centered around one major important thing when it comes to taking care of your yard.

Let's talk about mowing and cutting the yard. To start off let's talk about frequency. How often should you mow your yard? At least once a week.

To bag or not to bag the clippings? That's the question a lot of people ask, and I've asked it myself. Talking with the customer service staff, the answer is you can do one or the other.

Bagging your clippings will insure that you do not get a thick thatch layer throughout the yard and you have to go and dethatch it next season.

Not bagging your clippings is OK as well. If you're going to go this route, just make sure that you discharge the grass clippings back into the area that you've already mowed. This is known as grass cycling and it can return nutrients and nitrogen back into the yard.

Now let's talk about mowing height.

For my yard, I'm going to leave my mower dropped all the way down one more time. The reason for that is I still have some Poa Annua that I'm trying to get rid of. So scalping it down one more time should solve that problem.

But as a general rule of thumb, you want to stick to what's called the one third rule for mowing your yard.

Basically what that means is you never want to remove more than a third of the grass blade length at one time.

A healthy lawn can survive an occasional scalping but if you do this repeatedly you're going to open yourself up for some problems down the road. Not to mention creating a nasty brown looking yard which again that's not what we want.

Scalping will injure the crown, it will increase vulnerability to pest and disease, it will also increase sunlight reaching weed seeds that haven't germinated yet and you've got a weed problem again. And it will also risk soil compaction.

Going to go ahead and fire up my lawn mower and give the yard a cut. It's been awhile. It needs it. This will be the last time I mow with the mower dropped all the way down. I'll start raising the mower up as the season goes on, so that I can promote nice healthy full growth.

Now typically I mow going this way. But today I'm going to change it up and mow this way. And this brings up a very good point. You want to change the mowing pattern each time you mow.

The reason for changing the mowing pattern each time you mow, is because grass develops a grain based on the direction you cut. So it tends to lean towards the direction you mow. Alternating the cutting pattern will cause more upright growth and it will also help avoid producing ruts in the yard from mowing in the same direction each time.

So, let's get to it!

And that is the first official cut of the season.

The yard's looking good. Still got a ways to go. But it's looking great. Huge improvement from where we first started.

Didn't have a whole lot of clumping issues going on because I waited for the dew to dry out of the yard before I cut it. But I also cut it before we got in the heat of the day when the sun is highest in the sky. We don't want to do that because will stress the lawn out and end up killing some spots. So we just want to avoid cutting during the heat of the day.

Anothing thing you want to make sure you do is keep your mower blade sharp and balanced. A dull blade tears the grass and it results in a ragged edge which will cause the lawn to look grayish brown and just over all look bad. It will also make it more cepctable diseases and pests. So make sure to sharpen or even replace your mower blade once every season.

While mowing take note of any kind of problems you've got such as disease or pests that are setting into the lawn. Take not of where they're at and jump on it immediatly. There are preventative applications that you can do to prevent those kind of things getting into the yard, but that's a video for another time.

For newly seeded lawns, it needs about three to four weeks to establish itself after germination before you get a lawn mower in those areas and cut it.

The reason being, those new grass blades, they're still pretty tender and they can get trampled under the foot and mower traffic and if you cut them off you can risk killing them because they haven't established themselves very well in the yard.

As a genreal rule those newly seeded areas, mow the grass when it's three quarters of an inch or even an inch taller than the recommended mowing height. That way you insure that it's really good and it's established in those sections.

Circuling back to talk about the mowing height, if you're unsure what you're grass should be at, how high it should be, just contact your local co op extension office or get in touch with a master gardner, and they can provide you that information.

But if you don't want to do that, luckly your pal Paul here, wrote them down for you! So here we go!

Mowing height for most common cool season grasses, Bentgrass you've got a half to an inch, Bluegrass, two to two and a half inches, Perennial Ryegrass, two to three inches, and Fescue, two to three inches.

Recommended mowing height for most common warm season grasses, Bermuda one and a half to two inches, Centipede, one and a half to two inches, St. Augustine, two to three inches, and Zoysia one to two inches.

There's now way I could have memorized that and dished it out to you. So, I wrote it down!

I don't know if that's showing up very well on camera or not but I'm seeing the makings of having some stripes. We're getting there! Sooner or later we'll have stripes in this yard.

So there we go! That's the general tips for mowing and up keeping the yard. I'm extremely happy with where this yard is at. It's looking really good. We've got great potential for that big beautiful green luscious lawn I'm aiming for!

As with every video, I;m sure there's a ton of more stuff we've could have talked about when it comes to general maintenance in the yard. If you have any other questions leave them in the comments section below, email our customer service staff, or pick up the phone and give them a call.

Make sure to click this icon to subscribe to the channel, and click this playlist to see all the videos we've done in the series so far.

And as always, thanks for watching!