With the Spring thaw behind us, and the first signs of Forsythia emergence, it is now time for your lawn to awaken from dormancy. Here we will explain why it is not a good idea to wait too long to cut your lawn for the first time in Spring.
Over Winter dead organic matter and other debris decomposes into a extra layer on top of your soil. This material causes decreased sunlight & water pentration, encourages fungus propagation, and suffocates grass roots. Removing this layer early in Spring is an important to give your grass a headstart during the growing season.
Waiting too long to mow your lawn for the first time adds to this thatch layer, and makes it more difficult to perform dethatching. The longer the grass becomes, the harder it is for a thatch rake , or even powered dethatcher, to reach the ground and do it’s job.
The Proper Height to Mow For the First Time
It isn’t uncommon for the growth season to quickly get ahead of our busy lives, which can sometimes means we have a jungle before we even start thinking about the lawn. Get ahead of the game by mowing your lawn once it reaches about 3-5 inches.
It is always advisable to only cut up to 1/3 of the total length of your grass at anytime, but making sure you do this in Spring will prevent clumps of clippings from forming. Large collections of clippings from your first mowing can become a hotbed for Spring weeds.
To Bag or Not to Bag?
There are often conflicting view points on whether or not to bag grass clippings on a regular basis. It is commonly accepted among industry experts that allowing clippings to be recycled into the ground keeps important nutrients in the soil. During your initial Spring mowing however, it is a great idea to bag clippings, at least once or twice.
This not only allows leaves and debris from Winter to be collected, but also helps with inital thatch removal. If a Fall celanup wasn’t performed, it may become even more benficial to dethatch before this first mowing as well.