Now that summer is in full effect, it’s time for acreage owners to think about changing up their mowing routine. What worked a few months ago won’t help your lawn in summer’s heat.
Here are our top three tips to help ensure you are making the most of mid-summer mows.
Adjust mowing height
It’s crucial to mow at a higher height in the dry summer months. This helps slow water evaporation from the soil and prevent weed growth. When cut at the proper height, grass develops stronger roots that supports an overall healthy, vibrant turf in the summer.
A general rule of thumb throughout the summer months is to never cut more than 1/3 of the blade of grass during a mowing session.
Control the air flow
Many commercial-grade zero-turn mowers feature adjustable baffles. Opening up the baffles provide a wider discharge, which is important in the spring when experiencing thick, wet or sappy conditions. Conversely, in the summer with drier conditions, restricting the baffles can help with mulching.
For example, Toro’s TURBO FORCE cutting deck’s adjustable baffles allow the operator to direct cut grass into a third spindle to create smaller clippings. Without a bagger, those fine clippings are returned to the soil, providing nutrients and cover to retain moisture and increase the health of the soil and grass. This deck can also create suction, essentially lifting the grass up before cutting, for an outstanding quality of cut with very few “stragglers.”
Durability is key
It’s important to invest in a mower with a cutting deck that can stand up to your unique conditions. Acreage owners should consider purchasing a mower with a high-strength steel cutting deck, preferably 7-gauge steel or stronger. Compared with commonly-used 10 gauge steel, 7-gauge steel is 33% thicker and has a 32% higher yield strength. Simply put, a stronger cutting deck translates to a better cut, higher productivity, increased longevity of your machine, and fewer maintenance issues in the long run.
About the author
Mitch Hoffman is the marketing manager for commercial zero-turn mowers and landscape contractor equipment at Toro. He is based in Bloomington, Minn.