As a rule of thumb, March is a good time to restart your lawn mowing regiment. While a chilly day or night is possible, our North Texas climate is warming up. The rise in air temperatures also means that ground temperatures are rising. As discussed in a previous blog, this is the trigger for grass to either go dormant or grow.
Since the grass is “waking” from dormancy, we recommend starting your lawn mowing regiment slowly. You don’t need to jump right in with weekly lawn maintenance. Doing so may jeopardize growth by sending the grass into shock. We recommend performing bi-weekly lawn maintenance in March. We have found that this schedule encourages growth in most yards.
Furthermore, we recommend that your first mow be a “mow low and bag.” You can mulch your grass at almost every mowing service for the season, but the first one really should be bagged.* For this kind of mow, set the height of the lawn mower to a lower setting, attach the lawn mower’s bag, and place the clippings in disposable bags (purchased at your local hardware store).
The purpose of a “mow low and bag” is to encourage future growth. Mowing at a lower level allows the grass to focus more resources on establishing root growth. The bagging of clippings removes thatch and dead leaves from the yard. (If there is a substantial accumulation of leaves, you should first remove as many leaves as possible before mowing.) At the end of a “mow low and bag,” you will have a manicured lawn where water and sunlight can easily reach the soil.
Use this month to help your grass “wake up” from dormancy. You don’t need to scalp the lawn or mow weekly. Mow low. Mow twice. Bag the clippings at the first mow. By doing these three things, your yard will get the nutrients and sunlight it needs to be healthy and green this spring.
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* If your yard is composed of zoysia grass, we recommend bagging at every mowing service.