University of Maryland Extension

Dull Mower Blade/Mower Injury - Lawns

sloppily mowed grass

Back to Common Problems - Lawns

Mowing injury may be direct physical damage or it may cause lawn deterioration due to poor mowing practices. A dull mower blade may cause the turf to have a brown cast or look ragged after mowing and can make turf more susceptible to disease. Sharpen or replace mower blades at least once a year or more frequently if needed. The grass over high spots may be scalped and the crowns of plants exposed in lawns with uneven terrain. Change the mowing direction, raise the mower blade or adjust the terrain by grading the area.

Low and infrequent mowing may be the major cause of lawn deterioration. Mow all residential lawns at 3 inches regardless of the turf type.  It is best to remove no more than 1/3 of the grass blade each time you mow For example; to maintain a 3 inch height, do not let the grass get much taller than 4 inches. Mowing to the proper height can reduce weed problems by as much as 50 to 80%.

white, ragged tips of grass blades

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