Man Mowing A Lawn
PHOTOGRAPH BY ERIC1513/GETTY

The Organic Way To Mow Your Lawn

Enjoy a lush, green landscape without herbicides or synthetic fertilizers.

August 4, 2015

Most folks mow too rarely and too low, which turns grass brown, prompting them to add unnecessary fertilizers. Here's how to break that cycle and do it right:

Mow When Turf Is 4 Inches High
Wait any longer and you'll shock your grass, slowing its growth.

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Raise The Mower Deck To 3 Inches
Tall grass stays greener and shades the soil, preventing weeds from germinating.

Note How Fast The Grass Grows
Mow when your turf needs it, not by your calendar. In the spring, when grass grows faster, you might do it twice a week but in the summer, twice a month.

Pick The Right Mower 
If you have a small yard, choose a walk-behind, mulching rotary mower that minces cut blades so they break down and release nitrogen to the soil quickly. Buy one that adjusts to mowing heights of one to three inches. (Old-fashioned push-reel mowers are kinder to the environment, but most don't trim grass higher than two-and-a-half inches.)

If you have one or more acres, choose a ride-on mower with 8 to 13 horsepower, or for more muscle, go for a lawn-and-garden tractor with 16 to 20 horsepower and mulching blades.