Regular lawn mowing most certainly does keep our lawns in their best possible presentation in all times of year, neat and trim lawn edges and a manicured cut brings both home and yard to looking their best. While in itself regular lawn mowing does have its obvious aesthetic benefits, there is much more going on in this process than merely the superficial.
Regularly mowing our lawns also promotes the tillering effect in lawns, whereby the lawn will stop using its energy to grow laterally, thus spreading it further by its runners (stolons), but will instead use that same energy to grow more green leaf material from the crowns of the turf. So with the process of regular lawn mowing comes a neat and tidy lawn from the lawn mowing itself, as well as a greener healthier lawn with more green leaf material constantly being produced.
And still there are yet more benefits to regularly mowing our lawns, all year round if possible.
Lawn Mowing And Weed Control
Many weed types will reproduce from seeds which are grown above ground and often on stalks of some kind. The longer a lawn weed is left to grow alone and undisturbed then the greater is the possibility that the weed will shoot forth new seeds and then disperse those new weed seeds right back into the thatch layer of our lawns, thus continuing the ongoing cycle of weeds in our lawns.
Regular lawn mowing can often stop this process altogether, which limits the spread of many different weeds to almost zero, as when it ends its own lifecycle it will simply wither away and die, without propagating any more weeds in its place. The reason this happens is very simple and straightforward like most other aspects of lawn care are, in this case we are chopping back the weed every single time it might be sending forth a new stalk on which to grow new seeds. The weeds start producing a new stalk and we chop it off and collect it in the catcher when we mow the lawn regularly.
And while this site very strongly advocates all the benefits of mulch mowing lawns without a catcher, we should always adapt to whatever our present lawn condition is, and so if our lawn currently has numerous weeds which have seed heads, then we would stop mulch mowing and instead catch the lawn clippings for however long the weed stalks and seeds may be present, otherwise we'd just be promoting the spread of weeds in our lawn. Once the lawn is weed-free again, or any weeds are not in flower, we can return back to mulch mowing once more.
While this process won’t work perfectly in every instance or for every weed type, it will work very well for many weed types, and will continue to work in our favor to keep weeds at bay and controled in our own lawns.
This is why also that it can be a very good idea to continue to mow lawns even in Winter, which is when many lawn weeds become most active. And those of us with a keen eye can always spot the homes that have stopped mowing lawns over Winter, where the lawns are both untidy and often with many weeds present and growing, being left entirely undisturbed to flourish throughout the Winter months.
If the weeds in our lawns are in seed, on long stalks, then this is a very good indicator that we are not mowing our lawns often enough for any given season. Sadly it will also mean that we can only expect more and more weeds to slowly overwhelm our lawns each year.
Some Weeds Won’t Be Controled
Weeds with underground corms won’t be affected by regular lawn mowing. Weeds which can spread via rhizomes (underground runners), will also not be greatly controled by regular lawn mowing.
Wintergrass is also a problem to control this way, though regularly mowing Annual Bluegrass is also greatly beneficial to control this weed. Because the Annual Bluegrass seeds remain actively growing and at low heights throughout Winter, they are always present, even in-between lawn mowings, and so they will drop back into the thatch layer and soil even between each lawn mowing.
The second problem with Annual Bluegrass is how fine the seed heads are, whereby they can be easily slashed with the lawn mower and spread out elsewhere on the lawn to then hide in the thatch layer, even if we’re using a catcher on the lawn mower.
Overall though, we do move forward in our control of Annual Bluegrass with regular lawn mowing in the Winter, so it’s always a good idea to maintain regular lawn mowing, as we will still remove the majority of seeds present when we do so.