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Good Question: Is There Such A Thing As Mowing Too Much?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- With all the rain we've had this spring, lawns have never looked better.

And when we get a dry day or two, it's usually time to mow.

No matter when you mow your lawn or how you mow it, the goal in most cases is to just get the job done, especially during a spring when the grass is growing like a Chia Pet.

But is there such a thing as mowing too much and cutting too short?

Maggie Reiter is with the University of Minnesota Extension Service.

She spent a lot of time on golf courses growing up, but not for the golf. She's a turf grass expert, so she knows just how low your mower can go.

"The University of Minnesota Extension recommends about 3 inches as a mowing height for a home lawn," Reiter said.

Reiter said the average homeowner cuts their lawn too short, down to about 2 1/2 inches.

But she said the longer your grass grows, the better.

"More leaf tissue can capture more sunlight for photosynthesis and this promotes deeper rooting," Reiter said. "And this fosters a healthier turf grass plant that can withstand our environmental stresses."

And instead of bagging your grass, Reiter recommends leaving your grass clippings right where they are. It's like a free lawn treatment filled with nitrogen and phosphorous.

"If you leave your grass clippings on your lawn for an entire summer, that's the equivalent of a fertilizer treatment," she said. "It saves a homeowner time and money as well as reduce their overall environmental footprint."

Reiter said you should only cut about 1/3 of the grass blade at a time.

So if your lawn is at 4 inches, bring it down to 3 when you mow.

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