Spring Lawn: Step 2
Joseph De Sciose

Step 2: Mow the old grass low.

Those with cool-season grass (bluegrass, fescue, or perennial ryegrass) can skip this part. But those with warm-season lawns (Bermuda, buffalo grass,centipede, St. Augustine, or Zoysia) need to mow that old, brown grass low at the end of winter to remove thatch, an accumulation of dead stems and leaves.

Heavy thatch prevents water and nutrients from reaching the roots and promotes disease.

Cut Bermuda lawns to 1/2 inch and leave the clippings in place to decompose. Mow other types to 1 inch. If you use a regular mower, bag the clippings; then compost or discard them. Mowing low lets more sun reach and warm the soil, encouraging the grass to green up.

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