Fall isn't a blanket excuse to quit mowing

  • Article by: CONNIE NELSON , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 16, 2009 - 10:30 AM

So, you've got the house buttoned down, the garden put to bed, the lawn mower stowed away. Oops. Not so fast.

So, you've got the house buttoned down, the garden put to bed, the lawn mower stowed away. Oops. Not so fast.

"You don't want to put your lawn mower away until nature says it's time to stop mowing," said Bob Mugaas, regional extension educator for the University of Minnesota.

And nature hasn't said so. Because of our relatively warm, wet fall, most lawn grasses have continued to grow at an unseasonable pace. And they're likely to continue to do so until we get a consistent string of cold weather.

It's best to leave grass about 2 to 2½ inches long going into winter. So if your grass is 3 to 4 inches long or longer, you should mow it once or twice more, taking off only about an inch at a time.

Grass that's left too long can encourage snow mold, a common fungus that probably won't kill the grass, but might slow its growth in the spring.

If you've got a thick layer of leaves on your grass, rake it. You can run your mower over a thin layer of leaves, chip them up and leave them in place. But a thick layer of leaves can form a dense mat, which can suffocate and kill the grass.

Instead of hauling bags of leaves to the curb, save them to use as winter mulch. Leaves make good insulation, protecting garden plants as well as newly planted trees and shrubs from our increasingly erratic winter weather.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close