Why you should raise your blade before you mow

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Lawn mower (AP Photo)

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNW) – With all the recent rain, a K-State horticulture expert is reminding homeowners to cut tall grass gradually as it is growing taller.

Kansas State University horticultural expert Ward Upham said it’s important to remember that you should not take off more than one-third of the grass blade at one time. So as the grass grows taller, set the mower blade as high as possible and bring it down in steps. 

“If more than one-third is taken off, the plant reacts by using stored energy reserves to quickly send up new growth,” Upham said. “This reduces the amount of energy available for plants to deal with stress or damage done by insects or disease.” 

Upham acknowledged it is not always possible to obey the “one-third rule.” 

“In such cases, cut as high as possible, even though you may be taking off more than one-third of the blade,” he said. “Bring the height down gradually by cutting more often and at progressively lower heights until you reach the target height.” 

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