HELPING CALGARY'S PROPERTIES REACH THEIR POTENTIAL
Benefit #4 - Weekly Lawn Service keeps thieves away
Property crimes like break-ins and thefts from back yards are sadly part of life these days. Due to the current economic climate in Calgary many people are out of work and desperate. While most people in this situation will do their best to survive without victimizing others, there are a growing number of people willing to turn to crime to support themselves.
Since thieves generally don’t want to get caught they will look for homes where the owner appears to be away on vacation or out of town. A few tell tale signs that you are out of town are flyers in the mail box, lights that don’t ever turn on or off and of course, an over grown lawn.
While a lawn care service can’t help with the light situation, they can make sure that your lawn looks like someone is home caring for it. In addition to this, while the lawn care service is at your home they can remove any flyers in your mail box or hanging on your door knob. This is something we always do if we know are clients are out of town for a while.
Benefit #5 - Weekly Lawn Service ends up costing about the same as bi-weekly or occasional mowing
People often think that if they have their lawn cut bi-weekly or occasionally they will save money. They believe that since they are paying for less mows the overall cost for a season of mowing will be lower. While this may be true if your lawn care provider has limited experience, any company that has been in business for more than a year knows that they have to charge more the longer the grass is.
While this may sound unfair to some, it is simple economics. Lawn Care companies typically know how long a lawn will take them to cut and base their prices off this time. If you have a big lawn it will take longer to mow and therefore cost more to mow. Similarly, if you have long grass your lawn will take longer to mow and also cost more.
A long lawn takes longer to mow for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that longer grass tends to fold over and when you go over it with a mower you end up missing a bunch of it. This leaves you with a raggedy looking finished product. While this may be acceptable to some, most professional lawn care companies hold themselves to a high standard and end up going over the lawn again. In my experience a watered and fertilized lawn on a bi-weekly schedule will have to be gone over twice to achieve an acceptable cut. If your lawn is very long it will have to be gone over even more than twice. I have had to go over seriously overgrown lawns 5 times in the past!
The second reason long grass takes more time to mow is that it clogs up the mower. Lawn mowers are designed with proper lawn care techniques in mind, including not removing more than a third of the grass length at a time. Cutting a bunch of length off at once greatly increases the volume of clippings underneath the mower deck. This slows down the speed of the blade resulting in a poor quality cut.
Lots of clippings under the mower deck also blocks the passage way to the bag or discharge chute. This results in having to stop continuously to unclog the mower. Failure to remove clogs under the mower will result in what I refer to as “guacamole”. Basically what happens is since the clippings are trapped, they keep getting chopped up by the blade which turns them into a paste similar in consistency to guacamole.
This guacamole falls out of the mower onto the lawn and is a real pain to remove. It usually results in the lawn having to be gone over with a backpack blower to break it up and then gone over with a mower again to pick it up. The guacamole also gets plastered onto the underside of the mower. After a while this buildup gets to the point where the mower stops cutting properly and you have to scrape the mower deck with a putty knife.
The third reason long grass takes more time to mow is you have to empty the bag frequently. This may not seem like a big deal but having to stop and empty the bag 10 plus times on a lawn really adds up! On a weekly cut, average sized Calgary lawn, even at the peak of growing season, you only have to empty the bag once or twice.
The fourth reason long grass takes more time to cut is the trimming takes longer. During the first cut of the year you typically spend a fair amount of time with the line trimmer (weed eater) going around all the obstacles on the lawn to make sure you have nice clean edges. If you mow your lawn every week all it takes is a quick once over with the line trimmer to bring the clean edge back. If you leave the grass much longer than this you will have to redefine all of the edges again like the first cut of the year. If the grass is really long, much like mowing, you will have to go over it multiple times with the line trimmer to get a clean edge.
After years of providing lawn care service in Calgary I have been asked more times than I count what the benefits of weekly lawn service are. Since it’s a common question I’ve decided it would be a good topic for a blog post. There is a lot of misinformation out there about this topic and I hope I can clear the air a bit.
Over the years I have dealt with pretty much every kind of lawn care client there is. From people who wanted their lawns cut every week to bi-weekly clients to people who only wanted us to come out when their grass was a foot long. This experience has given me first hand knowledge of what works best for Calgary’s lawns and what has less than great results.
After reading the title of this blog you might assume that I am an advocate for weekly lawn service. You would be correct in this assumption, to the point that we have actually stopped offering bi-weekly and occasional mowing. This may seem counter intuitive from a business stand point but we believe it is an important part of providing high quality lawn care.
I can already hear some of you asking “Do I really need to cut the grass every week?”.
Simply put, no. If you don’t care how your lawn looks you’d just need to cut it frequently enough to keep by-law enforcement off of you back. Should you cut the grass every week? If you want a lush green lawn, definitely. In fact I’d go as far as saying weekly lawn service is essential to having a nice lawn.
For people who don’t water or fertilize their lawns in Calgary, bi-weekly mowing is usually good enough to keep the neighbors from complaining. I would advise against going longer than 2 weeks between mows, especially in May, June and July as the grass will quickly get too long to cut without a significant amount of work. Once the grass gets long enough that it folds over on it’s side, you’ll have a difficult time getting it back to a decent length without professional equipment and experience.
Chances are if you are still reading this blog you do not fall into the category of people looking to do the bare minimum. For you, here are the benefits of weekly lawn service.
Benefit #1: Weekly Lawn Service promotes healthy, natural grass growth.
Many people aren’t aware of this but when you cut grass, you should only take 1/3 of the leaf. That means if your grass is 3 inches long, the shortest you will want to cut it is 2 inches.
This is because when you remove more than a third of the grass leaf it puts the plant into shock. Like all plants, grass uses it’s leaves to create food for itself with photosynthesis. When you remove a large amount of the leaf, your grass will divert all of it’s growing resources to replacing it so it doesn’t starve to death.
A side effect of this is that any resources the grass plant has will be taken away from developing a healthy root system. Since a healthy root system is key to having a lush green lawn you will definitely want to avoid cutting too much off at once.
Cutting more than a third of the length off at once is also known as “scalping”. While it isn’t a big deal if your lawn gets scalped occasionally, doing it frequently will have a noticeable impact.
Benefit #2 - Weekly Lawn Service keeps weeds at bay - naturally.
If you have ever had weed issues with your lawn, you know how hard it can be to get rid of them. Since commercially available herbicide chemicals are known carcinogens and endocrine disruptors, it is a good idea to limit the use of these. Digging out weeds manually is the best way to get rid of them but can be back breaking labour.
A lot of people don’t realize that weekly mowing and bagging your clippings will greatly reduce the amount of weeds in your lawn without harmful herbicides or hard work. This is for a few reasons.
The first reason is, as mentioned above, if you practice weekly lawn care you will naturally develop a healthy lawn. A healthy and thick lawn prevents weeds by blocking sunlight from getting to the weed’s leaves. This inhibits the weed’s photosynthesis and will slow down or stop it’s growth. In addition to shading out weeds, a healthy lawn will provide a lot of competition for nutrients, water and space for roots to grow.
The second reason is when given the proper sunlight, water and nutrients, most weeds will grow faster than grass. That is why you typically see dandelions sticking out far above the surface of a lawn. Like grass plants, if you remove most of the weed’s leaf (and flower), it will go into shock. If you practice weekly lawn care, the weeds will spend their energy replacing what was removed and neglect root growth. During this time your healthy grass will be growing it’s roots and crowding out the weeds. Eventually the weeds won’t have anywhere to grow and you’ll be left with a beautiful weed free lawn.
The third reason is when you practice weekly lawn care and bag your clippings, you remove any seeds the weed plants produce from your lawn. Without seeds, the weeds will have a hard time spreading over your beautiful back yard landscape.
Benefit #3 - Weekly Lawn Service makes Grasscycling possible
Grasscycling is a trendy word for what a lot of people already do. It means instead of bagging your grass clippings, you leave them on your lawn and allow the microorganisms in the soil to break them down, recycling the nutrients. The 2 main benefits of grasscycling are that you will need less fertilizer and that the grass seeds your lawn naturally produce will be spread around.
Weekly mowing is an important part of grasscycling because it limits the clippings to an amount that will break down within a day or so. If you mow the grass infrequently you will have a lot more clippings that will take a lot longer to break down. This will leave you with a lawn that looks like it’s covered with hay and nobody wants that.
It should be mentioned that while grasscycling is good for the environment and pocketbook, if you have a lawn that is full of weeds it is only going to make that situation worse. This is also true if you live next to a neighbor with a lot of weeds and gaps in the fence.
We only recommend grasscycling on healthy, weed free lawns. While you may need more fertilizer, you will need less herbicide, which is far worse for the environment.
It is also worth mentioning that contrary to popular opinion, Grasscycling DOES NOT contribute to thatch buildup. To learn more about thatch, click here.
BENEFITS OF WEEKLY LAWN SERVICE
Written By Steve Hyde | Updated December 7, 2020 | Calgary, Alberta