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Throwback Thursday: May 1993

April 3, 2014 -  By
May 1993

Cover: Landscape Management

Have you ever looked up the definition of mowing?

According to Beth Baikan, Ph.D. of Cornell University, it is the “removal of photosynthetically active tissue that temporarily reduces the food-making process and weakens the plant.”

Talk about a scientific mouthful.

I favor the layman’s term version that is “cutting grass,” as I’m sure most of you and your customers do, too.

Sometimes it’s constructive to look at the practice through a technical lens, though. This is what the cover story from the May 1993 issue of Landscape Management did.

Titled “Do you know the mowing basics?” by then-editor-in-chief Jerry Roche, the story unveils what really happens when the mower blade strikes a grass blade. It communicates that through a list of the 10 most common problems caused by improper mower practices, according to Baikan

Here they are verbatim:

  1. At lower heights, the plant is stressed more, meaning more opportunity for weed encroachment.
  2. Dull blades will rip the plant, causing injury.
  3. When the mower is traveling at an excessive forward speed, the turf tends to show a wavy appearance.
  4. Mower bounce on unlevel ground contributes to an inconsistent cut.
  5. An improperly set deck could result in scalping, which is removing an excessive amount of leaf tissue.
  6. Mowing stressed grass just places more stress on the plants, resulting in a bevy of problems.
  7. Mowing frosted grass removes needed moisture from the plant’s access.
  8. Improperly maintained mowing equipment contributes to turf damage by leaking gas, oil and hydraulic fluids.
  9. An excessive accumulation of clippings results in an unhealthy appearance when it dries up.
  10. Continually mowing in the same direction causes formation of “grain.”
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About the Author:

Former Associate Editor Sarah Pfledderer is a West Coast-based contributing editor for Landscape Management.

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