Clean-Cut vs. Shredded Broken Grass

Golf course

As I was sitting on a low chair (close to the ground) a few days ago, contemplating what, from a distance, looked like a well-manicured lawn, gazing at the horizon, I swept the whole field with my eyes until, at my feet, I realized that the gorgeous, perfect and admirable green that was so pleasing to the eye, was no such thing. Once I looked at the grass between my shoes and “zoomed” into the small area close to me, I observed that the end of every stem looked like a white, dry shaving brush (almost like the roots at the other end of the stem). The butchery was done by the poorly maintained blades of the engine-powered machine that was used to mow that lawn. I couldn’t resist the temptation to kneel down and pull a handful of the grass and witness the devastating (almost painful to look at) effect that those machines can produce on grass.IMG_20140523_123726

This is a typical example of where one image worth a thousand words… Every piece of grass is damaged (or seriously injured)

IMG_20140523_124002 (1)

I am not a horticulturist nor a soil management expert. However it doesn’t require either degree to see what the direct negative side-effect will be on regrowing that grass. The broken, crudely decapitated ends present unnecessary and additional surfaces for the sun to burn and damage, creating weak parts in the stem and leaving, at that exact end point, a section with multiples dead dry ends.

Even a poorly peened/sharpened/honed scythe will do a much better, effective, quick, clean and gentle job. Here is a good example:IMG_20140526_090452

And a closer look:
If you have a large area to mow, you probably require an engine-powered machine. But there is no excuse to not sharpen the blades. Painless decapitation is best for everyone involved.