Having a perfectly manicured lawn involves quite a bit of effort. it’s part lawn care, part mowing. But is there a right way to mow your lawn?
Here’s how to get the best from weekly mow and your lawnmower. These tips work best if you’re using an traditional electric or petrol mower but you can apply them too if you have a robomower.
Here’s how to mow your lawn like a pro!
What is lawn mowing?
Pruning is a key gardening task and mowing is a form of pruning. When done correctly, mowing increases the lawn’s density making it hard for weeds to flourish.
Like with plants, you prune each type slightly differently and grass is the same. Each grass variety requires trimming to their own particular height. So you’ll want to find which varieties are currently present in your lawn.
As a general rule, never remove more than a 1/3 of the grass blade length at once. While a healthy lawn can survive the occasional close cut, repeated close mowing has several harmful side effects.
Is over mowing harmful?
Over mowing can injure the crown, which is where new growth generates and nutrients are stored. By reducing the surface area of the blade, it becomes harder to produce food through photosynthesis. Also, it can increase vulnerability to pests and disease.
If that wasn’t bad enough, over mowing can create the right conditions for weeds to germinate and spread. This can have a dramatic knock-on effect on your lawn. So it’s best to only cut a 1/3 of the grass blade off at once.
When it is best to mow?
The ideal mowing conditions are generally mid to late morning when the grass is dry and it’s not very hot. The blades will be upright and less like to clump when being cut, making mowing easier.
It’s best to avoid mowing when it’s wet as you will damage your mower and the grass, plus it will be harder to cut. Also, avoid mowing when it’s hot as this prevents heat stress on your grass and yourself.
In the spring and summer, ideally, you’d mow once every two or three weeks. As summer turns into autumn, you’ll want to reduce mowing frequency and raise the heights of the mower’s blades. During the winter, it’s not to mow as this could expose the grass to frostbite.
What tools do I need to mow a lawn?
At the very least you need a lawnmower. You could use an electric mower either mains or battery-powered such as Flymo Speedi-Mo 360C [our rating 9/10]. There are also a fantastic range of petrol mowers available.
If you have a bigger budget then it’s worth investing in a Robomower such as the Mcculloch ROB R600 Robotic Lawn Mower [our rating 9/10].
How to mow your lawn
Before you start mowing, it’s a good idea to clear debris from the area. You should try to keep kids and pets out the way. Protect your feet by wearing trainers or other close toe shoes. Also, consider wearing any other safety gear such as eye and hearing protection.
Always check your mower and any other equipment before using them. it to ensure it’s in good shape. Check the blades regularly to ensure they are sharp and balanced. Dull blades generally cut ragged, increasing the chance of disease and pests.
Always mow moving forwards, cutting in strips. It’s worth always varying the mowing pattern each time. Grass develops a grain, based on your cutting direction. Generally, it leans towards the direction you mow. By alternating the pattern, you cause more upright growth while helping to avoid producing ruts in the lawn.
Take your time when mowing as you’re less likely to miss spots and produce more consistent results. Try to use a medium speed as this will allow you to remain in control. When it comes to corners and borders, use a slower speed for a closer cut.
That said, under trees, it’s fine to let grass grow higher as it has to compete with tree roots for water and nutrients.
Before you put your mower and other tools away, it’s worth cleaning them and removing any leftover clippings as this prevent many issues.
What should I do with clippings?
You can either leave clippings or bag them depending on your preference. It’s perfectly fine to let clippings drop from the mower back to the ground as this returns nutrients and nitrogen to the lawn.
Of course, you can bag either by using a mower with a collection box or by gathering clipping into a pile. Clippings are great as mulch or for composting.
How to mow new grass
On average it takes newly-seeded grass three to four weeks to get established after germination. During this period, it’s best not to mow as the blades are tender and easily damaged.
After four weeks, it’s fine to mow at a slightly higher than usual height. But do be careful that the soil doesn’t compact under your feet or mower as this can stifle growth.
Mowing a lawn ain’t rocket science!
Regardless of what type of grass you have in your lawn, regularly mowing it is one of the best ways to maintain a healthy lawn. And by following our tips, you will have a luscious lawn that your neighbours will envy!
Remember to water your lawn regularly and work to a seasonal lawn care plan as it will produce consistent results year after year. And that’s how to mow your lawn like a pro!