Did you know that there are actually correct and incorrect lawn mowing techniques? Although you can simply start up your lawn mower and have at it, using the proper technique is vital for the appearance of your lawn and the health of individual blades of grass. Here, we have outlined some simple tips that you can follow to ensure you’re cutting your lawn correctly:
Set your mower at the highest preferred setting for your grass type so that you’re only cutting the top third off the blades. Scalping the lawn (cutting it too short) forces the grass to re-grow and makes the lawn more susceptible to weed growth. Cutting properly, on the other hand, encourages your lawn to deepen its roots (making it easier to find water and nutrients).
After it rains, wait for the lawn to dry before mowing it. Cutting wet grass can actually result in an uneven cut. Wet clippings are also prone to clogging your mower, resulting in clumps of grass left on top of the lawn. This can smother the grass, leading to unsightly brown patches. This is why a lot of people tend not to mow during the winter, as it’s too wet.
Each time you mow, ensure that you mow in a different direction. By varying the mowing pattern, you can help to avoid compacting the soil. Plus, your grass will stand up nice and tall (since it typically leans in the direction you mow).
You should only mow as often as is needed for your grass type, the growing conditions, the growth pattern and the season. In spring, this might mean twice a week. In summer, it might only be every other week.
This tip is really only relevant for those who’ve planted a new lawn. Only mow new seedlings when they’ve reached an appropriate mowing height. Don’t cut more than one third off the blades of grass. A dramatic mowing can actually shock and stress new grass plants, which slows down the growth of the lawn. If you’re unsure, speak with your lawn supplier.
Where possible, leave grass clippings on the lawn. If you mow at the right height the clippings will break down quickly, contributing nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil that are absorbed by the plants. If you do bag the clippings, they can be used on the garden as mulch or composted instead (but only if you haven’t used any weed control products on your lawn).
For the cleanest possible cut, you should keep your lawn mower’s blades sharp and sharpen or replace them at the first sign of wear. Dull blades will actually tear up the grass, causing it to turn a greyish-brown colour.
By following the tips outlined above, you can rest assured that you’re using the correct lawn mowing technique and that your grass will look its very best for many years to come. Remember that the lawn plays a major role in the appearance of your whole property, so ensuring that you have taken its health into account will go a long way towards its success.