Mowing will be the most frequent maintenance that your lawn needs, particularly in the summer. It is an important task as it ensures that the lawn remains healthy. However, it is not quite as straight forward as simply running the lawn mower over the grass every now and then - in this guide we will go over the best techniques and helpful tips to help you to mow like a pro!
Take extra care with a new lawn!
A new lawn will normally be ready for its first mow around 10 days after it has been laid. Although you may be eager to give your brand new lawn a trim, make sure you check turf has fully rooted in first. You can do this by gently lifting up a corner of the turf and seeing whether the roots have anchored down. The rooting in process will take longer in colder weather than it will do in the warmer spring & summer months so there is no exact timing. For the first mow, use the lawn mowers highest setting. There after, do not take more than a third of the length of the turf off during any cut until the lawn has had plenty of time to adapt to its new environment.
In the spring you will need to mow around once a week. You may have to increase this in the summer, although be careful if it is particularly hot and dry. You should not have to mow the lawn in the winter as the turf stops growing at temperatures below 5 degrees.
Select a sensible mower height
Be careful not to mow the lawn too short. Close mowing weakens the grass and encourages shallow roots, making the lawn more prone to moss and weeds. You can even potentially scalp the lawn, leaving brown patches that will probably need a bit of work to restore. Scalping can also be caused by uneven ground, such as areas around tree roots.
Leaving the grass to grow too long can also cause issues. If this does happen, do not be tempted to cut it all back in one go, stick to the third off the blade rule. Other than it being quite difficult to do, mowing the lawn causes stress to the grass as it removes some of its ability to photosynthesise. So let it recover for a few days between cuts, until you have your desired height back.
Keep your blades sharp:
If your mower blades become blunt - which they will over time, it will result in the tips of each blade of grass may become frayed & wiry if the blade is not sharp enough to achieve a nice clean cut. It is good practice to remove your mower blades and sharpen them either with a file or an angle grinder every year.
Dispose of your trimmings properly:
Never leave the grass cuttings on the turf as they block the sunlight to lawn below, which cause it to die off. Grass cuttings make great compost, so why not put them on your compost heap and recycle them later in your garden. Most modern lawn mowers will come with a removable compartment where all of the grass clippings are collected for quick and easy clean up.