In this article we’re taking a closer look at this one thing that stops people getting the best lawn. Read on to discover what it is
I’ve been helping people to get their best lawn for a lot of years. And the one thing I’ve learned is that all the treatments in the world are no substitute for the right mowing regime.
Good, regular mowing encourages the grass plants to grow more shoots from the crown. Resulting in a thicker sward with a more velvety texture. If the sward is nice and thick, there are fewer opportunities for weeds to establish themselves between the grass plants.
Many common weeds hate being cut back. A regular mowing regime can often reduce the need to use herbicides to control unwanted plants in the lawn…and once you’ve got rid of the weeds, they’ll be less likely to come back.
A neatly manicured lawn always looks good. If you allow it to grow long and then scalp it, you’ll find that the grass looks off colour for a few days afterwards because the plants have been stressed.
Poor mowing stops people getting the best lawn
If you want the best lawn in your neighbourhood, you need a fantastic mowing regime. These are my top tips for a good mowing technique
- Mow little and often
- Keep your mower blades sharp
- Adjust your mowing height according to the type of lawn you have and the time of year
- Apply the one third rule – NEVER reduce the height of your grass by more than 1/3
- Remove all of the clippings unless the lawn is very dry
- Feed your lawn regularly to replenish nutrients lost during mowing
- Trim the edges of your lawn on a regular basis
- Learn how to mow stripes into your lawn – it’ll make it look fantastic
Lets look at some mowing FAQ’s
How often should I mow my lawn?
Mowing frequency depends on the growth rate of your grass. In winter time and during long periods of drought, grass will grow slower. You may only need to mow once every two weeks. In spring and autumn, you may well find yourself mowing 2-3 times a week depending on how fast the grass is growing.
What’s the best cutting height to aim for?
If you have a family lawn that enjoys lots of wear and tear from children and pets, I would recommend mowing your lawn no lower than 5cm. In fact, you could even have a longer sward than that. Provided it’s mown regularly, and all the grass is at the same length, it won’t matter how long the grass is. Look how beautifully manicured a field of wheat or barley looks in May, and that’s probably thigh-high.
For an ornamental lawn with a high proportion of fine leaved grasses in the sward, 2cm is an acceptable length for most of the year.
If you want a very close mown lawn, it’s possible to maintain a healthy sward at 1cm – but be prepared for lots of extra feeds and treatments to keep the grass looking immaculately green.
What type of mower should I buy?
There’s certainly a wide choice of lawnmowers out there for you to choose from. If you can, do your bit for the planet by choosing something with a rechargeable battery.
For a family lawn, a nice robust rotary mower is just the job. If you want your ornamental lawn to be close mown, then you need a cylinder mower.
Aiming for a lawn with stripes? Your mower will need a roller to achieve this. Most cylinder mowers will have a built in roller, some rotary mowers have optional attachments for creating stripes.
Don’t have a lot of time to spend mowing the grass? Provided your lawn is nice and level, why not invest in a robot lawnmower that can do the work while you are busy elsewhere.
If you need suggestions for mowers, visit our Premier Lawns Community page on Facebook, the members there will be very happy to share their experiences of different makes and models.
Can I mow the lawn in winter?
You can mow your lawn at any time of year provided that the grass is not frozen. Grass will continue to grow in winter if the soil temperature is over 6 degrees centigrade, and it really won’t mind if you just clip the tips off every now and again. Be careful though – don’t cut too much off, because the grass won’t recover very fast. Do sharpen your mower blades and try to avoid using your lawn any more than you absolutely have to.
Should I feed my lawn after mowing?
If you are going to feed your lawn, I would always recommend mowing it first. This will mean that a granular feed is less likely to sit on the grass blades where it can burn them*. And a foliar feed will have enough time to be absorbed before the next cut.
*If there is no rain forecast for a day or two, it pays to water your lawn after applying granular feed
Can I mow my lawn when it’s wet?
Most domestic lawn mowers are not great at handling wet grass. Cylinder mowers absolutely hate it! There’s a risk that the mower will tear at the grass leaving ugly, ragged edges that quickly turn brown. Plus wet clippings can clog the machine, making progress slow.
Walking on a wet lawn can also compact the soil, which will impact on the growth of your lawns’ roots.
It’s better to wait for a dry spell to mow your lawn. If, in the mean time it gets quite long, remember the 1/3 rule and reduce the length gradually.