Mowing your lawn shouldn’t be difficult, as long as you have the right equipment and you’re physically able. But, there is a right way and wrong way to mow your lawn.
In this article, we’ll give you 4 basic steps to mowing your lawn the right way, whether you’re an experienced gardener or a complete beginner.
The basic equipment you’ll need includes:
- A well-serviced lawnmower (with sharpened blades and a grass collector)
- A rake
- Sturdy gardening shoes
- Gardening gloves
- A strimmer or long-handled shears
Step 1: Mow when it’s dry
Mowing your lawn when its dry, is usually recommended because of three key reasons, including:
- Dry grass is easier to cut and puts less stress on the mowers motor.
- When you mow a wet lawn, you risk compacting the soil which could damage the turf’s root system and restrict growth.
- Depending on how wet the lawn is, you could be risking electrocution
Step 2: Set the right cutting height
Assuming your mower is in good working order, and has been serviced, the next step is to make sure you’ve correctly set the cutting height.
At the beginning of the growing season on regular garden lawn turf, it’s best to set the cutting height to its highest setting. This helps the turf conserve water, whilst also encouraging a strong root system throughout the rest of the growing season.
After the first cut, set the cutting height to around 4cm (1.5in) throughout the spring, and then lower it to around 2.5cm (1in) throughout the summer.
On the last cut of the season, cut it to around 3cm. If the grass is any longer, it could create an environment for fungus to develop, and any shorter will leave it vulnerable to the elements, particularly frost or snow.
Step 3: Mow in straight lines
This step doesn’t only make the overall cut neater, it also helps make the job a lot easier and quicker. The most important thing about mowing in straight lines is to ensure you overlap the previous cut to avoid leaving un-mowed tufts.
Once you’ve finished mowing in lines, use a strimmer or long-handled edging shears to clean up the edges.
Step 4: Collect the clippings
There’s various advice around the internet about what to do with grass clippings – do you collect them or leave them? The simplest advice is to collect them as you cut, or rake them up after cutting, and use them as compost.
The reason for collecting grass clippings is to prevent them developing into a layer of thatch, which in turn will create an ideal environment for fungus and moss infestation. But, there are exceptions, including:
- If you live in particularly dry area, with an exceptionally hot climate, leaving the grass clippings on the lawn after mowing, can help to protect the lawn from the suns heat, whilst also providing a natural, all-year-round food source.
- If you’ve recently applied a chemical fertiliser or weed killer to the lawn, it’s best to leave the clippings down or collect them and dispose of them with other garden waste, rather than composting.
Should I mow stripes into my lawn?
Yes. If you have the time, definitely mow stripes into your lawn. Striped lawns not only look impressive, mowing in this alternating pattern, prevents the lawn developing an unattractive grain, where the grass all leans in one direction.
How do I mow a newly turfed lawn?
After carefully laying your new turf rolls, the last thing you want to do is risk ruining all your hard work on the first mow.
To prevent any potential damage when mowing your newly turfed lawn, follow these simple steps:
Don’t mow until at least 2 weeks after laying your turf.
Ensure your mower blade is always sharp.
Start on the highest setting then gradually reduce the height, being careful not to remove more than a 1/3 of the sward length in any one cut.
Mow once a week until the Autumn.
Collect grass clippings rather than raking.
Don’t let the grass grow to an unmanageable length, otherwise you may risk tearing or lifting the turf.
Ivinghoe Turf has been growing, harvesting and supplying high-quality turf to both domestic and commercial customers for over 35 years. Get in touch with us today to get all your turf, topsoil, aggregates and add-ons ready for your turf laying project.