Mowing is the single most important thing that you can do to support the optimum growth and health of your lawn and should be the most regular maintenance that you carry out. Therefore, it’s important to know how to best mow and care for your lawn, so we have some expert tips on how to mow like a pro.
The first thing to understand is that mowing your lawn actually causes it stress because all your lawn wants to do is grow. So when we mow our goal is to minimise this stress as much as possible so the grass continues to stay strong.
The two main things to remember about mowing are: not to mow your lawn too short and to mow as regularly as is possible, little and often is the key here. To give you a comparison, professional grade lawns like bowling greens and golf greens are usually mowed every day, this ensures the grass doesn’t lose too much blade at any one time which minimises stress.
Our Top 10 Tips on How to Mow Like A Pro:
1. Check your mower
- Best practice means checking the height of your mower before you do anything because if you unknowingly cut the lawn too short or even scalp it, there’s no going back.
- Then, check to see if your mower blade is sharp. We recommend that you have your blades sharpened after approximately 8 – 12 hours of use or at least once a year as this will ensure an efficient, smooth cut. When mower blades are blunt they simply rip through the grass blades causing stress and give you an uneven cut.
- Lastly, always check that the mower is clean before every use and clear any build-up of old grass underneath. SAFETY – always make sure the mower is immobilised before doing so.
TIP: When refilling your mower with fuel take it off the lawn first in case of any spills that could cause damage to your lawn.
2. Clear your lawn
Remove any debris from your lawn. This means sticks, stones, leaves, child or pet toys and any gardening tools before you start mowing. This will make it easier to achieve a more even mow as you won’t need to stop and start to clear your lawn as you go.
3. Know when to mow
Ideally you want to mow in the evening before dew settles.
Avoid mowing at the hottest time of the day.
Avoid mowing on moist or wet days as this causes the grass cuttings to clump together, making it harder for your mower to pick up as well as leaving your mower in a mess.
During extended dry periods or drought conditions don’t mow, just leave your lawn to grow as this is a lawns best form of defence.
4. How high to cut your lawn?
Cutting height depends on the species of grass as different grass types grow best at different heights; likewise the height of the lawn will vary throughout the year to coincide with the changing seasons.
As a general rule during the most active growing seasons (spring and autumn) you can mow your lawn shorter, to around 25mm – 30mm in height; however, during summer when temperatures are higher and growth slows, you should leave your lawn taller, cutting it no shorter than 50mm high.
5. Knowing the mowing direction
Mowing your lawn in different directions throughout the seasons will help give you a more even cut and help to avoid unwanted track marks and soil compaction. We also advise mowing in two passes, which will give you that lovely striped finish.
- Mow the perimeter of the lawn first.
- Choose a direction to mow in and stick to that line working your way up and down across the entire lawn for the first pass.
- Turn 90 degrees for your second pass, mowing in lines again in the opposite direction.
6. Overlap your tracks
By overlapping your mower tyre tracks by 4cm on each opposite pass you will ensure a more even cut.
7. Collect your clippings
We advise everyone to collect their grass clippings and compost them rather than leave them on the lawn. Although there can be advantages to leaving your clippings, this applies at specific times of the year and so you need to be confident in your knowledge of the conditions and know exactly when these good times are because left clippings in the wrong seasons or conditions can cause more damage to the lawn than good. It is for this reason, and for ease of mowing regularly, that we advise you to collect them.
8. Cutting too much grass at one time
Sometimes regular mowing gets away from us due to rainfall or a holiday but avoid overcompensation by cutting too much off in one go as this will put unnecessary stress on your lawn.
Golden Rule: Never cut more than one-third off at any one time.
9. Avoid scalping the lawn
Scalping the lawn down to the soil surface can be detrimental and looks a little unsightly too but can often occur at the edges and along planted borders when the mower’s wheels can accidently slip off the lawn or if the ground is uneven in places.
Avoid by making note of these problem areas, take extra care when mowing those areas and over time you can level uneven patches of lawn by applying appropriate soil, approximately 2 cm at a time, so the grass can still grow through the new top soil.
10. Mower maintenance
Now you have an evenly cut, beautifully green striped lawn it is important to ensure that your mower is clean and ready to use for the next mow. Regularly cleaning and checking that your mower is clear of any grass build-up will keep it in best condition.
TIP: Clean your mower off of the lawn in case of any fuel spills that can damage the grass.