You would be incorrect to think that mowing a lawn is purely to cut the grass down to a manageable level. The idea is that the grass will be cut in such a way that it is long enough to stop the young shoots being starved of energy but short enough to make an attractive lawn therefore making a vigorous but fine quality grass sward.
Mowing the lawn takes a great deal of gardening time up so you may as well spend a few moments of your time thinking about it to get it right rather than rushing in like a bull in a china shop!
Generally, the rule is to mow often but not too close. By doing this, you prevent leaf blades growing excessively; prevent loss of fertiliser, and the threat of weeds, worms and coarse grass invading your precious lawn. The grass to all intents and purposes is ‘Bonsai’d’ and the production of tillers (side shoots) is stimulated which in turn thickens the lawn and helps prevent other rogue species invading.
If you give the lawn too much of a close shave at irregular intervals, the good grasses already in the lawn will be weakened or die and the thin turf that is left tends to be invaded by weeds.
When do I cut my grass then?
Start in March and finish cutting in October. You can mow in winter with a very light cut if the weather is favourable. The exact cutting frequency is not an art which is set in stone because it depends on a number of factors including weather, type of lawn, soil fertility, grass strength and the time of year. The best way to guide the cutting gaps is to use the height of the grass
Problems with Mowing
This is a common problem which occurs when parts of the turf are slightly higher than others. It happens more when a rotary mower is being used rather than a hover type mower.
- Raise the cut height of the mower
- Use top dressing to improve the evenness of the lawn
- Don’t press down on the mower handle
- Don’t use a ‘Push and Pull’ type action of mowing
A series of bands of grass strips with long and short alternating grass lengths caused by the speed of the mowers blades spinning too slowly. This is a rarer problem now as many mowers are powered.
- Cut the grass more frequently if it is too long.
- If the height of the cut is too low, raise the blade height.
- Grass maybe wet with rain or due before mowing.
- Check the rotary mower has the correct number of blades.
This problem occurs at the edges of the lawn where the hover mower is moved over the edge of the lawn, the air cushion is lost and the blades fall and cut into the turf rather than the cut the grass. Another reason could be that the mower was started on a flat surface rather than having the machine tilted.
- Be more careful around the lawn edges!
- Start the mower according to the manufacturer’s instructions.