Mowing, along with watering, are the two most important maintenance tasks for any well kept turf surface. The correct mowing regime will encourage your lawn to grow thick and healthy all year round, whilst helping prevent weeds and moss from encroaching.
Choosing the correct mower
It is vitally important that you are using a mower that is suitable for both the lawn and for yourself in both size and weight. Nobody wants to be pushing around a mower that is far too heavy, or spend hours per week mowing because the mower is too small. Most domestic lawns are mowed with a rotary mower, as opposed to fine ornamental lawns or sports turf such as bowls greens or croquet lawns which would use a cylinder mower.
Rotary mowers are cheaper in price and more straight forward to use than cylinder mowers. They are very tolerant with longer grass and can be used to collect up leaves and debris during the autumn and winter. All-in-all a good choice for domestic lawns.
Other mower types such as ride-ons or robot mowers are available if you have a very large lawn or you don’t have the time to mow – but we’ve got another blog to cover those bases!
How often you have to mow will depend on your individual lawn and growing conditions. During the spring and autumn due to soil temperatures some lawns growth rate will speed up and slow down faster and slower than other lawns.
As a general rule we advise mowing every 5-7 days during the growing season (March-October) with the frequency being reduced during the colder months of the year.
- January – 1 to 2 times per month.
- February – 1 to 2 times per month.
- March – 2 to 3 times per month.
- April – 3 to 4 times per month.
- May – 4 to 6 times per month.
- June – 4 to 6 times per month.
- July – 4 to 6 times per month.
- August – 4 to 6 times per month.
- September – 3 to 4 times per month.
- October – 2 to 3 times per month.
- November – 1 to 2 times per month.
- December – 1 to 2 times per month.
Most domestic lawns would benefit from being cut at a height between 25-40mm in length. Mowing too short at the wrong times of year can put the grass plant under stress. During warmer/dryer months mowing too short will cause the grass to dry out quicker and allow weeds to take over whilst during the autumn and winter mowing too short will allow moss to take over.
Occasionally it is best to leave the length of the grass slightly longer (between 30-50mm), for example if we are heading into a hot and dry spell in the summer, as this will offer the plant some protection against drought stress.
Other points to remember
Mowing with a sharp blade is a must to maintain a healthy lawn. Blunt blades will tear the tips of the grass plants and cause yellowing, also allowing a larger surface area for disease to attack the grass plants within your lawn – nobody wants that to happen. Regularly sharpen or service your mower throughout the year to ensure the blade is up to the job of making a clean cut.
We recommend that you change the direction that you cut every time the mower comes out. Mowing in the same direction will continually lay the grass down and encourage lateral growth, which in a few months or years could make mowing an extremely difficult task.
When mowing it is vitally important that you do not remove more than 1/3rd of the length of the grass during any one cut. If your lawn has become a little too long, gradually reduce the height across numerous cuts. Reducing the height significantly within one cut is likely to leave your lawn looking yellow, patchy and feeling sorry for itself.
- Aim to mow at least once per week during the growing season.
- Avoid mowing your lawn when it is wet.
- Mow between 25-40mm in length.
- Regularly change the direction of your cut.
- Raise the mower up if conditions are hot and dry.
- Never remove more than 1/3rd of the length during any one cut.
- Keep the mower blade sharp.