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– It may be hard to believe, but we’ve had petrol powered lawn mowers for over a century. The first commercial petrol-powered mower was released by Ransomes in England, in 1902, and featured an impressive 42″ cutting width.
Since that time, knowing how to run a mower has become common knowledge. Something often overlooked, however, is knowing how to run a lawn. So, to remedy this, we’re going to cover a few Grass Cutting Basics.
It’s important to understand that mowing doesn’t just keep your lawn looking good – it’s also crucial to its health. Regular mowing encourages your grass to grow its root system, becoming denser. Dense grass discourages weed growth (by preventing sunlight and oxygen from reaching the weeds), replenishes faster, and is better at holding water. Mowing also prevents weeds by cutting them prior to setting seed.
First things first – know your grass!
Knowing what grass type you have on your lawn is important. Different grasses have different minimum and maximum growing heights, and knowing what height your lawn should be is the crucial first step in understanding mowing. The most common grass types are Buffalo (such as Sir Walter), Couch (such as Green and Queensland Blue) and several varieties of Zoysia. We’ve provided a table below to help find out how long your lawn should be.
Lawns should be mowed regularly!
Avoid long periods between mows. You don’t need to set a schedule – grass growth changes with the seasons and with your soil, so it’s best to keep an eye on it and act accordginly, mowing when your grass has just grown outside its optimal height.
You should mow at least weekly when your lawn is growing fastest over the Summer.
Cut no more than one-third of the grass leaf per mow!
Next to not mowing regularly, mowing too low is the biggest impediment to a healthy lawn. This is especially true over the warmer months, when you should opt for higher mowing heights. If your lawn is overgrown, then you’ll have to mow it a few times to get down to the desired height.
Trying to save time in the future by mowing lower now is a false economy – you’ll stress your lawn, invite weeds to grow, and create more work in the long run.
Don’t mow when the grass is wet!
Self-explanatory, but it’s something we’ve all been guilty of at some point. As well as leaving clumps of material that can starve the grass underneath, the water on the grass leaf will cause it to tear rather than be cut neatly, even with sharp blades.
Change mowing patterns!
While we all have our ‘most efficient’ mowing path, you can encourage more upright lawn growth by mixing up the pattern in which you mow. This is because grass tends to lean in the direction it’s mowed.
Mowing properly means you actually spend less time working on your lawn, and more time enjoying it! By following the simple advice above, your lawn should be healthier in no time. Remember – don’t mow when it’s wet, don’t ever mow it too short, and mow regularly!
Do you have a question for The Mowing Guide? Please get in touch via the Contact Us page!