To keep things simple for you, we have put together these top 6 mowing tips for your lawn.
1. Mow regularly
While it’s tempting to take another weekend off mowing, regularly mowing is actually up there as one of the best things you can do for its health. The 1/3 rule is the common method of knowing when to mow, if you are mowing more than 1/3 than you are damaging the lawn. So either raise the height or mow more regularly.
Pro tip: Use of controlled release fertilisers such as Munns Professional Greenkeeper can prevent surge growth so you can get greening without heaps of growth and mowing.
2. Check your mower blades
Mowing blades don’t last forever. It’s good to check your blades every 2-3 mows, or more regularly if you have accidentally run over sticks or rocks. Dull or blunt blades can tear and damage the grass rather than giving it a clean cut. If you aren’t sure if your mower blades are blunt, check your lawn 24 hours after mowing, are their spots that don’t look properly cut. You can always replace them and hold onto the old ones to see if that rectifies the problems.
Pro tip: Quality of cut is a combination of number of blades, ground speed, blade tip speed and blade sharpness. If your blades are sharp, slow down as you mow and make sure the mower is at full throttle.
3. Mow in the right weather
A dry cut is the best cut. Wet grass sticks together when cut and this makes it harder for the mower to throw it into the catcher, this means there is likely to make the clippings clump. These clumps can be a breeding ground for disease and insects.
If you do need to mow when the lawn is still wet be aware the grass may stick to the underside of your mower and when mowing long grass this may clog and damage the motor. Be sure to wash the mower after use as this grass on the undersides as a great way to create damage to the body of the mower.
Pro tip: Wash your mower and let it dry before storing, follow the manufacturers recommendation with cleaning. Some WD-40 sprayed in the right spots can enhance mower longevity.
4. Recycle your lawn clippings
When removing the leaf blade you are removing plant nutrients stored in the leaf. A great way to reduce your required fertilising is to reduce the clippings you remove. If you aren’t getting much off when you mow and the lawn is nice and dry consider leaving the catcher off. Make sure the clippings are dispersing nicely. This is not a long term practice but now and again once a month) can be beneficial to your lawn.
Pro tip: These clippings start to form a thatch in your soil, a good level of “active” thatch in a home lawn can protect the soil from sudden changes in temperature, protecting roots from extreme cold and heat and can help reduce transpiration of moisture. However, a bad thatch that is high in volume or not being broken down by microbes can build up and prevent moisture penetration and increase likelihood of disease and insect damage. Munns Professional Root Regenerator can help increase these microbes by providing a source of microbes and help stimulate those already in the soil.
5. Cool season grasses like it longer
While cool season grasses can be mown super low (down to 2.5mm) and grasses like Bentgrass and Red Fescues are often used for golf greens in the southern parts of Australia we need to remember these are under heavily intensive practices. In fact, the optimal mowing height for cool season grasses in a lawn situation is around 3-5cm a fair way away from those mowing heights.
Cool season grasses are:
- Tall Fescue varieties
Fine Fescue varieties
Kentucky Bluegrass varieties
6. Warm season grasses like it shorter
Warm season grasses can also be mown very sort (down to 2.5mm) and couch grasses are commonly used as bowling greens, cricket wickets and golf greens in the northern parts of Australia. The optimal mowing height for warm season grasses for the home lawn is 2-4cm.
Warm season grasses are:
- Kikuyu varieties
Blue couch varieties
Hybrid (Bermuda) Couch varieties