Lawns are the most work intensive item you will have in your garden. During the summer months they can need cutting at least once a week. But is cutting the lawn as simple as pushing the mower up and down the lawn several times avoiding cutting through the electric cable? Here are a list of do's and don'ts for lawn cutting:
Advice on Cutting your Lawn
- Never cut the grass too short, especially in hot weather. If its too short it cannot retain moisture and either you'll have to water it more regularly or it will start to brown. At the beginning of the season it best to start off with the mower set at its highest setting (so the grass is still quite long after cutting about 30mm). Then as the summer months progress reduce the fly-height of the mower above the grass so it cuts it shorter (about 15mm). The higher you can leave the grass the less weeds will grow and the more water it will retain on a hot day.
- Mow the lawn regularly. It is recommended by experts (and I take no notice of them) that in the summer months you cut the lawn twice a week. Has the world gone mad? At other times just once a week will do.
- Some mowers don't come with a grass collection box as standard and with them it is tempting to leave the grass cuttings on the lawn. This is OK if you cut the lawn regularly, but keep an eye out for moss, which may spread in areas where grass cuttings result in poor aeration. In dry weather leaving the grass cuttings on the lawn can help prevent it from drying out - again saving you from watering the lawn. They are also a reasonably effective natural fertiliser for your lawn if they are kept short or your lawn mower has a mulcher built in. Despite not liking to cut the lawn I personally always collect the grass clippings as I feel they look unseemly and stick to my feet or shoes and get trodden back through the house.
- Be careful cutting an uneven lawn, especially if you are going for a short cut as you may scalp or bald the lawn. I know from experience that is a real problem with petrol rotary mowers as they have plenty of power work quite well at getting rid of the bumps in the lawn and the lawn as well mind you.
- If you are using either a rotary or cylinder mower or a hover mower with a metal blade consider having the blades sharpened at regular intervals. This will give you a better quality cut to the grass without tearing it.
- Don't cut the lawn when its wet. It'll clog up parts of your lawn mower you didn't realize you had and may actually damage you lawn either through the action of the lawn mower or through you churning the ground up walking on it.
- If you've left your lawn for few weeks, say you've been on holiday, don't think that you can give it a crew cut (that's a short haircut for everyone under the age of 30) without it suffering. Never take off more than a third of the height of the grass in one cutting as the lawn will start to go a yellow colour a sign it isn't photosynthesising enough. If its too long to get back to normal in one cut then take off one third now and leave it for a couple of days before taking some more off.
"What about the long blades of grass that the mower normally leaves behind? Come on -- tell me how to get rid of them WITH the mower!"
"Great Advice but the problem is my husband has been told year after year the same thing about cutting the grass so low then weeds growing all over the place during the hot summer months happens every summer he does the same thing time and time again,he already causes so much destruction it becomes too late to reverse it and summer almost over now!Promises well next year i'll only mow when you tell me too! I'll raise the blades on the lawn mower, each and every year,same thing, do you have any advise on that!!"
"how many lawns can you cut in a week because i want to start a lawn mowing business."
"At the age of 71 I have inherited a lawn and a lawn mower and no idea whatsoever of what to do. How do you alter the height of the cutting thing? Why does the mower keep stopping? Why the smell of burning? "
"freezing temps and cutting grass early spring. Does the low temps / spring frost damage the grass after cutting?"
"When do you cut grass when it rains quite often, like in B.C."
"I shall see about removing the other lawn cutting tips pages immediately!
Seriously though. These tips are no more than common sense. I doubt very much that any other 'tips' page will contradict them. This page is 5 years old and to this day I try and fail to follow them."
"How can I take all your tips for gospel when there are so many on the net?"
"very useful information for the non gardener"