A well cared for, freshly mown lawn not only looks awesome, it’s also great to walk on and play on. Anyone can achieve it. The right length of grass is critical to its health and weed minimisation. Check out the guide below to determine the height of lawn that works best for you and is best for your lawn.
Green couch: 5 to 30mm
Buffalo grass (Sir Walter): 30 to 50mm
Kikuyu: 30 to 50mm
Zoysia matrella (Sir Grange): 5 to unmown
Queensland blue couch: 5 to 30mm
Broadleaf carpet grass: 30 to 50mm
Hybrid Bermuda (TifTuf): 5 to 30mm
Fescue: 30 to 50mm
Regularly mowing your lawn promotes lateral growth and allows more of the sun’s rays to get amongst the leaf of your lawn. Never cut more than 1/3 of the leaf blade of your lawn at any one time. If your lawn has become a little out of control and needs a more severe cut, take it down over a number of mows. This will leave plenty of green on the leaf allowing the grass to continue to photosynthesise.
Mowing in different directions not only minimises mownotony (see what we did there!), it also contributes to a healthy lawn by encouraging the individual blades to grow straight, which in turn provides more space for new blades to grow. Ultimately, this gives you a thicker lawn.
Rain is great for fertilising, but not ideal for mowing. Mowing when the grass is wet can damage the leaf blades as they will tear rather than cut, leaving an uneven edge. This can give a ‘chopped’ look to your lawn. Wait until the lawn has dried out after rain or irrigation before you mow.
To get a beautiful cut, it’s important to keep your mower blades in peak condition. You can drop your mower in to a service centre, or you can do the maintenance yourself. Jump over to this blog for more information on keeping your mower blades sharp or see here for information on replacing them.
You can maximise your lawn’s health in the shade by raising your mower a notch or two when you get to the shaded areas. This gives the lawn a great surface to absorb what sunlight is available to it.
Keeping your lawn on the longer side will also reduce stress on the lawn during the hotter months. Doing this will keep the temperature of the soil cooled, reducing evaporation and keeping moisture at the roots of your grass, right where it needs to be.
If you have lumps or depressions in your lawn it can be a good idea to top dress your lawn. During the active growing season is the best time. Information on top dressing can be found here.
There are many types of lawn mowers available. These include rotary, cylinder and ride-on mowers. Rotary mowers come in two types, mulching or catching. Mulching mowers mulch the grass clippings and deposit them over your lawn. These are good for lawns in poor condition or on poor soils. Catcher mowers catch the clippings for discarding or composting.
Petrol powered rotary mowers are powerful, affordable and easy to use. They suit most lawn types.
Electric rotary mowers are generally cheaper than petrol mowers and require less maintenance, however they can be less powerful and the cord can get in the way. Battery operated models are improving and can be a great alternative to the traditional petrol models.
Cylinder mowers are extremely popular with lawn enthusiasts. They are excellent for short, fine lawns varieties and can give a real manicured look to your lawn. If you have a very small area, a hand pushed cylinder mower can be a good option.
Mowing stripes into your lawn is very achievable and it starts with having a thick, even lawn. Although having a cylinder mower can make this easier, you can get the same result with a few tips and tricks and a rotary mower. Your average rotary mower and a roller can do the job. It’s all about bending the blades of grass. You simply mow the grass, then use a roller to push the blades over. You can buy a roller or rent one from a hardware store. The best ones you fill with water, which means they are easier to manoeuvre when they’re empty.
Wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) while mowing minimises your chances of injury. Let’s start at your feet and work our way up. Safety boots are best as there are no laces to catch on anything and they provide a good grip. For the best leg protection from flying debris, wear close-fitting, thick pants. A cool, long sleeve shirt will also protect your body and arms from debris, as well as the sun’s rays.
A face shield or safety glasses will keep your eyes out of harm’s way. A dust mask may also be required if conditions are very dry or if you’re mowing areas that have a lot of loose sand. Don’t forget your ears. Ear defenders or ear plugs will do a great job at blocking out your mower’s engine noise. Finally, protect your hands with gloves to avoid blisters and cuts. Gloves also provide a better grip on your mower.