The Joe’s Lawn Experts regularly advise customers on the best mowing practice for a healthier lawn. These are backed up with learnings from the Institute of Groundsmanship and the latest international turf care practices.
These are the 3 top tips from Joe’s:
- Mow frequently – weekly is best when the lawn is actively growing (spring-autumn)
- Never more than 1/3rd off in any one cut
- Check your mower regularly for blade sharpness
Why Mow Little and Often?
For many of us little and often means once a week. This will produce a much denser and more aspirational turf than if your grass cutting is every two weeks. A dense turf is the best looking and a great form of natural weed control as it prevents weed seeds from contact with the soil. If the seed doesn’t contact the soil, chances are that no weed grows; perfect! Cutting at the correct height encourages healthier roots, helps conserve water during dry periods, and ensures the grass plant remains healthy, whilst at the same time discouraging weeds. You will NOT benefit the grass by giving it a severe hacking less often. You will not do any harm if you cut more frequently so long as your lawn mower and blades are in good condition. The chances are in a dry summer you won’t need to cut the grass much, as there will be little growth. However, don’t go over two weeks between cuts, because some weed grasses will take advantage of the lack of lawn mowing and spread or seed profusely.
The ‘One Third Rule’
Never remove more than one third of the grass blade on any one mowing. Therefore, if your lawn mower is set for a 3cm (1″) cut then you must mow at, or before, the grass gets to 4cm (1½”); regardless of whether that’s 4 days or 8 days between cuts.
A good cut requires sharp blades.
Can I slow down my grass rate of growth?
If the 1/3rd rule means you have to do your grass cutting more often than you would like, you can raise the lawn mowing height which will slow growth down. This may now mean mowing every 7 to 10 days depending on temperature and water availability and will have the benefit of encouraging a naturally thicker green weed free lawn.
If I don’t follow these lawn cutting rules, what happens?
Thin patchy lawns are often the result of infrequent mowing or removing too much of the grass when you cut.
What should I do with my grass clippings?
Always try to remove grass clippings from the lawn – these clippings encourage lawn thatch, on which moss will thrive.
Oh, and one more thing – If you are expecting a visit from Joe’s, please don’t cut the lawn for 2-3 days either side of the treatment* – this helps the treatment to be as effective as possible.
*Unless you are expecting Joe’s for a scarification in which case you need to mow as short as possible 2 days before we arrive.