Guest Post by the Lawn Doctor
There are few activities identified with home ownership that compare to lawn mowing. A freshly cut lawn indicates a healthy respect for your property and for your neighbours. Even the newest, most luxurious house in the neighbourhood can assume a shabby appearance when grass overgrowth occurs. On the other hand, the design of your landscape and health of your grass can turn an average looking home into one that stands out. Certain guidelines are well advised if the lawn is to enjoy optimal well-being. In fact, some practices are so established and time-honoured that possible negative effects are never considered. Learning the basics of lawn mowing guarantees a hardy, attractive landscape.
Cutting wet grass is not a threat to the grass, but to that which does the cutting. Wetness can clog up the works. One result is that the machine will continually stall as the wet grass adheres to a laboured blade. Otherwise, the grass will form clumps and fall onto the lawn, requiring raking later on. If mowing in wet conditions is unavoidable (often this is out of your control), be sure to select the right mower for the job. Contact the team of experts at Specialised Mowing Equipment who will give the best advice and even arrange a demo of the best machine for your job so you can be sure before you make your purchase. ‘
Grass grows quicker or slower depending on the time of year and the overall climate. When it grows at a good clip (pardon the pun!), weekly cutting is necessary to keep it under control. Eventually, though, the frequency of cutting should lessen or else the shorter blades may more easily burn under late-summer sun. If personal schedules allow, mow when the lawn looks like it needs it. Routine is a good thing for people but not necessarily for grass.
Dull blades can still cut grass but it will grow less robust as time goes on. This means its immunity to disease, pests and drought will weaken, leaving the lawn subject to deterioration. Sharpening the blade should be annual along with regular maintenance. Keeping it clean also benefits the blade’s overall condition.
Ideally, mowers should only take off the top third of a blade. It’s especially important in the summer months, when taking too much off of a blade of grass can shock the plant and have some adverse side effects.
With this in mind, the mower blade should be lifted toward — and remain at — the high end of its range. Allowing the grass to grow taller will also increase its root network, establishing a stronger and healthier lawn in the long run.
This sounds like a benefit to the mower operator but it also helps the lawn itself. Heat stress is as hard on grass as it is on humans. Signs include brownish, curling blades of grass as well as infestation by grubs, for example. Mowing in the early morning–or as early as possible given the dew cover–or early evening is better than, say, noon to 5:00 pm.
Whether with a riding mower or with the push variety, mowing backwards is ill-advised. Leaving aside the very serious safety issues that this practice evokes, it is simply bad for the mower. For one thing, the clipped grass will fail to be released properly. Furthermore, the cutting will be inconsistent…and it will show.
Grass and tree roots consume a of the ground’s nutrients in order to thrive. If you cut your grass too low your grass can more easily become weak, as we discussed. However, in addition to this, grass under the shade of trees are also not getting the necessary required vitamins from the sun and, it will also be competing with the grass and trees to consume the necessary nutrients to survive. This is why grass under trees can often have a difficult time staying healthy and green.