Five tips for mowing your lawn this summer
By Eric Barker
The Brisbane storm season is here again and mowing the lawn is becoming a fortnightly job rather than monthly. If you’re having trouble keeping on top of your lawn, here’s five tips to keeping it under control this summer:
1. Try not to cut the lawn too short
When lawns are growing as fast as they are now, it may seem like a good idea to cut it as short as short as possible and give it more time to grow. But cutting a lawn too short can be detrimental in a number of different ways:
- I can damage the root structure of grass, essentially starving it of all nutrients
- It can damage the mower blades, and
- It can ruin the aesthetics by leaving brown patches.
Lowering the cutting height is a process that takes time. If a lawn becomes too thick it’s best to mow more regularly and remove all the clippings. Start by setting the blade’s high and mow over it once, after this lower them and mow it again, however make sure the blades are still moving easily.On average lawns around Brisbane should be left 40-50mm in height depending on the type of turf.
2. Keep your edges well maintained
Nothing completes a well-manicured lawn like a perfectly cut edge, without edges done properly the lawn will start creeping over paths, driveways and up walls. There are two main techniques used for cutting edges;
- Tapering into walls, and
- Establishing boundaries between the lawn and paths or driveways.
To taper a lawn it is essential to angle the whipper snipper slightly towards the wall, start with the cord about 10cm away from the wall andkeeping it on the angle move it towards the wall cutting on the way in. Repeat this process as even as possible the whole way along the obstacle, this will taper the lawn down to the edge, as the name suggests.
Establishing boundaries between a lawn and a path requires another step after tapering. When tapering for a driveway or path it’s not necessary to use as much angle on the whipper snipper as you would for a wall, just make sure the edge is the same height as the rest of the grass. After tapering, turn the whipper snipper upside down leaving the cord at a right angle to the path, trying to keep the edge as straight as possible establish a 10-20mm gap between the lawn and the path.
3. Mow in straight lines
Mowing the lawn in strips is the best way to keep it all at one height with a neat and tidy finish. Start by mowing around the boarder of the yard so there are no patches left at the end of each strip mowed. If the yard is on a hill it is still advisable to mow around the boarder to establish that buffer zone. There are self-propelled mowers on the market which have accelerators and move automatically, which make mowing uphill easy.
4. Keep the mower well maintained
By regularly servicing a lawn mower and keeping the blades sharp it allows for a better cut. When the blades on the mower aren’t working properly they grip the grass and rip it out rather than cutting the clippings off the top. Ripping the grass damages the root structure, depleting the grass of nutrients and potentially leaving dead patches in the lawn or allowing weeds to invade.
There are a number of different types of mowers and blades on the market, some can be sharpened and others will need to be interchanged when they go blunt. This is an issue worth bringing up with your local lawn mower dealer.
5. Recycle lawn clippings as much as possible
Lawn clippings are full of essential nutrients which can be recycled and used to feed the turf naturally and can save paying fees at the tip. Using a self-mulching lawn mower is the most efficient way of recycling clippings back into the lawn. If there is no self-mulcher on the lawn mower and the plan is to use the mower without a catcher, it is essential run over the clippings a few times. Lawn clippings need to be as small as possible to be effective as mulch.
However there are still some lawns where it’s best to take the clippings away. Using the clippings for mulch thickens the lawn, so if a lawn is already too thick then it’s a good idea catch the clippings and take them away. Overgrown lawns also need the clippings taken away because the long grass becomes too coarse to break down effectively.
For more information on servicing your lawn contact nathan from circle maintenace