All lawns need mowing; it is one of the most frequent, and most important, tasks in maintaining a healthly lawn. Getting the cutting height and mowing frequency right can make a huge difference to the ongoing health of the lawn. If you are in the Buffalo NY area and are looking for Lawn Mowing services, or Lawn care services, you can count on KD professional Landscaping and Snowplowing services. Just give us a call ( 716) 400-4369 or simply Email us.
When to Mow
Mowing is carried out mainly between March and October.
- Over summer: On average, mow twice weekly, dropping to once a week during periods of drought.
- Over spring and autumn: Mow once a week.
- Over winter: Mowing is usually not necessary, unless the weather is mild and the grass is still growing. In this case, mow occasionally with a high cut setting. Do not attempt to do this if the ground conditions are very soft or frozen, or during spells of cold, drying winds.
- Dry and shady areas under trees may need less frequent mowing than areas in full sun with good moisture levels.
- Never mow wet or frosty grass, as this can damage the turf and compact the soil. Wait until later in the day when the lawn has dried out or defrosted, or postpone mowing to another day.
How to mow
Mowing itself is relatively straight forward. It is the mowing height that can cause problems. Follow these tips to get the correct height:
- For the first mowing in spring, set the cutting height to the highest setting. Thereafter, gradually reduce the height of cut until the desired height is reached. For fine lawns, this will be 6-13mm (¼-½in). For ordinary ornamental lawns this will be 13-25mm (½-1in) in summer and up to 40mm (1.5in) in spring and autumn.
- Avoid excessively close mowing, as although attractive, it can weaken the grass, encouraging shallow rooting and making the lawn more susceptible to drought, weeds and moss. Close mown lawns need more frequent feeding and watering. Extremely low cutting may scalp the lawn, leaving bare patches where there are bumps or tree roots protruding above the surface.
- On the other hand, lawns regularly cut too high can suffer from loose, weak growth that is less durable as a surface.
If you are unsure of what height to use, the general guideline is never remove more than one-third of the leaf shoots in any one mow.
Getting a striped finish
A striped lawn looks very impressive, and isn’t that difficult to achieve if your mower has a rear roller. Wheeled rotary mowers do not produce good quality striping. Rectangular lawns are easier to stripe than irregularly shaped lawns, but with a bit of practice, you can stripe up any lawn.
- Start by mowing around the edge of the lawn.
- For square or rectangular lawns, work from the left side, mowing up and down the lawn using the straight lawn edge as a guide to get a straight line.
- For circular or irregular shaped lawns, line up the mower with a focal point to achieve an initial straight line across the widest point. This first straight line can be your guide for subsequent stripes.
- At each turn, line up the mower so that the next mown stripe slightly overlaps the last.
- Empty the clippings box regularly. A full box can deposit clumps of clippings on the lawn, spoiling the finish and clogging the mower.
- Tight corners may need strimming or hand trimming with lawn shears, if they are too small or boxed in for the mower to reach.
It is a good idea to vary the direction of cut, alternating straight with diagonal stripes on different occasions, so that ruts do not form in lawn from going backwards and forwards in the same direction on numerous occasions.
Scalping of the lawn may occur:
- On soft ground (when the wheels sink in).
- On turns (if they are taken too fast).
- If ruts in the lawn form from not varying the direction of cut.
- If the height of cut is too low.
- If the lawn surface is uneven, with bumps and hollows. These are best levelled out.
An uneven finish, with torn grass is usually caused by blunt blades. However it can also occur if the bottom and cylinder blades of a cylinder mower are incorrectly set. Consult your owner’s manual for details of setting the blades correctly. Ragged cuts can also occur when the grass has been left to get very long, when the mower is operated too fast, or when the cutting height is set to maximum.
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