Mowing your lawn might seem like a simple enough process, but did you know there’s many factors to consider when cutting grass. For example, the height at which you mow depends on the variety of your turf, and if your mower blades are blunt it can cause damage to the appearance of your lawn.
At Wild Horse Turf we’re keen to give you as much information to ensure your lawn stays in the best shape possible. Here’s all your lawn mowing questions answered and a few of our own special tips thrown in for good measure.
Why can’t I mow my lawn too low?
It’s tempting to cut your grass short so you don’t have to mow it as often, but did you know that it’s a common mistake made by most lawn owners. The luscious green leaves of your lawn actually absorb sunlight and turn it into energy for your grass, and by cutting too much leaf off your lawn will have to draw on reserves stored in its roots. Avoid continually mowing too low to ensure your grass thrives.
Hint: The lower you mow it, the more often you’ll need to mow it.
When can I first mow my new lawn?
Once your turf is rooted to the soil, usually from 14 to 21 days, you can mow it for the first time, as long as weather permits. To test if your new lawn is established, gently lift a corner piece of your turf and see how easily it lifts. Your lawn is good to mow if you can’t lift the turf up at all.
Tip: Never cut more than one-third of the leaf in any one mowing session.
What height should I mow my Empire Zoysia, Sapphire Soft-Leaf Buffalo or Palmetto?
These varieties are meant to be mown slightly higher than others and are best kept anywhere from 40mm to 50mm, with Empire Zoysia ideal at 40mm. If you cut your buffalo lawn too low it’ll lose its dark green leaf and potentially stunt its growth and lose its striking colour. Mowing these varieties too low and reducing the density of thatch layer and lawn sward will mean it’s also at a higher risk of invasion from weeds or pests.
Hint: As a guide, mow weekly in summer and every 2-3 weeks in winter.
My lawn is Tropika Blue Couch or Wintergreen Couch – what height is best?
While best kept shorter than buffalo varieties, ensure couch varieties are about 30-35mm and no more than 30-40% of its leaf is removed during any one mowing session. If you’d prefer a shorter lawn gradually reduce the height over time – just be careful not to scalp it.
Tip: Mowing is the best form of weed control, with pulling them out by hand the next best thing.
Is there a right way to mow a lawn?
There sure is, in fact at Wild Horse Turf we’re pretty fussy about how we mow our lawns! For starters, when using a rotary mower we suggest mowing around the perimeter in a clockwise direction, this way excess green material is thrown back on the lawn not the path.
Next mow in straight lines, if they become crooked you can fix this by overlapping during the next strip. When you come across an obstacle such as garden beds or trees, treat them as you would the outer perimeter and the mow straight where you can.
Hint: When straight lawn mowing, make sure you overlap a little with each pass so the excess room between the blades and outside of wheel is accounted for.
My lawn is odd-shaped – how do I mow it?
The best way is to break your lawn into sections, first cutting the outside perimeter and then mow in straight lines the largest section and work your way down to the smallest areas. As well as saving you time, this will leave lines in the lawn that should look natural – it might take some trial and error but you’ll eventually find a pattern you like.
Tip: Don’t forget to empty the catcher more often when mowing extra-long or wet grass – this will stop excess clippings being left on the lawn.
Should I leave clippings on my lawn?
Now this is a personal preference, but the facts are that clippings can be a great source of nitrogen and can act as a natural fertiliser. If you’re mowing regularly and only removing a small amount of leaf, as we suggest you do, it’s fine for the health of your lawn to leave clippings.
However, leaving too many might cause your grass to lose colour and burn, especially if it hasn’t been mowed for a few weeks. In this instance we suggest removing your clippings. More often it’s a decision you’ll make on how you want your lawn to look.
Hint: Do not leave clippings on lawn when you have weeds or have been weed spraying recently.
Are sharp mower blades really that important?
They sure are, cleaning your mower and making sure your blades are sharp can have a huge impact on the health of your lawn. We suggest you remove grass build-up regularly and that you thoroughly clean your mower about 2-3 times a year.
Dull blades can rip at the grass leaf and leave it bruised, rough-ended and takeaway from its finish – so give them a sharpen after every 24 to 36 hours of use. If you’re handy with a grinder it’s an easy job or you local mower shop will be able to sharpen them for you.
Tip: Sharpening blades can reduce your mower’s fuel consumption by 25%.
We’ve got some more handy lawn care tips here, or you can call Wild Horse Turf on 5496 9790 to get a free quote and advice on the best lawn variety for your property.