Did the lush green lawn of your new house enchant you when you moved in? And does the same lawn make you sweat when it is time for mowing it? Don’t worry, you are one of the many Australians whose busy lifestyle does not leave them with enough time for regular lawn mowing and maintenance of their lawns. Some people manage to squeeze in time for our lawns and their maintenance, but some practices that they follow are not beneficial to their lawns. On the contrary, they are detrimental to the health of the lawn and its appearance.
A well-kept lawn rarely has a brown appearance. Also, there are not ruts or patches on such lawns. Happy lawns are always free of weeds and pests. In order to maintain a healthy and happy lawn, little things should be kept in mind. Mowing techniques are one crucial factor that determines the state of your lawn. It is fairly easy to find out if a lawn is being mowed correctly and efficiently. Some of the considerations that you have to keep in mind while mowing your lawn are the type and model of your mower, the kind of grass you have and the seasonal growth rate of the grass.
As daunting as lawn mowing may seem to be, you can make this task simpler and much more effective with these amazing lawn-mowing hacks.
Know your grass
Mowing can be a much easier task for you if you know the ideal mowing height for the type of grass you have in your lawn. For example, if your lawn has the Sir Walter Buffalo Grass, or the Eureka Kikuyu Grass, you should keep the mowing height at around 40 mm. On the contrary, lawns with couch grass varieties like the Nullarbor Couch, you can safely mow at 15 mm without any damage to the grass. As a rough guide, never mow down more than two-thirds of its original height. This rule is popularly known as the rule on one-third and emphasises the importance of always leaving the grass at one third of its original height.
Fix a regular schedule for mowing
While this hack will not be easy to manage because most of us have a shortage of time, it is very important that you mow your lawn at regular, fixed intervals to keep the grass happy and to avoid overgrowth. It is to be noted that grass will grow differently in different seasons and you might have to be more frequent in some times of the year. Failure to do so will lean to an overgrown lawn, and more likelihood of damaging the grass while mowing it. If
you think you wouldn’t be able to mow your lawn at set intervals, it is better to hire a professional to do it. This arrangement will turn out to be better than mowing overgrown lawns.
Don’t mow too short
The growth of grass in our lawns seems to be directly related to our busy life. The busier we are, the faster our lawn-grass grows. The end result is that we have to mow our overgrown lawns. While it may seem to be a great idea to trim them down to a really short height, doing this would most likely kill the grass or scalp the lawn. This practice will also increase the likelihood of weed growth in your lawn. It is advisable to mow the lawn in stages, with the first cut being very high. Gradually, the mowing height should be decreased, so that the crowns of the lawn begin to grow further down inside the thatch layer. An exception to this is the Couch grass variety, which is an Australian favourite. This grass can usually withstand a low mowing height because it has runners underground which help it to regenerate fast.
Mow at the right time
What is the Best Time of Day to Cut the Grass?
While getting an early start to your day might make you feel productive, mowing your grass too early is not. When the grass is still covered in dew it is more likely to be damaged and pulled from its roots.
If you think midday is a good idea, think again. During midday when the sun has reached its peak in the sky, your grass is hard at work holding on to every last drop of water for survival. At this point, your grass is also working on photosynthesis.
Mowing in the peak heat of the day is as disturbing to the grass as it is to you. The grass being mowed down experiences a lot of stress in the process. The grass will lose much more moisture and its recovery will be much slower if it is mowed in high heat. Choose the time of the day when the sun is not directly overhead, or the lawn is under shade.
If you’re someone who likes to sleep in on the weekends, then you’re in for a treat as mowing the lawn in the early evening is ideal.
With a simple modification in your good old mower, you will be able to save a lot of time, money and energy. You only have to replace your mower blade with a mulching blade. This simple hack will result in generation of much smaller pieces of cut grass which can be left on the lawn to decompose. Because they decompose pretty quickly, they will not look conspicuous and at the same time, your lawn will get some goodies in the form of natural fertilizer. There is just one thing to keep in mind- you might have to attach an adaptor at the end of your mower when you use a mulching blade to make sure that the mower does not shower the cut grass on you as you mow. A word of caution: this hack will only work for lawns that are regularly mowed. Overgrown lawns will have to be gradually brought down to their ideal mowing height before starting grass cycling.
Get creative when mowing
Contrary to popular practice, mowing in a single direction is not recommended. Repetitive mowing in the same direction will create ruts and the soil will get compacted in that direction, thereby hampering the growth of grass and allowing weeds to grow. Also, mowing in the same direction every time will create a grain on the cut blade of grass and eventually the grass tends to lean in the direction of mowing. This will result in the grass not being upright and mowing not being efficient. So, the next time you mow your lawn, think of different patterns that you can make with the mower. Alternatively, you may think of lawn mowing as a form of exercise and try to make the patterns more interesting every time.
Steer clear from slopes
However tempting the lawn on a slope is, never mow it in vertical direction. Instead, gently make horizontal movements on slopes. Depending on the slope inclination, it might even be better to use a string trimmer or opt for ground cover. In case of any doubt, please check with the manufacturer of your lawn mower for information regarding its usage on slopes.
Check the mower
Perhaps one of the most important factors for hassle free lawn mowing is the condition of the mower and its blade. Maintain your lawn mower well and check the blade for sharpness. Blunt blades are not capable of creating sharp cuts on the grass blades and cause damage on the structure of the grass. Also, these blades are not able to cut a uniform height of the lawn. Getting the blade sharpened periodically increase the efficiency of the mower and saves a lot of time and effort. Sharpening of mower blades can be easily done at home or by hiring a professional, but this step must not be overlooked.
Switch up your Mowing Routine
The grass will grow based on the direction you cut it in. It will lean with the grain that you choose. To combat this, use different routes. This will promote upward growth of the grass. While you should switch up the pattern you mow, always push the mower forwards. This will help grass that becomes coarse and help prevent it from sprouting unevenly as well.
Nourish the lawn
Adding fertilizer to the lawn should not be neglected because it makes the grass grow faster, and necessitates more frequent mowing. Fertilizers provide a lot of critical nutrients to the grass which help it to withstand mowing, give it an edge over opportunistic weeds and result in faster repair of the grass. You must schedule fertilizer addition to your lawn just as you would schedule their mowing.
Mow only dry grass
It is advisable to only mow grass that is completely dry. The grass stays upright when it is dry and tends to stick to each other or lean in a particular direction when it is wet. In addition, mowing wet grass lawns may require a lot more time and effort, and at the same time leave the mowed lawn more susceptible for microbial infections and infestations.
Make edgings where required
This simple hack will save a lot of your time and effort while mowing. Creating a flat surface (also known as mower strips) on the edges of your lawn, as long walking paths, planters and driveways will make it possible for you to move the mower on these flat surfaces. This would make the string trimming dispensable and provide a neat and finished look to the edges of your lawn. You can get really innovative with the type of material you want to use for creating these flat edgings. Crushed limestone, bricks, gravel or concrete can be used for this purpose.
These simple steps will not only reduce your effort while mowing your lawn, they will also result in healthier, lush green lawns that will be a sight for sore eyes. So, follow these tips and tricks to become the neighbour whose grass is always greener.