How do I know what height to cut my lawn at?
When you cut your lawn on a regular basis with the same lawn mower, you will identify the correct height for a nice cut. Most domestic lawns in the UK have a mix of fine fescue and ryegrass types. Fine fescues need to be cut regularly, otherwise it will become quite leggy if it is left too long between each cut. However, if rye grass is cut too short and too regularly, it removes all of the leaf.
You can practice cutting your lawn with different height settings until you identify what gives your lawn the best appearance. Alternatively when we visit you we can advise you on the correct height for your needs.
How often should I cut my grass?
You should mow your lawn as often as it requires throughout the year. Grass grows at different rates throughout the year as the weather and temperature changes.
In the spring and summer, you may find that your grass needs cutting on a regular basis (approximately once a week) as these are the growing seasons. However, in the winter, the grass will appear to almost completely stop growing, and therefore it may not need cutting for a number of weeks or months.
To prevent stress it is really important that only 1/3 of the lawn height is cut each time. If due to conditions or time constraints the lawn gets long I advise slowly reducing the height of the cut over a week or two. Removing more than 1/3 of the blade length will thin out the sward leaving it vulnerable to moss, weeds, and in some instances, weaken the lawn against disease. The best greens are only cut a few mm a day. Little and often is the best approach when cutting a lawn. A lawn that is regularly cut little and often will be in far better condition than a lawn that is cut infrequently and with more than 1/3 removed each time.
Should the grass cuttings be collected?
This is a matter of personal preference. If you use a mulching lawn mower, you should not see many clippings left on the lawn, as the machine will chop the clippings, before forcing them back onto the lawn for a clean appearance.
If you are mowing your lawn correctly, no clippings should be visible at all, as professional mulching mowers ensure that the clippings form a good base for re-using the food that grass plants produce.
Be away that too much grass being left behind or mulched back into the lawn can lead to a build-up of organic matter (known as thatch) leading to a spongy, wetter lawn in the winter months and the possibility of disease forming.
What type of lawn mower is the best?
This is dependant on your lawn’s size, layout and any hills that have to be accounted for.
Cylinder mowers – Are appropriate on large lawns with flat surfaces, but are not appropriate on small lawns with hills and small areas as there may be some scalping. The lawn will need cutting more often and a shorter than with a rotary.
Rotary mowers – Are ideal for smaller lawns as they are more lightweight and manageable to turn. They are also appropriate for any small banks on your lawn, providing you raise the cutting height of the machine.
Rotary mowers with a rear roller – Are good for most sized lawns as they are usually high speed, yet not too large to negotiate around smaller areas. The main benefit with this type of mower is that the rear-roller stripes left on the lawn, make your lawn look nicer.
Lawn Mower Maintenance
You should check the condition of your lawn mower regularly, and have it maintained appropriately to ensure that your lawn is cut to the highest standard. Failure to service blunt blades, will result in your grass being bruised rather than cut. The health of the plant with deteriorate fast, leading to the turf yellowing and will also allow lawn diseases to develop more easily.
Keeping the blades sharp on your lawn mower is one of the most important factors to consider at all times.