Keeping a garden in perfect condition is not easy, as everyone knows.
Mowing the lawn, scarifying, pruning, transplanting, are some of the processes that must be carried out in green spaces. In this article, we return to the subject of gardening, in which we answer one of the most common questions: how to mow the lawn in the garden?
Mowing at the right time, with the right tools, and in a certain way are some of the key factors that determine the goal of a perfect lawn.
Therefore, and to help you get through this process smoothly, we will analyze the most important aspects and offer you a couple of tips. That way, you can tackle mowing the lawn without any problems.
Mowing the lawn: aspects to take into account
One of the most frequent questions when maintaining and treating a garden is how to mow it.
How to mow the lawn? At what time interval should I mow the lawn? At what height should I mow? These are some of the questions that anyone with a green space regularly asks.
If you are one of these people, you should know that mowing the lawn is not just a process that serves to improve the appearance of the lawn, it also involves an overall improvement of the garden, the plants in it, and your own quality of life.
To achieve a beautiful, healthy lawn, you must mow at the right time and in the right way.
Doing it lightly is of no use.
That is why we are going to provide you with the most important aspects and factors to keep in mind when mowing the lawn. In this regard, we will cover the cutting height, the tools, and the process itself.
When to mow the lawn?
One of the questions that arises most often when treating a garden, is the time interval at which we should mow the lawn.
We cannot set a fixed date.
The regularity of mowing depends on the weather conditions, the time of year, or, for example, the variety of grass in the garden.
As a general rule, the lawn should be mowed more frequently in the summer (about once a week). During the spring and fall, mowing two or three times a month will be sufficient.
In winter, the mowing frequency is low or even zero.
The best time to carry out this process is during the last hours of the day. If you do it during this time, you can avoid the hottest hours.
Also, you should make sure that the garden is not wet, otherwise the mowing will not be even.
At what height should you mow the lawn?
Mowing height is another of the most important factors when mowing the lawn.
The ideal height is high, or put another way, between 5 and 10 centimeters. If you mow the lawn following this recommendation, it will allow the grass to maintain its biomass and therefore continue to grow healthy and at a good pace.
A low mowing height has the opposite effect and also harms the tools you use (lawn mower and cutting deck).
Maintain the level, especially in summer – then your lawn will last the whole season.
The right tools and the way to cut
The use of certain tools or others is a determining factor in achieving a good cut. When talking about tools, we are referring to, for example, lawn mowers and trimmers.
For best results, you must plan your mowing route very carefully, or in other words, the areas you are going to mow, avoiding sharp turns whenever possible. Mow the lawn in concentric circles, from the outside in.
Try to vary the driving direction to prevent repetition of the mowing pattern.
If you heed the above advice, you will achieve a better looking lawn because the leaves will level out and the grass clippings will be spread more evenly.
If you use a mower, you should adjust the cutting to a specific height. This will avoid damaging the lawn if you mow too much.
In complex areas, it is best to mow around obstacles first.
In summary, these are the basic steps to make a perfect lawn mowing:
Check your lawnmower
Make sure the blade is sharp. As a general rule, the blade needs sharpening after 8 to 12 hours of use. For gasoline-powered mowers, check the fuel and oil levels. Avoid refueling the mower on the lawn – some fuel will almost certainly end up in the grass, killing it and damaging the soil. It is also a good idea to clean the mower deck if it was not cleaned at the end of the last use. Layers of grass usually form on and around the cutting blade.
Check the lawn
Remove branches, stones, toys, hoses and other typical lawn material. Check the moisture level and height of the grass in unlevel areas. The grass does not always grow uniformly on all parts of the lawn.
Mow at the ideal time
Early in the late afternoon, after the heat of the day and before the dew arrives is the best time to mow the lawn. In the early morning, the dew is probably still very present, which leads to the clogging of the mower. Avoid very wet days – you will end up spending a lot of time cleaning the mower.
If it hasn’t rained in the last week and there is no rain forecast for the next few days, don’t mow the lawn. If you do mow, leave the cutting height high. Tallgrass is the best protection against drought. And if your lawnmower makes a lot of noise, be considerate of your neighbors.
Adjust the cutting height
Each grass species has its own ideal height for the best lawn performance. Bermuda grass, agrostis, and turfgrass can be cut by less than 3 centimeters; almost all other species, 5 centimeters. You should also vary the cutting height depending on the time of year. When the grass is growing, in spring, the mowing height should be lower. During the summer, it should be higher because of the heat and the slower rate of growth. Before the onset of winter, it is best to mow at a height of about 2 inches.
Vary the cutting direction
Vary the cutting direction each time: parallel, perpendicular or diagonal. This way, you get an even cut throughout the season and avoid tracks forming in the lawnmower’s tires. It is advisable to start by trimming the perimeter of the lawn before choosing a mowing strip so that you have room to turn without trampling some flowerbed or other planted area of the garden. Avoid mowing in circles. It is inefficient: you will spend more time, gasoline, or battery. Plus it may not look good when you’re done mowing.
Use the tire track as a line, overlap by 5 cm when cutting in the opposite direction. Raise the front wheels of the mower when reversing at the end of each pass. Avoid raising the rear wheels while the blade is operating. This can lead to being struck by sticks, stones, and grass clippings.
Always straight ahead
Although not a critical rule to follow, especially with lawnmowers, the cutting blade is designed to mulch, bag or discharge clippings more efficiently if the mower is moving forward. Manual mowers don’t even cut the grass if it is pushed back. The main reason is for safety – the cutting blade can reach your feet.
Take advantage of grass clippings to make a protective layer of soil
Use the collection bag for the first mowing and when (or if) the dandelions set them seed and finally when the leaves fall in the fall. For the other mowings, allow the clippings to remain on the lawn to recycle nutrients. Grass clippings are some of the best lawn fertilizers. If your lawn is tall and thick and the clippings appear to be too thick, you may need to use a rake in some areas of the lawn – either to spread the clippings across the lawn or to add them together and use the clippings to make compost. dense piles of clippings left on the lawn can smother the living grass underneath.
After you’ve gone a long time without mowing your lawn, don’t try to cut it back to the optimum level right away. The rule of thumb is to never cut more than a third of the plant’s height in a single day. If you keep your lawn at a height of 8 cm, but it has grown to 15 or 20 centimeters, first mow to 12 centimeters and then go back to 8 cm. This is important: many grass species suffer greatly when you mow too much all at once.
Even worse than over-cutting the lawn at one time is cutting the grass almost to ground level. Mowing usually occurs around the edge of the lawn, where the mower’s wheels slip into furrows, or when you are using a ride-on mower (tractor, rider, zero turn grade…) with a very large and wide cutting deck, or by using a lawn trimmer.
To avoid unraking, watch out for uneven areas or low grass. And don’t use the mower too close to the ground.
A good reason to trim the lawn is to keep an eye out for weeds and insect infestations.
It is also a good idea to keep a calendar showing the mowing dates, when you trimmed the edges, when you changed the oil, sharpened the blade, applied fertilizer or pesticides. Also write down the dates when you saw insects or diseases – that way you will be better prepared to deal with them the following year.
When you have finished mowing the lawn, take care to clean the mower and of course follow the manufacturer’s instructions for changing filters, oil and gasoline quality.