Mowing your lawn may seem like a trivial operation. However, some parameters must be taken into account. Thus, it is useful to know what the proper equipment is as well as the different periods conducive to mowing, with cutting heights that vary according to seasons. Thermal or electric mower, that collects grass clippings or not, one must make the right choice among the existing equipment present in specialized shops.

A beautiful lawn is not obtained as easily as some might imagine. It is quite common to be faced with grass that dries out, which is contaminated, that that simply does not take on the expected appearance. Thus, for your lawn to give you satisfactory results, it is imperative to follow a few basic tips.

When to mow the lawn?

First of all, a high mowing frequency will give a good turf density and will cause the strands to thicken. This thickness will thus prevent weeds from developing. One cardinal rule is to always mow in dry weather. With the arrival of spring, the grass’ growing season, you can mow every week, but this will depend on the type of grass you have. For example, Perennial Ryegrass has a rapid growth and requires weekly mowing. It is actually in spring that it will need to be mowed the shortest. In summer you can cut less often, however you will need to set the mower to cut at a higher height to protect the base of the strands agains the sun’s rays. In the fall, the last cut will be at an even higher height in order for the grass to retain as much of its stored energy as possible in preparation for winter.

How to proceed

In general, do not cut more than a third of a stalk’s length. Maintaining a certain strand height improves its rooting. Cutting short will also require mowing more often. In concrete terms, one should mow in a grid-like pattern. This consists of going over overlapping previous passes with the mower to be sure not to miss any small surface. The grass that is in a shaded area will be cut higher because it is more fragile and grows more slowly. If the land has borders or corners that are difficult to reach with the mower, it is recommended to use an edge-trimmer beforehand. Furthermore, always check that there are no obstacles or objects on the surface to be mowed, to avoid projectiles from flying off everywhere. Grass clippings will be collected in the attached grass catcher or picked up afterwards using a rake, but shall in no case stay on the mowed grass. In fact, grass clippings might smother the lawn or promote the development of disease. Finally, it is important to choose the appropriate equipment.

Selection of lawn mowers

For plots of land smaller than 600 yd², an electric mower is recommended. For larger areas, a thermal mower will be a more suitable choice, or even a riding mower for very large surfaces. The choice will also depend on the expected outcome and the mowing frequency. For example, using a mower fitted with helical blades is most recommended for quality mowing, keeping in mind to sharpen the blades at least once a year. Finally, wearing of eye protection is strongly advised to protect oneself from flying rocks.

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Published in Grass by Alexander on 08 Aug 2011