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Getting The Most Out Of Your Mower and Looking After Your Grass

What height should I cut my lawn?

The grass height can vary by the amount of use the area gets, the type of grass you have, if your lawn is in shade for most or part of the day, and whether it is on a slope. A general guide is as follows:

  Cut height range:
Low Use Lawns 20mm – 40mm
High Use Lawns 25mm – 50mm
Shaded/sloped lawns/lawns under trees 30mm – 60mm

Remember: To ensure you do not put too much strain on your lawn mower or your grass, always reduce the cut height gradually. Start on the highest possible setting. Leave at least 3 days between cuts to allow the grass to recover, and reduce the effect of removing too much green leaf from the grass exposing the yellow or straw-coloured grass stems.

What should I do to take care of my lawn each month?

Depending on your location, your soil and the elevation of your garden, your lawn care can vary, but in general, the height of your grass should be varied during the year to ensure a healthy lawn throughout the year and reduce the work required to maintain it.

February / March: As soon as your grass starts to grow, on a dry day, give it a high cut (>50mm). The lawn will often be dense from winter growth, and damp. Keep the cutting height high for this first cut, and gradually lower the cutting height over several weeks. Never lower it more than one setting each time.

April: As the average temperature increases your grass will grow more and you will need to cut it more often, but keep the length long to improve root growth.

May & June: Try to mow your lawn at least weekly during these months. Lower the cut height to 30-40mm to keep your grass healthy.

July & August: If there is a lot of rain, continue as per May & June.  If it is dry, then reduce your cutting to every 2 weeks, and if it is hot and dry also increase the cut height to protect the grass. September: Often autumn rains make the end of August and September a good growing time, so mow frequently. You can also lower the cut if you raised it for the summer unless your lawn is prone to moss. Good healthy grass and strong roots will keep moss levels down.

October: Mow infrequently and raise the cut to winter height.

November: You will do the last regular cut of the year. If you have a rotary mower, you can use it on a dry lawn to suck up autumn leaves.

December/January: A light, high cut at 50mm or more should keep everything looking smart and tidy. Try to avoid mowing within 24-48 hours of a frost or freezing temperatures.

Mowing Tips for a healthy lawn:

To avoid scalping the lawn surface with the mower where you have an uneven lawn surface, rather raise the cutting height of the mower, and work on levelling the lawn surface in problem areas. Adjust the cutting height on slopes and in shaded areas for slightly longer grass. If the lawn has a grey / silver colour and some of the grass edges are frayed, then your mower blades may need sharpening. Leave the grass collection bag off the mower in summer during the driest periods when the growth is lightest.

This helps retain moisture in the lawn and feeds it at the same time. If the grass is wet and you really want to mow, first dry it off using a garden leaf blower (Surprisingly effective!), then raise the cutting height, empty the collection bag more often, and walk slower to allow the mower to cope with the increased stress of the wet grass.

Do’s and don’ts:

Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass length when mowing the lawn.

If the grass is either damp or long (Remembering the 1/3 rule above) slow the speed of your mowing (your walking speed) to ensure the mower has more time to cope with the difficult grass conditions.

Check and empty the collection bag more regularly than normal in drier lawn conditions. Clean the mower deck regularly to avoid it becoming blocked.

Ensure that you overlap each strip of lawn cut using the wheel marks in the lawn as a guide. This prevents grass from being uncut and ensures that tramlines or rutting is not created from the mower wheels or repeated cutting in the same track.

How do I make those nice looking stripes on my lawn?

For stripes on your lawn, decide which straight line (fence, wall or border) in your garden you would like to use as a visual guide, and start mowing from there. Where there isn’t a natural straight line, mow a straight line down the centre of your lawn first and then mow on either side of this first line cut. It is easier to cut the perimeter of your lawn at the start or the end of cutting your lawn.

How should I care best for my lawn if I am going on holiday?

Before going on holiday stick to your regular cutting height. If you lower the cutting height to try and beat the growth while you are away, this only promotes faster growth. Also avoid feeding your lawn in the month prior to going on holiday as above you will only be promoting faster growth. If your grass is long from when you return from your holiday or following a period of wet weather, remember the 1/3 rule and leave 3 days between cuts until you reach the right height.

What mower is best for me and my lawn?

Lawnmowers are usually chosen according to the size of your lawn, your budget and the amount of time you have to spend on your grass. Nowadays, the environment should also factor in as an important consideration. Electric mowers are a good choice for the environment and are often the most affordable option, but if you have the budget and a bigger lawn, battery powered cordless mowers are a good option, especially if you choose a 40V or 60V product which is as powerful as a petrol mower but with no emissions. If you find it difficult to spend the time that your grass requires, why not consider a robot mower. Once it is installed, it is very low maintenance and frees up so much time. For more information, have a look at the Worx range of battery or robot mowers here.