It is not only the fact that a lawn will not look its best if it is not properly mowed, but there will be times when a shoddy worker or one that has rushed the job, will damage the lawn and it could take a long time and a lot of hard work to get it back to the way it once was. With just a little work, and a lot of common sense, it should be possible to have a well mown lawn, and there being no need to either spend a fortune or all of your spare time to achieve it.
Damage Caused By Blades
It might seem obvious to say that the blades need to be kept sharp, but there are many people who think that they can mow all year and not have to sharpen them at all. The reality is that they should be sharpened after every 12 use hours at least, and just because the full extent of the damage may not be seen right away, it does not mean that they can get away with mowing with blunt blades. Over time it will become clear that the grass is being ripped rather than cut and it will start to look patchy and untidy, and could well take a long time to get it back to its pre –ripped best. When it comes to looking after the blades, they should also be cleaned as any fungus that develops could be passed back to the lawn and cause a lot of damage. The time it takes to sharpen and clean the blades, is nothing to the time it will take to repair the damage.
The height that you mow the grass to is really important and not just when it comes to how the lawn looks. With the exception of a few types of grass – Bermuda grass and bent grass being two of the main ones – the lawn should not have grass that is higher than 3” tall. The main reason for mowing the grass properly when it comes to height, is the risk of allowing weeds to take hold if it is too short. Crabgrass seeds will easily survive in short grass as they need light in order to grow but when the blades of grass are shielding them, they won’t be able to take hold. It also means that water will remain on the surface and will limit the need for a lot of watering from you.
The Problem with Long and Wet Grass
If you don’t mow the lawn properly the grass could grow too high and once it gets to around 5” or 6” then there will be a problem. The average mower will cope with up to 4” of grass but after that there will be problems. If you do let it get out of control it will be best to use a scythe as you don’t want to ruin the mower or damage the grass. It is also best not to mow when it is raining or the grass is still very wet. There can be a double assault on the grass as the mower tires will not be as gentle on the lawn and there is also the risk of the blade of grass being torn. What you don’t do can often be as important as what you don’t do.
The Problem with Short Dry Grass
It seems that grass can be a problem however long it is and regardless of whether it is wet or dry. If there is likely to be a dry period, you either need to have an irrigation system in place or forget about mowing. You don’t want to be storing up problems for the future. Leave the mowing until you hear there is rain due and then get out there before in happens.
Keep Up a Good Appearance
Straight lines are going to be the best way to make the lawn look good and if you can keep it to just a slight overlap, then it should look as good as you can get it. Striping should change directions every time you mow, so as it does not all go the same way. Trimmers are also important when it comes to appearance and it is no just a case of making sure that no damage is done. Remember that the 3” rule applies to trimmers as well as the mower.
It seems clear that the main areas to consider when it comes to keeping a lawn properly mowed, is the weather at the time and the condition of the blades. If you can remember about these 2 issues, you should have a healthy attractive lawn.