Common Lawn Mowing Mistakes

A picture perfect garden starts from the ground up, and proper lawn mowing is a key step in achieving an envy-worthy yard.

Many homeowners jump ahead a few steps, breezing over lawn care and honing in on flower beds and shrubbery. This is a fatal error in gardening, as perfecting the base of your yard – the lawn- can be what makes or breaks the overall aesthetic.

From years of providing professional gardening and lawn services, we at Jim’s Mowing NZ gained plenty of knowledge around proper lawn mowing, as well as identifying common lawn mowing mistakes.

Mow Like a Pro

Here are some of our top things to do, and to avoid doing, to get your grass greener than ever, and help it stay that way!

Less is more

We’ve all been there, household tasks build up until one day when you look out the window and are met with a scene that’s growing close to jungle-status. When this happens, don’t panic and go full-steam ahead with your mower to get your lawn under control in one go, take it slow and steady. Never mow more than a third of the height of your lawn. In extreme cases where it’s gotten particularly long, take a maximum of an inch off per cut, and mow more frequently until it’s at the level you like.

Mowing your lawn too short is called ‘scalping’, and can lead to further lawn-related issues. Since the blade of the grass is where photosynthesis takes place, removing too much of this in one go means that the plant has less exposure to the suns rays. Over time, this can lead to a dead or patchy lawn. This also leaves more space for weeds to creep in and take over, which is a problem you probably don’t want to bring on yourself!

Changing seasons

When deciding how short to mow your lawn, the time of year will also influence your decision. In cooler months, lawns can be mowed shorter than in the summer. This is because during the warmer months, longer grass actually provides the roots with shade from the sunlight, saving them from over-exposure to its rays. While it’s best to keep some length there in the summer, you can afford to cut it a bit shorter in the wintertime.

Mulch Matters

It’s quite common for lawn mowers to come with bags attached where the grass clippings can collect during mowing. It might come as a surprise though, that clippings aren’t always a bad thing, and don’t need to be gathered and binned ASAP. Since each blade of grass is filled with moisture and nutrients, allowing the clippings to stay on your freshly cut lawn for a little while can actually benefit the remaining plants and soil. They act as mulch, and can save you from having to fertilise your lawn too often. There is a limit to this though, as having too many grass clippings on your lawn can have a negative effect on your lawn’s health. We recommend using your grass clippings wisely, and spreading them sparingly over your lawn after mowing to help replenish some of those all-important nutrients.

Change it up

Don’t be afraid to trial different mowing techniques! Lawn stripes can be aesthetically pleasing, but you should aim to mow in a different direction each time. If you continue to mow your lawn in the same direction each time, this will influence the direction of growth for your grass. In the long run, this can lead to the soil becoming compacted, creating a tricky environment for plants to grow and stay healthy.

Save it for the sunshine

There’s no need to brave the rain to mow your lawn, and in fact, you should actually avoid tending to your yard when it’s wet. Not only is operating a lawn mower in wet and slippery conditions potentially dangerous, but it also won’t be able to trim your lawn as precisely as it should. When the rain dampens soil, it makes it more likely to be pulled and damaged while mowing. Wet grass will also only end up clogging your mower, dulling your blades, and causing an uneven cut.

Stay sharp

The sharper the blades on your lawn mower, the more precise the cut will be. With this in mind, you should aim to sharpen the blades around twice a year. The task is easier than it sounds, and only requires a flat file, a steady hand, and a small amount of your time. Be sure to research how to do this properly and safely!

Contact Us

If you need a little more guidance or some lawn mowing help from the expertscontact the Jim’s Mowing team for professional input and services.

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