Is There A ‘Right Way’ To Mow Your Grass?

First, lets set some parameters, we are not talking about a bowling green, tennis court, golf putting area or any other specialist lawn. – It is your garden lawn and requires lawn mowing.

Ideal grass length for general garden use, sitting, walking or playing light games – optimum, one to one and a half inches long.

So, most of the time this is the minimum length your grass will be, this is the length it is cut to.

From that moment on, it is growing longer.

Lawn Mowing Regime

During the full growing season I like to cut my grass twice a week, thereabouts.

lawn mowing tips

Why? – It’s good exercise, I enjoy it and by cutting regularly you are maintaining your optimum grass length over a longer period.

Also, it allows me to never break the golden rule in grass cutting – Remove no more than one-third of the grass leaf each cut.

Don’t forget, the longer the grass the more benefits, it will help shade the soil thus help prevent excessive water loss and also reduce weed seed penetration and germination.

Leading up to and away from the main growing season the grass is growing far less vigorously so I cut far less frequently, perhaps once a fortnight but more importantly, cut before the grass gets too long, weather permitting.
Never cut your grass when it is scorching hot, it will lead to yellowing or even browning as the grass will be stressed.

Whilst it may be a temptation to mow the lawn to ground level and make mowing sessions less frequent, this is not a good idea.

It will result in problems, not least, patches, possible disease, more worms, more moss, more weeds, yellowing, browning (dead or dying) and scuffing.
But if you do feel the need to lower the length of the grass, do it gradually over a week or so (two to three mowings).

Try to mow your grass when dry, I know, Sods law comes into play here, you go out to cut the grass and it rains.

If it’s light rain, carry on BUT if it’s a down pour, stop, have a break, come back and finish when the rain has gone.

Lawn Mowing

Mowing your lawn in different directions (alternating) is by far the best way to promote a healthy green lawn.

lawn mowing tips

For those that don’t know, the ‘stripes’ you see on a lawn are produced by mowing first in one direction, turning, then coming back along the cut line of the first run in the opposite direction. Always made to look more prominent when using a back rollered mower.

When we refer to alternating mowing direction we mean just this, changing the direction of the cut along the run, each time we cut the grass.

As well as this, we also mean, changing the orientation of the cut, up and down, or left and right.

Simply, one week we might cut the grass, up and down the length of our garden, the next week, we cut across the width of our garden.

This is probably the easiest plan of attack.

I would suggest implementing the alternate mowing direction every couple of cuts.

It is by no means critical or indeed essential, it’s up to you.

There is no doubt in my mind, it does help to improve the grass and keep it interesting.

Part of the fun is trying to remember how you cut the last time and also trying to get those lovely stripes looking equally as good up and down, or left and right and you can also experiment, try diagonal, corner to corner.
If you are lucky enough to have a large area of grass, break it into segments and try different directions in each segment.

Interestingly, you will see how different ways of mowing change the perception of the garden, one way, it makes it look longer, another, shorter.

One Further Point

I don’t like advising the inexperienced to leave grass clippings on top of a lawn after mowing like some do as I believe it just adds to a possible thatch and disease problem if not done at the right times and in the right way.
It is argued though, that if soil is in a healthy state, biologically active, any grass clippings will decompose and will not contribute to any thatch build up. I agree.

But this is for the experienced to decide.

My argument, why take the chance, remove the clippings, compost them, then use the created compost elsewhere.

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