Mowing your turf
Sometimes we forget that grass is actually a plant. To help keep plants healthy we clip and prune them – and it’s the same for grass.
There’s a knack to mowing your lawn the right way, did you know that? Learning to mow your lawn this way will make it healthier, more aesthetically appealing and a whole lot easier to maintain.
Not only that but mowing your lawn also has its mind-body benefits too. It’s a great workout and it’s also quite therapeutic.
- Wait until your turf can’t be lifted up before your first mow. This is usually 10-14 days after installation in warm weather, or 14-28 days after installation in cold weather.
- Try not to remove any more than one-third of the turf leaf at any one time.
- Start high and work down weekly.
- Try to change up mowing direction during establishment.
- Make sure that your mower blades are sharpened. As a guide, if you see that the top of the leaf is shredded after your mow then you may need to attend to the blades.
- Ensure turf is dry and mower blades are sharp.
- Avoid mowing too low as this will damage the lawn.
- Avoid scalping the grass (that is, exposing grass roots and/or soil).
- Mow your grass when the leaf is dry and healthy.
- Mow frequently (once a week in warm conditions and only when you need to in winter to avoid stressing the grass).
Good turf mowing practices
Mowing your lawn helps your turf stay young and active. By giving it a close shave once every year you will promote new growth, reduce thatch (that is, dead underlying grass) and limit the amount of disease and moisture build up. By doing this your lawn will continue to perform and look good.
After your lawn has established and ready for its first mow
When your lawn is ready for its first mow, keep in mind that it will be much longer than what you should be keeping it at normally. This means that it will take some work to get the lawn back down to a healthy height. In this case, make sure that in the first mow you take off 1/3 of the leaf. Then a few days later do the same until it is back down to your ideal height. Sometimes you might even want to take it lower and then lift the mower back up to ensure you have a thick, healthy leaf cover.
What to do with your grass clippings?
Catch clippings once a month and mulch the remaining month during high-growth times. Both options have positives and negatives.
Mulching: Mulching the grass will help retain moisture in the soil and as the clippings decompose will add nutrients to the earth. However, sometimes a moisture build up will promote diseases within your grass.
Catching: Catching the clippings will lessen the threat of disease, while giving you the added benefit of having mulch for your garden beds. However this is a longer mowing process for the larger lawns.
Suggested mowing heights
- Palmetto 25-50mm
- Empire Zoysia 15-30mm
- Wintergreen couch 10-25mm
- C1 10-25mm
- CT2/ Green couch 10-25mm
- Queensland Blue 5-30mm
- Aussiblue 25-30mm
- Sweet Smother 30-50mm
- ShadeTuff 5-25mm
NOTE: If Palmetto, Sweet Smother or Empire Zoysia are grown in heavier shade, mow at a longer length than stated above. The lawn will need as much leaf area as possible for photosynthesis.
HOT TIP: Always keep your mower blades sharp as it is much better for the plant when the leaf is cut and not torn.