Knowing how to mow a lawn correctly, how low to cut it, and how often you should do it may not seem overly important. But we can assure you that your lawn will look better, be healthier and grow thicker if you follow our mowing advice.
How to mow a lawn
Before we look into the finer details of how to mow a lawn, there are a few things to be aware of before you fire your mower up and begin cutting! The first thing you should do is to check that your lawnmower’s blades are sharp, which is a good thing to do at the start of the season. Unfortunately, many of us don’t do this, and since having blunt blades can damage your grass, it’s best to sharpen your blades at least once a year.
Next up is to ensure you never mow a lawn if the grass is wet. Wet grass tends to cut less cleanly, which results in uneven mowing and will also cause the clippings to clump together and block the inside of your mower!
Mow your lawn to the correct height, but wait until your grass is at least 5cm before cutting if you have only planted the seed recently.
And finally, always rake up the clippings after mowing. This is because if you don’t pick the clippings up, you will suffocate your grass and prevent it from getting its much-needed sunlight.
Mowing a new lawn
If you have recently planted a new lawn and are wondering when you can begin cutting, we have a guide for that, but to recap:
Wait for 6-8 weeks after sowing a new lawn before mowing. After this time, and once the blades of grass have grown to 5-7cm in height, your lawn's ready for its first mow.
You shouldn’t cut your grass down farther than this on its first mow. Doing so will damage and weaken its growth since the grass blades are still young. So, set your mower to its highest setting to only take a trim off the top.
Then rake up the cuttings, and leave your garden to settle for a week or two before cutting it again.
Mowing an existing lawn
An existing lawn needs to be mown frequently and to the correct height. This will help thicken it up so it grows consistently throughout the year. Of course, growth will slow down in the winter months, but this is normal.
After your lawn’s first mow and for the next cut, you can then drop the height of your mower to get your grass closer to the length you want. We recommend you mow your lawn using the one-third rule, where you only cut a third off the height of your lawn each time you mow. This way, you’re not cutting too far down the grass blades and giving your lawn a chance to recover after each trim!
Heights to cut when mowing a lawn
The season’s first and last mow should be at your mower’s highest setting, regardless of your lawn type. If your lawn gets a lot of use from the family, kids playing, and pets rampaging, then you should aim to mow it to a height of 20-40mm. This height is more suited to recovering from wear and tear and still looks great even when worn. On the other hand, a 10-20mm height is perfect for finer, ornamental lawns for decorative use only and doesn’t get much traffic or people walking on the grass.
Quick Tips on how to mow a lawn
- Keep your mower blades sharp by sharpening them at least once a year
- Don’t mow a fresh lawn too much in one go
- Aim to trim your lawn once a week in spring and summer
- Set your mower to its highest setting for the first and last mow of the season
- Try not to mow any more than this, as cutting too much can stress the grass
- If you have a busy lawn, trim it down to a height of 20-40mm
- You can mow an ornamental lawn to a height of 10-20mm
- Don't cut your grass when it's wet
- You don’t need to mow your lawn over winter
Now you know how to mow a lawn, but if you have any questions or queries about your garden, send us a message, we’re always happy to help!