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 Keeping in trim for summer – tips for a perfectly cut lawn                      

                                        July 2010  

 

Keeping in trim for summer – tips for a perfectly cut lawn

mowing lawnIt is that time of year again when you seem to spend so much of your spare time keeping the grass down and looking neat. Knowing a few tips about mowing that lawn can make the job safer, more enjoyable and yes, produce better results as well.

The first thing you need to consider is that lawns are grass. The heightyou trim your grass down to is important and your decision should be based on the health of the grass as much as whether you want a smooth surface to play cricket on with the grandchildren!

If grass is cut too short, it cannot retain adequate levels of moisture and this is especially important on hot summer days. Also, the leaves of grass make the food for the roots, so continually clipping off its head can affect overall nutrition and health. However, to confuse things, it is also not a good idea to cut grass too long. This will make it more difficult to cut the next time and also, you do need to cut down as far as the crown of the grass (this is the growing point where new leaves develop) so that the grass branches out and becomes denser which helps to produce a lovely lawn.

To make it simple, experts have devised the one-third rule. Don’t cut off more than one third of the heightof the grass blade. If your grass has become far too long, perhaps because you have been on holiday, then still follow the one-third rule but do a recut a few days later when the grass has had the opportunity to recover after the first mowing.

If you are really keen, you can find out the recommended mowing heights for different grasses; but most people aren’t going to take the trouble to adjust their mowers to tiny length differences. A good general rule is to start a season off with the mower set at or near its highest setting, and then as the summer progresses, reduce the heightand cut the grass shorter. In really hot or dry weather, let the lawn grow longer again to retain moisture and shade on the ground above its root system.

Few of us would want to go out in the rain, but nevertheless it is worth being aware that it is not a good idea to cut a lawn when it is wet. Apart from clogging up the lawn mower, you can damage the blades of the grass because the wet reduces the sharp cutting ability of the edges plus you can damage the lawn by pushing or driving the mower over it in wet soft conditions.

Regular mowing is a key secret to a lovely looking lawn as not only does it keep it trim and tidy but it also encourages growth. Some experts recommend that lawns should be cut twice a week in the summer. That may well be far too often for normal gardeners, but regular mowing, perhaps once a week in the summer months, is a good idea.

Mowing can be a lovely relaxing activity but even if you find it boring, don’t be tempted to cut fun patterns in the grass as you go. The best way to mow a lawn is to cut in overlapping horizontal or vertical lines, not in circles or spirals. Then change in a few weeks and go the other way. This encourages a natural looking lawn. On gentle slopes, it is always best to mow across the mound rather than up and down it; but if the slope is quite steep this can be dangerous as the mower can overturn sideways.

Many mowers today come with a grass collection box and this is good as clippings can make a lawn look very untidy and also of course cling to your shoes as an unwelcome visitor into your home. However, every so often and especially in dry conditions, it can be a good idea to spread the grass cuttings over the lawn to help prevent it from drying out. Grass can also act as a fairly effective natural fertilizer.

Using a good mower is of course a key aspect to successful mowing, and that means regular maintenance and ensuring the blades are clean and sharp.
So much of achieving a successful lawn is common sense, but with a little bit of extra knowledge and care, a good cut can help turn a nice area of grass into a showpiece lawn that is the envy of your neighbours!


 

Nutricentre Discount for laterlife visitors If in any doubt about any of the information covered in health and nutrition related articles and it's relevance for you, consult your GP.

 

 



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