The One Third Rule
This is the golden rule of lawn mowing. Basically, you should never cut more than 1/3 off the height of your lawn in one go. So if your lawn is 45mm high, you should cut to 30mm, removing only 15mm from the lawn.
Removing more than 1/3 of the lawn will stress the grass plants and leave it susceptible to disease. It will also cause the grass to react by quickly re-growing the leaves of the plants, rather than growing the root system.
If you have been unable to mow the lawn for some time and it has grown very long, you should gradually reduce the height of the mower over a couple of weeks.
How Often Should I Mow the Lawn?
How often you should mow the lawn this is governed by the One Third Rule detailed above. You shouldn’t cut more than one third off the height of the lawn in one go, therefore the quicker the lawn is growing, the more frequently you will need to mow.
Lawns grow quickest when conditions are warm and there is plenty of moisture available, especially if the lawn has been fertilised. This generally means that Spring and Autumn are the times when the lawn is growing fastest. In Summer the lawn growth tends to slow as there is reduced moisture.
We recommend mowing the lawn approximately every 5 days during Spring and Summer, reducing down to every 10 days during summer. In Winter there shouldn’t be any need to cut the lawn as the lawn will be dormant with very little growth.
The mowing height will depend on the type of lawn you have and how much you care for your lawn. For a well fertilised ornamental lawn, mowing height will be shorter. For a heavy use general purpose lawn, mowing height should be longer.
For a regular medium to heavy use lawn, we recommend mowing at 1” height. You shouldn’t go much shorter than this as doing so will reduce the amount of grass leave in your lawn. Reducing the grass leaf in the lawn will reduce the amount of sunlight the plant can absorb and will lead to a weaker root system.
You should look to vary the height of the lawn according to the conditions. If the lawn is correctly fertilised and there is warmth and moisture available (generally Spring and Autumn) then you can afford to slightly reduce the height of the lawn. If conditions aren’t optimal, i.e. in a dry Summer or throughout Winter, you should increase the height of the lawn. Increasing the height of the lawn will help retain moisture and help it survive in difficult conditions.
Which Type of Lawn Mower is Best?
In general, there are two types of mower. There is a rotary mower, which has a single blade underneath that spins horizontally at high speed to cut through grass. The second type of mower is a cylinder mower, this has blades arranged on a cylinder that cut in a scissor-like action to produce a very fine cut.
In practice, a cylinder mower is not going to be suitable for most lawns. Cylinder mowers cannot cut long grass effectively, meaning you will need to cut more regularly. They also don’t handle uneven surfaces very well, so if you plan to use a cylinder mower you will need to ensure your lawn is flat. Cylinder mowers are also more expensive than rotary mower.
Rotary mowers are the preferred mower for recreational lawn enthusiasts. They are able to cut longer grass and manage uneven surfaces a lot better than a cylinder mower. For best results, use a mower with a rear roller to produce stripes in the lawn.
At Lawn Magic we provide lawn care and garden maintenance services in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire. Contact us for a chat about how we can help you.
We provide lawn care and garden maintenance in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire including the following locations:
Barrow, Beck Row, Bottisham, Brandon, Burwell, Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Culford, Ely, Exning, Feltwell, Fordham, Fornham All Saints, Fornham St Martin, Fulbourn, Icklingham, Isleham, Kennett, Lakenheath, Lavenham, Littleport, Mildenhall, Milton, Mundford, Newmarket, Red Lodge, Risby, Soham, Thetford, Thurston, Tuddenham, Waterbeach, Weeting
For independent gardening and lawn care advice, check out the Royal Horticultural Societies website; https://www.rhs.org.uk/.