Lawnmowers and Mowing

Caring For your LawnYou are not Tonto so don’t scalp it! The key to mowing a lawn well is to ensure your mower blades are sharp and to mow only down to a level recommended for the type of grass you have. If you do not know what type the grass is then simple do not cut it too short. Buzzing away down to root level isn’t going to help and cutting too low on a regular basis is the easiest way to do fast, lasting damage to your lawn.

Never cut grass when it is wet and if your lawn if particularly overgrown then take a couple of passes to mow it back to the level you want rather than setting the blades low and tearing through the undergrowth. You may rake the clippings away if you desire, but these do not automatically turn to thatch and can be left as an extra nutrient if you desire. Mulching lawnmowers will cut these clipping up very small so they fall between the blades of grass negating the need to raking afterwards.

Choosing the right kind of lawn mower will give you the best results. If you want the very best cut, with those stripes you see on a professional bowling green etc. then aim for a cylinder mower, or a rotary mower with a back roller for a cheap alternative. If you have lots of pits and undulations, then a hover mower should glide over these whereas other mowers might ‘dig in’ and cut a chunk out of the earth.

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Letting Your Lawn Breath

Grass is a living thing and like all living things (well most anyway) it needs to breath if it going to thrive. Aeration of your lawn is therefore important as it allows water, air and fertiliser to reach the roots more easily and improve drainage. If you are regularly using your garden, which will be especially true during the summer months, then your soil is likely to become compacted making it harder for roots to penetrate the soil and for the aforementioned air, water and fertiliser to reach down to them.

You can help out with in a very simple way. Take a garden fork and drive it into your lawn at regular intervals as this will break de-compact your soil. For more effective aeration or for larger lawn areas you can buy specialised lawn aeration tools which will make short work of the job driving in spikes or taking cores of soil out of the lawn like an apple corer.

Scarifiers and Dethatching

Tatch is a combination of dead a decaying organic matter which collects around the base and roots of your lawn throughout the year. It comprises things like dead grass, leaves, twigs etc. and without removal can prevent air, water and fertiliser from reaching the roots of your lawn. Scarifying or raking over your lawn is an essential part of a good spring and autumn lawn maintenance routine. Scarification improves the drainage and allows more air and water to penetrate to the roots as well as lowering the risk of lawn disease.

Before scarifying a lawn, you should ensure there are no moss growths as this will only help to spread the moss around, kill the moss first, then scarify. Scarifying a lawn can be done by hand by raking on small gardens whilst larger lawns might require a power lawn scarifier machine which can be bought or hired for the purpose.

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Caring For your Lawn