You can give your lawn all the water and fertiliser you want, but if you don’t mow it properly, it’ll quickly run wild. A professional finish to your lawn can make all the difference, and will have your neighbours wondering what your secret is.
Having grass tickling your kneecaps is a wonderful feeling… if you are out in the bush. But in your garden? Not as wonderful. There are plenty of reasons to keep your lawn in good condition. Long grass makes for hard and sharp blades when cut back, and lacks the lustre of a regularly mowed lawn.
You don’t need to be a professional to get a lawn that will be the envy of your neighbourhood. Just a few quick tips and tricks, along with a healthy dose of dedication.
Here are our top lawn care tips for a professional finish:
It might be tempting to go all out and scalp your lawn for a thick, compact finish. But here’s the thing: the grass blade is what generates food by photosynthesising sunlight. The shorter you cut it, the fewer nutrients your lawn can produce for itself.
Basically, if you cut off the food source, you are going to have to fertilise your lawn yourself! If you don’t, then your lawn is going to fail to thrive and will start to look patchy and sick in no time at all. Of course, a short, sharp chop is sometimes needed – and doing that every now and then isn’t going to have any long-lasting impact on your lawn.
Before firing up the lawn mower, most people attach a grass collection bag. And while there is no denying that a grass clipping-free lawn looks extra special, leave the clippings where they lie. This is especially true if you already mow your lawn on a regular basis. The young and tender blades of grass are quickly absorbed into the soil and deliver nutrients to the roots. Lawncare the natural way!
But when is it a good time to collect your grass clippings in a bag? If you haven’t been on top of your mowing game and your grass is particularly long, it’s better to bag it in a catcher as you go. While those extra-long grass clippings contain huge quantities of nutrients, the length of the blades can smother emerging shoots making their way up and prevent them from growing. If you want to return those large blades of grass to the ground, a mulching kit will be perfect for you.
If you want a professional finish to your lawn, sharp blades are essential. The sharper the blades are, the cleaner the cut will be. And a cleaner cut results in less shock and stress while reducing the risk of bacteria and mould spores wreaking havoc.
Cutting grass with dull blades is like cutting hair with dull scissors. They rip, shred, tear and pull from the roots. It's easy to forget that grass is a living organism. Yes, it is resilient. But everything has its limits. The gentler you are to your lawn, the better the end result will be. Give your mower blades a good sharpening at least three times a year or switch them out for some brand-new ones.
While mowing wet grass doesn’t cause any problems to the lawn as such, you will probably notice huge ruts left behind by your mowers wheels. Then there is the annoying problem of wet grass clippings sticking to the underside of the cutting deck. And don't even think about tackling hills and slopes with your lawn mower unless you fancy an ice-skating experience with spinning blades.
It’s not all doom and gloom though. The Husqvarna Automower is lightweight enough to mow your lawn without leaving any track marks. Come rain or shine, it is able to cut your grass to perfection, handle hills and slopes, and make its way around a wet lawn when you physically can’t. In fact, an Automower is so good at keeping lawns in check that we made it the next top tip…
Forget about setting aside hours each week to keep your lawn looking perfect. Be guaranteed of a perfect cut whether there is blazing sunshine or steady rain. Don't worry about your dahlias; it knows not to go among them and chop them to the ground. The Automower is your lawn’s best friend.
This quiet robotic mower works on an automated schedule. It cuts the young blades of grass when they are at their most supple, resulting in a lawn that is as clean as it is green. If you’ve ever wondered how your neighbours achieve a carpet-like finish to their lawn, chances are that they have an Automower hidden away somewhere. There are literally hundreds of benefits to the Automower, and a professional finish is guaranteed.
Mowing the lawn can become a habitual routine. But if you want a professional finish, switch directions every time you take the mower out of the shed. By mowing in the same direction every time, the grass blades will start to grow at set angles.
The weight of your lawnmower will also start to create permanent track marks in your lawn. Perhaps start mowing on a diagonal. The next time you mow, mow back to front or side to side. This helps your grass to grow upright instead of in different directions.
If you haven’t had time to take care of your lawn for a while, chances are that it has probably got too long. And while it may be tempting to cut it down to size in one swoop, it’s not going to be happy with you. By taking off too much length at once, you are going to stress your lawn. And just like people, a stressed lawn will perform poorly.
Rather than being brutal, aim to mow it to approximately 50% of its current height. Give it a few days to rest and recuperate before taking off another 50% of its new height. If it’s still too long, then that you may need to go for a third cut. It might take a little bit more time than cutting it all back at once. But spending a few extra hours to go slow is a much better option than spending months trying to repair it.
Just once a year you can go a little bit crazy. Depending on the type of lawn that you have, set the cutting deck to approximately 50mm and go to town with your grass. This has several benefits for your lawn that will help it look professionally finished throughout the year. Firstly, long grass won’t be blown over by winter winds and block sunlight and air reaching the roots.
Air circulation is important when the weather is cool and damp because it prevents mould, moss and fungi from killing off your grass. Secondly, it makes it much easier to spot any patchy areas and give them a good seeding so that you have a thick and full lawn come spring.
Manually pushing a lawnmower is a great workout. How does a self-propelled lawn mower create a more manicured finish?
Basically, the secret to a professional finish with a self-propelled lawnmower is consistency. As the lawnmower moves at the same speed across the entire lawn, you are gifted with a smoother, more professional finish. Another thing about self-propelled lawn mowers is that all four mower wheels stay firmly on the ground, even when cutting uphill or down slopes. You can say goodbye to balding and scalping and say hello to a fuller, thicker lawn.
The last tip on this list is the epitome of a professional finish to any lawn – lines! Lines in a lawn create an aesthetically pleasing finish that screams “I care for my grass”. It’s such a simple process, yet one that confuses many. Creating straight lines on your lawn really is one of the easiest things you can do.
Simply pick a shrub, tree or plant at the end of your lawn and walk toward it with your mower. Don’t look at the ground, just focus your attention on the distant object. This will give you your first line. From here, it’s plain sailing. At the end of the line, about turn and then follow the first line all the way along. Rinse and repeat. It really is that easy!
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