Mowing for the first time – 07.09.22 – Mowing is the most important lawn care job there is. A regular and effective mowing regime will keep your lawn robust, healthy and beautiful. But it’s vital that you get it right from the very start. There are a lot of variables to consider. How high your species of grass grows, how shady your lawn is and the condition of your soil.
Golden Rules for Mowing Your Lawn
This article will give you the golden rules to getting the most out of your new lawn. How you should cut grass for the first time. How short to cut the grass and overall mowing maintenance that will improve the health of the grass and leave it looking lush. These rules include:
- Keep the blades sharp
- Don’t take too much off at once
- Clean your mower after every use to prevent disease from spreading
- Mow little and often
- Avoid mowing when the grass is very wet, frozen or in very hot weather
- Change the direction of mowing every time you trim your lawn (for example, if you mow north-south this week, next week you should work east-west.
- This prevents “graining”, where the grass all grows in one direction)
Mowing a Freshly-Turfed Lawn For the First Time
During the spring and summer months, your newly-turfed lawn will probably need its first cut after a week or so. But first, you must sharpen your mower blades. Blunt blades will rip rather than slice the grass blades. That will create an open wound that not only turns brown and ragged at the edges, but could allow diseases to take hold. If you can tug on the grass and not feel the turf lifting, then that’s a good sign to give your lawn its first cut.
If you have used a ryegrass-based turf such as Jubilee or Garden Lawn, then aim at a final mowing height of around 2-4cm. Grass that is kept slightly longer is a lot more durable and copes better with drought, frost and the threat of disease. Your lawn should still be watered every day, so mow it immediately before irrigating it – that way it should be reasonably dry.
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For your lawn’s first cut, set the mower on its highest setting and just nip off the top of the grass blades. Reducing the height by around 20% is just perfect . The grass plants have already been stressed by being harvested, rolled up and re-laid so be gentle with them for a few weeks yet.
You can mow again in about a week and thereafter once or twice a week as you see fit. Whatever you do though, don’t let the grass get overly long and then cut it back hard. It’s too stressful for the plants and you’ll find yourself with a patchy, brown-looking lawn.
Mowing a Newly-Seeded Lawn For the First Time
The rules for a seeded lawn are similar to a turfed lawn. Keep your mower blades really sharp. This is more important for seeds than for turf because you have some young, vulnerable plants that need to be nurtured if they’re going to grow into a lush lawn.
You can give the lawn its first cut when the grass is 7-8cm tall (3 inches). This will encourage the plants to grow more shoots from the base and will thicken your lawn up nicely.
Don’t remove any more than 20% of the grass in the first cut. You can reduce the length very gradually over several cuts. The leaves are what power the plant, they create food from sunlight. When young plants are growing fast and establishing roots, they need to be well-nourished otherwise they become pale and weak.
Take the clippings away when you cut your lawn for the first time. Once it’s properly established you can return clippings to the lawn if you want to, but not yet.
Mow little and often to keep thickening up the sward – but don’t exhaust the plants. Keeping the length at about 3cm will help it to put up with wear and tear and cope with dry weather.