Just as the Craigieburn Train rattles its way through Melbourne’s Northwest on its daily schedule, your lawn mower should have its regular use and maintenance schedule. Regular and frequent mowing in the growing season is one of the key ingredients for keeping a lawn looking its best.
Couch Grass and Kikuyu, in particular, require mowing at least once a week from October until mid-April when soil temperatures drop, and a reduction of leaf growth occurs.
If you are mowing your couch grass below 20mm, you will see a marked improvement by mowing more frequently (more than once a week). Frequent mowing schedules reduce scalping patches and unsightly scarring of the lawn. Infrequent mowing will add to stressing of the grass when it is mown. Greenkeepers’ general rule of thumb is to “never remove more than one-third of the leaf length per mow”. Reduce the height gradually until the leaf length is at the height most suitable to your lawn type.
Allowing your lawn to become too long can cause diseases to thrive in the damp canopy at the base of the leaf. Dieback is exacerbated, and the lawn will look yellow when eventually mown.
Lawn types such as DNA Certified Sir Walter can be mown less frequently and will still not show signs of mower scarring when the height is suddenly reduced. Sir Walter is ideal when you can’t get the mower out, such as on holidays or lengthy rain periods. A regular mow at 40-50mm is recommended. Sir Walter suffers less than Couch and Kikuyu if left unmown and can get 60-80mm long before cutting.
The variety Sir Grange Zoysia requires very little mowing and is extremely fine-leaved and slow-growing. It is ideal for lawn garden areas that are undulating. Sir Grange lends itself to the Japanese style of gardens where the grass is left a little longer and becomes tufty without length.
Regularly mowing your lawn stimulates lateral growth in Kikuyu, Buffalo, and couch. The sward becomes tighter and resists wear to a greater extent.
It is preferable to mow when the leaf is dry, as wet leaf blades tend to shatter more, especially with a rotary mower. Ensure that your mower blades are sharp. Renew old blades to achieve a clean cut. You may have a new lawn that is weed free and a nature strip that is full of weeds. Weed seeds are easily be transferred on the mower and catcher, so it is good practice to mow the weed-free lawn first, then the old lawns. Wash down the mower before putting it away, and it will be ready to use the next time you mow without the risk of weed seed transfer and contamination.
A catcher helps reduce thatch build-up and should be used wherever practical. Couch varieties such as TifTuf that can be mown at heights as low as 5mm should always have the clippings removed by mowing with a catcher.
You should know the ideal cutting height for your lawn variety and mow it within that range. The exceptions to this are when dethatching summer grasses or using them for special purposes such as backyard cricket pitches or golf greens.
As a guide, we recommend the following mowing heights for our varieties. Under specific environmental circumstances or uses, higher or lower heights can be used.
DNA Certified Sir Walter 35-50mm
TifTuf Bermuda Couch 6-25mm
RTF Tall Fescue 30-50mm
Sir Grange Zoysia 10-50mm
Eureka Kikuyu 25-35mm
If you have recently laid a new lawn from Instant turf, you should commence mowing it as soon as the root system is established. When the turf cannot be pulled back, one can deduce that the root system is strong enough to handle mowing. Your first cut should be at the higher end of the recommended mowing heights. You can gradually reduce the height by removing one-third of the leaf at a time over consecutive mows at least 3-4 days apart.
If you have questions about mowing that were not covered in this blog, feel free to email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 1800 010110.