Top 10 Tips to a Healthy Lawn

Spring has arrived, which means that your lawn will be awakening to another season of growing green and lush. A healthy lawn, though, depends on how you treat it and how you mow it.

Mowing looks deceptively simple, but every time you cut your lawn you’re determining its chances of success or failure. Mow it the right way, and your lawn will respond by growing healthy and thick. Mow it badly and you could end up killing it. Here are our top 10 mowing tips for a healthy lawn:

1. Don’t Scalp
Cutting your lawn too short (scalping) makes it vulnerable to diseases and weed infestation. A lawn that is cut too short is weak and sparse, which allows weeds to get growing. A scalped lawn also has a weak root system that makes the lawn susceptible to drought or being scorched by heat waves.

2. Keep the Blades Sharp
Sharp lawn mower blades cut grass cleanly, while blunt blades tear it unevenly. Torn grass is susceptible to infection by diseases, and can also die back after a cut. Sharpen blades at least a couple of times every spring/summer.

3. Adjust the Mower Height
Don’t leave your mower at one height all season. In the height of summer, adjust the mower to let the grass grow longer – this gives the soil more shade, slowing down evaporation. Taller grass also develops longer roots, which makes it better able to withstand hot spells and water shortages. As summer ends, lower the cutting height again.

4. Mowing in the Shade
Here’s our top tip for growing a healthy lawn in the shade: Lawns in the shade need longer leaves to aid photosynthesis. (There are also a number of shade-specific varieties, should your lawn battle.)

5. Don’t Mow Wet Grass
Resist the temptation to mow the lawn early on a cool, damp morning. Wet grass can quickly clog and damage your mower, even if it isn’t bad for the actual lawn. Wet soil, though, can lead to ruts in the lawn.

6. Alternate the Mowing Direction
Alternate the direction in which you mow. This prevents the soil from being compacted and ruts forming. Compacted soil can lead to disease outbreaks and weed growth.

7. Don’t Mow in the Heat of the Day
Cutting a lawn stresses out each of those thousands of little plants. Reduce the stress by mowing when it is cool, so that the plants lose less water and can recover quickly.

8. Don’t Remove the Clippings
Grass clippings don’t have to be removed. Not only is it a waste of energy, but it’s also a waste of resources – grass clippings add nutrients back into the lawn, so you don’t need as much fertiliser. If you want your lawn to be neater, remove the clippings but throw it on your compost heap to be used later.

9. Be Careful on Slopes
Mowing on slopes is where most mowing accidents occur. Reduce these by using an automated mower. Alternatively, replace your lawn on slopes with a low-maintenance groundcover.

10. Mow a Little, Often
Cutting your lawn a little bit often is our top tip for a healthy lawn. Cut off a maximum of a third of the length of the grass, but try to keep it less than that. This will give it the best chance to recover quickly.

Suitable Husqvarna products for healthy lawn care can be found here.

   

12 thoughts on “Top 10 Tips to a Healthy Lawn

  1. Michael Robinson says:

    I wanted to thank you for all the information about scalping your grass and how it is not good for it. Just like you mentioned, cutting it too short makes it vulnerable to disease and weed infestation. I personally think that longer and darker grass is a good look for most homes and when I own my first home, I will try to go for that look by not scalping it. Thanks again for all the information!

  2. Tasnim Mustapha says:

    I live in Durban ad have recently retired and downsized to a dwelling with a 20 x 20 sq m garden.
    Firstly the lawn is infested with three different types of weeds, how and where do I start ?
    One border is in need of shrubs for privacy from neighbours.
    Lawn has full sun for almost 6 hours

  3. Tasnim Mustapha says:

    Love your TV programme, anxiously wait for new information.
    Will you be having any workshops in Durban in the new year?

  4. Braden Bills says:

    It makes sense that I would want to properly maintain my lawn. I didn’t realize that there were so many tools required to handle it. Maybe it would be a good idea for me to get a professional to handle it for me instead.

  5. Ridley Fitzgerald says:

    Thanks for the lawn care tips. I didn’t realize that cutting the grass too short was a problem. We like to cut it short because we don’t have to cut it again for a while, but I’ll try to remember to do this.

  6. Ken Hwan says:

    I never knew that the height of the blades could effect how well the grass can survive the heat, especially from the size of the roots! I have found that my lawn hasn’t been surviving very well this summer, even though I have watered my lawn very frequently. I will be sure to check the height of the blades on my lawn mower, and see if I need to raise them to keep my grass healthy!

  7. Hector Uba says:

    I had no idea that leaving the clippings was actually better for the grass and makes your job easier. Professionals probably know to leave clippings if it’s OK with the client. In my opinion, everyone should get professional lawn care because it really makes your lawn look great.

  8. Ivanna Flint says:

    I appreciate it when you pointed out that dull blades can actually cut the lawn grass but in a way that they are torn and more exposed to infections. I guess now I know the reason why the grass at home is turning brown and looking sickly. The way I used the lawn mower has probably damaged them. Now, I do not think there is anything I can do to save it, so I will search for a professional to care for the lawn for me.

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