So it is that time of year again and the weather has finally warmed and more importantly it has started to bring some dry spells too. So out comes the lawnmer and last week the first cut of the year was a great feeling.
It has taken a bit longer this year for the lawn to look like its ready for a trim, but it has started to warm the last week or so and suddenly it was looking like it could do with a cut. Cool season grasses tend to get going at about 5C while the warm season grasses prefer a warmer 10C, but certainly spring time is when it all gets going.
Out lawn is a family lawn, so it takes quite a bit of punishment from ball games to dog antics, but we try to keep it looking not to bad. Some regular cutting with the occasional watering in the dryer periods, with some feed and seed on any thin patches. We always go for the organic and non-chemical approach as the lawn is a play area for kids and animals, so we avoid those. Lucky for us we don’t suffer from moss or weeds in any great number some we can manage with a bit of seed here and there.
I hads a look around and here are some genral tips I found at http://landscaping.about.com/od/toppicks/ht/lawn_mowing.htm
- Buy or borrow equipment for lawn mowing – I invested in a second hand petrol unit a few years back, to replace the old flymo. It is a massive improvement, it cuts cleanly and even, plus the grass box picks up almost everything, so there is little in the way of clearning up to do.
- Make sure the mower is in good condition – I always give the blades, underside and engine bay a good clear our before putting away for the winter, so this year the biggest issue was clearing out the old mice bedding from in the grass box. Hopefully it was a nice winter resting spot for some local wildlife.
- Adjust wheel height – I normally start at 2 inches and then work down over the next month of two. My machine only has three setting so it makes it simple.
- Clear objects and mark obstacles – nothing worse than going over the dogs old stick or a favourite toy.
- Mow the lawn in a pattern – back and forth does the job
- Use the half-pass trick – basically half of what you have just done, its a lot easier and a lot less load on the blade so a much more consistent cut.
- Tidy up after lawn mowing – rake up all the loose clipping, this will depend on your mower, finally clean and maintain your mower. This will vary on the type, I clean out the grass, check over the blade, check oil and ensure the fuel line is close and tank secure.
- Mow early and often, but mow “high” – the ideal is early in the day once the dew has dried off and once a week if you can. When the growth is at its maximum, our lawn needs a cut mid week too, but if you do this on a thursday, it means the lawn is nice and tidy for the weekend.