September 05, 2023 Turf Tips
As a stunning late summer blooms here in the UK, we’ve noticed that the lawn mowers are out in full flow once again! And folks are generally now back into summer mode… and whilst we ride this short heatwave, the question of the best time to mow the lawn certainly does come into play. In general, a beautiful, lush lawn is the pride and joy of many homeowners, for whatever time of year it might be. But achieving a thick, green, and weed-free turf takes some work and careful maintenance. One of the most important aspects of general garden care is knowing the best time to mow your lawn. Mowing your lawn at the right time of day and at the proper height can make a huge difference in the overall health and appearance of your lawn. So… when is the best time to mow your lawn in hot weather?
The ideal time to mow your lawn is late morning, between 10am-12pm. The grass blades tend to be drier during this time, so the cut will be cleaner, and the clippings will mulch more efficiently. Mowing early has other advantages as well. The morning dew acts as a natural lubricant, so the blades glide through the grass more smoothly. And the lower temperatures ensure less stress on the grass. Mid-day mowing should be avoided, as the heat places extra strain on the lawn. Late afternoon or evening cuts are okay but allow time for the clippings to dry before nightfall to prevent disease issues.
When it comes to mowing new lawns; patience is key. Wait at least 2 weeks after laying new soil or seed before taking a mower to it. Let the roots establish a bit first before exposing them to potential damage. When that new grass is ready for its first trim, set the mower blades nice and high – around 3-4 inches – to prevent scalping the tender new growth. Gradually lower to your desired height over the next few mowing’s as the lawn matures.
Proper mowing height is vital to lawn health. Aim for a height of 25mm – 50mm in Spring and Summer. During more dry conditions, let it grow a bit taller – up to 50mm or so. And Autumn and Winter between 25mm – 35mm.
When mowing, never cut off more than 1/3 of the total grass blade length in a single cut. Making two cuts at lower heights is gentler than one drastic scalping. Also, be sure to alternate mowing patterns from week to week. Changing direction prevents ruts from wheel tracks and results in a more even cut.
To keep your lawn looking its best, we recommend mowing at least once per week during the active growing season. More frequent mowing may be needed for rapid growers or to maintain a meticulously manicured appearance. During hot and dry periods or when growth naturally slows, you can reduce to mowing every 10-14 days. But don’t stop completely or allow the grass to get wildly overgrown.
Sharp mower blades are critical, as dull edges shred and tear rather than cutting cleanly. This leads to browning tips and provides entry points for disease. Be sure to sharpen blades several times per season or have them professionally sharpened annually before winter storage.
Proper mowing techniques play a huge role in the overall health, thickness and beauty of your lawn. Follow these best practices from the experts at George Davies Turf, and you’ll be rewarded with a lush, vibrant turf you can be proud of all year long. Let us know if we can help with any of your lawn care needs – we are here to help homeowners cultivate their dream lawns!