Lawns need care: Tips for a Happy Lawn
Grass is often taken for granted, but the mowing of grass is one area that needs careful consideration, especially in today’s changing climate.
Tips for a healthy, happy lawn
Things such as sunlight, nutrients and water all affect grass, as well as the quality of the cut and the cutting height. As a result of cutting, the grass is constantly losing biomass and therefore also nutrients. These nutrients need to be returned to the grass if it is to grow healthy and be able to compete with weeds.
Experience has shown that a cutting height of between 50mm and 100mm (2-4”), or half the length of the blade of grass, is best for the growth of the lawn. A cut of 30mm (1.2”) or less can increase the risk of lawn damage as well as the chance of ground rock and tree root contact, resulting in both blade and deck damage. The use of mowers with a mulching capacity helps to return nutrients to the lawn, by finely chopping the cut grass again and returning it back to the lawn to decompose, providing much-needed nutrients.
For the first and last cut of the season, the cutting height should be set somewhat higher than normal to promote growth and durability throughout the spring and summer. Also, to avoid dehydration, the cutting height should be increased during dry periods and in shaded areas.
Because the effect of mowing is detrimental, a good clean and a sharp cut are desirable to minimise the risk of damage to the lawn. It has been estimated that dull blades not only cause up to 20% higher fuel consumption compared to sharp blades but also contribute to lawn damage leading to a risk of dehydration and fungal infection.
A good cut is achieved through sharp blades, dry weather, high peripheral blade speed and by not mowing more than half the length of the blade of grass or when using a mulching function, no more than 1/3rd of the length of the blade of grass.
Working methods for ride-on mowers
For the best results, you have to plan your line of attack. Driving in rolling loops will produce the best results. Start from the outside and drive in inward loops. Ensure you take sharp corners very slowly, as this will enable you to avoid the formation of clumps and unsightly tyre marks.
Varying the direction of your mowing will also help you to avoid driving in the exact same pattern. This will also help improve the appearance of the grass because the blades of grass are straightened up and the grass waste is spread more evenly than if mowing is always done in the same direction.
The engine should always be operated at full speed to ensure optimal airflow through the cutting deck and high peripheral blade speed, which is necessary for a clean and precise cut.
Maintaining your ride-on mower is extremely important. After every mowing application, the cutting deck should be cleaned thoroughly. A dirty cutting deck reduces the work capacity of the mower, increase uneven distribution of the cuttings and lowers the quality of the cut. The machine should always be serviced by a professional at a regular interval, just as you would a car.
Think about the area you need to mow when deciding on a ride-on mower. If the area has a lot of obstacles, such as trees then consider and rider with articulated steering, such as a Husqvarna Rider which has the ability to mow around trees and under bushes thanks to the front-mounted cutting deck. For large open areas, a lawn tractor is sufficient, but for broad areas, a Zero Turn mower would be most beneficial. Husqvarna has a wide range of ride-on mowers to suit any application, from professional needs to models for the homeowner.