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Get your mower serviced at the start of every growing season to ensure a clean, quality cut. Chipped or blunt blades will bruise the grass and can cause straw-colored dieback at the tips.
It’s a good idea to aim to reduce the lawn height by only one third each time you mow – any more would decrease the health and vigour of the grass.
The grass needs cutting less frequently in early spring as it is growing more slowly at this time of year. Cutting it fortnightly is fine until the weather warms up in late spring.
If you mow less frequently, you’ll break the ‘one third’ rule, as you’ll have to cut off more than one-third of the grass’s height to keep it looking neat. You may need to mow twice weekly when growth rates peak in late spring.
Most lawn grass is best kept at 2.5cm-4cm tall. In patches that get more wear and are heavily used, leave it a little longer, say 4cm-5cm. In shade, you could leave it still longer, at 7cm-8cm.
If you cut when the ground is sodden, the mower will smear and rut the soil, and wet grass clippings will clump and smother the lawn below. Mow when the grass and the soil beneath it are dry.
If you have a large lawn and want to limit the time you spend mowing, it might be worth investing in a ride-on mower.