Mowing during the warmer months needs to follow a few rules to ensure that it increases the lawn quality, decreases the number of weeks, decreases the likelihood of disease and keeps the appearance. Warm season grass variety (which we mostly have here in South-East Queensland) can need mowing up to three times a week during their growing phrase, aka Spring and Summer.
The best time to mow
The best time to mow is very late afternoon or early evening (although this can often upset your neighbours). Mowing at this time of day will help to keep the moisture in the roots and it will give the turf around 12 hours of shade and time to heal before it is subjected to the direct sunlight and heat again.
How much to take off
Each time you mow aim to cut no more than 1/3 of the grass height. If you miss mowing for a few days, raise the height of the mower to avoid then cutting it too short; then go back to mowing as normal the next time. While it takes more time to mow this frequently it will help you to avoid scalping the lawn; this will affect the lawn’s health and allow the heat to turn the grass a brownish-yellowish colour. You can also reduce the risk of scalping by alternating the pattern in which you mow your lawn.
Wet or dry?
Often during the Queensland Summer the plan is to get up and mow the lawn straight away, before it gets too hot. But we suggest holding off and finding something else to do if the grass has recently been watered, has morning dew, or it’s just rained. Wet turf is much more likely to suffer from an uneven mow, the clippings can get caught in the lawnmower or stick together and clump on the lawn, blocking needed sunlight. When the grass is wet, any disease can be spread by the lawnmower more easily and the blades are more likely to tear.
Take care of you too
And don’t forget to take care of yourself as well as your lawn; mowing the lawn when wet can pose an injury risk to you, wet lawns are really very slippery. Mowing in extreme heat can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion and sunburn; make sure you keep hydrated and take breaks as needed. Even when you are mowing in the late afternoon, don’t forget the sturdy shoes, appropriate clothing, hat, glasses and sunscreen.
Get all the tips and tricks of lawn care on the Daleys Turf website or via our Facebook page.