Mow lawns using ‘one third rule’ to avoid ‘weed infestations’

Gardening expert explains benefits of not mowing your lawn

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It’s likely garden lawns are looking a little worse for wear after months of rain, frost, snow and cold temperatures. Lawns usually start growing in March or when soil temperatures reach above 6C. However, those based in the north or Scotland, are likely to be running a week or two behind in the spring months. In March, lawns will start to grow but very slowly. Next month, when temperatures rise, lawn growth frequency will increase.

When growth increases, gardeners will need to start mowing their lawns more regularly perhaps every two weeks to every 10 days.

Making that first cut after winter can be daunting as gardeners could end up trimming their lawns too short which can lead to issues later on in the year.

With this in mind, Paul Hicks, product and marketing manager at STIHL GB, has shared his expert advice on making that first mow of the year.

Following the correct method now will ensure lawns look lush and healthy for the rest of the year.

Paul said: “As the days begin to brighten and we want to make more use of our garden space, it is important to turn our attention to the lawn and how to do the first cut of the year.

“Be sure to time your first cut carefully – don’t mow if the soil is very wet or if there is still frost on the ground.

“When cutting your lawn for the first time, it’s likely to look a bit unloved and overgrown, so be sure to clear the area of any leaves, sticks and other debris that may interfere with mowing or could damage the mower blade.

“Don’t be too eager first time around – a trim is all you need! We recommend following the one third rule when cutting for the first time.”

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The “one-third rule” means never cutting more than a third of a blade of grass in one go.

Cutting the grass too short, too quickly can “damage” the grass and lead to “disease or weed infestation”. Common lawn weeds include dandelions, white clover, daisies and creeping buttercups.

Once the lawn has been mowed a couple of times, gardeners can gradually reduce the length of it to their preference.

Paul added: “All lawns and gardens have different needs, so it is important that you take this into account when choosing a tool for the job.”

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Lawnmowers come in a range of sizes, specifications and prices. McGregor 32cm Corded Rotary Lawnmower can be bought from Argos for £56.25 and the Bosch 1200W Rotak 32-12 Electric Lawn Mower costs £75.65 from Homebase.

A STIHL RMA 235 cordless lawn mower costs between £189.99 – £379.00 from Lawnmowers Direct.

By May and June, gardeners may need to start mowing their lawns every week and will likely need to lower their cutting height.

In July and August, lawn growth will slow down so gardeners will only need to mow their lawns every two weeks.

If the weather is hot and dry like last year, gardeners will need to raise their mowing height or stop mowing altogether if there is a drought.

However, if the moisture levels are good, gardeners should continue mowing like they did in May and June.

August and September can be good months to mow lawns more frequently due to autumn rain and warm weather.

From October, it’s likely gardeners will need to stop mowing their lawns until the spring months.

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