You want a tidy, good-looking lawn. The big question is, to get it, how often should you cut the grass?
This is something that we get asked a lot.
The usual answer is once a week, especially if you’re mulching your grass.
The different grass-cutting rules for very short and new grass
However, not all lawns are the same and how often you should cut the grass changes according to how short it is and how new it is.
If you have very short grass – say, for example, your lawn is like a putting green, all smooth and beautiful – we recommend that you cut the grass twice a week, if not more regularly.
If you have a freshly laid lawn, whether turf or seeded, we recommend that you leave it at least three weeks before getting the mower out. This will give your lawn the time it needs to become established.
Mow any sooner and you can kill the lawn and you’ll have to replace it, which won’t be cheap. Once you’ve waited three weeks or so, you can start cutting the grass once a week.
The lowest or highest cut setting: which one to use?
Most people want short grass, because short means smart, and there is a temptation to use the lowest cut on your mower straight away. But you shouldn’t do this.
Never cut more than a third of the leaf of the grass in one cut. If you cut it all down in one go you run the risk of shocking the grass and killing your lawn. It’s always best to cut in stages, taking the grass down a height setting or two on each cut over a few weeks until you get to the height that you want.
If you have an uneven grass area, and lots of people do, we recommend cutting on a higher cut setting to avoid scalping your lawn and leaving bare patches of exposed soil. This leaves your lawn looking unsightly and requires some repair work.
What to do if your lawn needs a very low cut
Some lawns need a very low cut – you may have a lawn like a putting green or you may have a grass tennis court.
The lowest cut on most rotary-bladed lawnmowers is 25 millimetres. If you want shorter, we recommend looking at cylinder mowers, as they cut much lower.
However, if you want to use a cylinder mower, your lawn must be perfectly flat. If it isn’t, the cylinder mower will do a poor job.
How to adjust the cut height on your mower
On rotary-bladed mowers, you usually adjust the cut height by using a lever. Some mowers have a single lever that controls all four wheels (or the front wheels and the roller), while others have front and rear height adjusters.
Some cheaper mowers have individual adjusters for each wheel. Adjusting the cut height can be a bit fiddly with these machines.
For cylinder mowers, you usually adjust the cut height using a knob on the front roller. You simply twist the knob to set the cut height. The knob reclines the mower backwards, rising the cutting cylinder above the ground.