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As the vibrant capital of Victoria, Melbourne boasts a unique climate that requires specific care and attention when it comes to maintaining a lush and healthy lawn.
Whether you're a seasoned green thumb or just starting your gardening journey, our expert advice will help you navigate the challenges of mowing in this dynamic environment. From choosing the right mower to timing your mowing sessions, we've got you covered with the top tips that will keep your Melbourne lawn pristine and thriving.
Why is mowing your lawn important?
Mowing your lawn is an important aspect of lawn care that goes beyond mere aesthetics. Regular and proper mowing plays a crucial role in the overall health and vitality of your lawn. For instance, it can:
- Enhance the appearance of your outdoor space, creating a well-manicured and inviting atmosphere.
- Stimulate new growth by removing the top portion of the grass blades, resulting in a denser and healthier lawn.
- Maintain the appropriate mowing height and suppress the growth of weeds, reducing their presence and minimising the need for chemical weed control.
- Prevents pests from establishing hiding spots in taller grass and promotes better nutrient distribution through the natural mulching effect of grass clippings.
- Develops a robust root system, making your lawn more resistant to drought conditions.
Mowing your lawn is essential for its overall health, appearance, and resilience, ensuring you have a vibrant and thriving outdoor space to enjoy.
Top tips for mowing your lawn
Tip #1 – Don’t mow your lawn too short
The leaf is the powerhouse of the lawn, taking in sunlight and converting it to energy for lawn growth. Cutting the leaf too short will stress out your lawn and reduce its energy production, leaving it more susceptible to weeds and pests.
Tip #2 – Reduce mowing height gradually
If you’ve left it too long between mows, for example, if you’ve been on a summer holiday and come home to an overgrown lawn, start by mowing the lawn on the highest setting and gradually reduce the height with subsequent mows.
If the highest setting still takes off more than one-third of the leaf your lawn may go into shock, so you’ll need to give it some additional care. Apply a granular fertiliser as well as a liquid fertiliser or wetting agent such as Lawn Rescue, and increase the frequency of watering until the lawn begins to recover, this could be for 2 – 4 weeks.
Tip #3 – Mow at the right height for your grass type
There’s no one correct lawn height, as the ideal height varies with lawn variety and time of year. As a rule of thumb, it is good to keep your lawn height at the higher end of the below ranges during the height of summer and the depth of winter.
We recommend the following mowing heights:
|Sir Walter DNA Certified Buffalo||30 – 50 mm|
|Tif Tuf Bermuda||15 – 25 mm|
|Eureka Premium VG Kikuyu||30 – 50 mm|
|Sir Grange||15 – 50 mm|
Tip #4 – Mow your lawn regularly
Avoid long periods between mowing, and never cut off more than one-third of the leaf at a time. For more information on how often to mow, see our blog post ‘How often do I need to mow my lawn?
Tip #5 – Keep your lawn mower blades sharp
Always keep your mower and mowing blades well-maintained. A good time for routine maintenance is the start of spring, around September. This is a good opportunity to freshen up your mower after winter hibernation. Sharpen the blades, change the oil, and ensure all is running well.
Sharp blades will give the best results, whereas dull blades will cause uneven cutting. If you have turf grass, such as a zoysia grass or Bermuda variety, ensure your mower can pick up each grass blade with ease. Similarly, if you have a thicker lawn, you may want to invest in lawn mowers with higher air circulation and power.
Tip #6 – Find the best time to mow your lawn
The best time to mow your lawn properly in Melbourne is during the morning or late afternoon/evening. These times of the day offer cooler temperatures, which are beneficial for both you and your lawn. Mowing during the heat of the day can put stress on the grass and increase the risk of dehydration. Keep in mind that Melbourne's climate can vary, so it's a good idea to monitor the weather conditions and adjust your mowing schedule accordingly.
Tip #7 – Avoid mowing wet grass
It's important to avoid mowing when the grass is wet, such as after rain or very early in the morning when dew is still present. Wet grass can clump together and make it difficult to achieve a clean and even cut. Additionally, mowing wet grass can lead to the spread of fungal diseases.
Choosing a time when the grass is dry allows for a cleaner cut and a better overall mowing experience. It also gives the grass blades an opportunity to recover and heal before the next day's sun exposure.
Tip #8 – Keep your lawn longer during summer
During summer, raise the cutting height of your mower to leave the grass blades longer. Longer grass provides shade to the soil, reducing evaporation and helping to retain moisture. It also promotes deeper root growth, which enhances the lawn's ability to withstand drought conditions. Aim to mow at the highest recommended height for your grass type, typically around 7–10 cm.
Keeping your lawn longer creates a natural barrier that shades the soil and prevents weed seeds from germinating. The taller grass also forms a more robust and denser turf, which helps to eliminate weeds that may try to establish.