Home » Mowing the lawn – 5 best tips and 5 mistakes

Mowing the lawn – 5 best tips and 5 mistakes

Mowing the lawn - 5 best tips and 5 mistakes

Tip 1: Mowing the lawn regularly

Regular lawn mowing creates the basis for a dreamlike, dense grass surface. The more regularly you mow, the better the stalks get used to the ideal cutting line. This results in a robust turf density with a beneficial effect on photosynthetic capacity.

Such a lawn easily copes with stressful situations of any kind. Lawn type, seed mixture, and location determine how often mowing is ideal. The following information serves as a guide:

  • Cut high-quality ornamental lawns every 7 days on average
  • Fast-growing cheap mixes twice a week during the summer
  • Very slow growing shaded lawn every 10-12 days

Tip 2: Set the perfect cutting height

The topic of the optimal cutting height goes hand in hand with the question of ‘how often do you mow’. The ‘one-third rule’ has proved its worth as a reminder. After that, a maximum of one-third of the grass height should be mowed.

The type of lawn and the prevailing weather determine which height is to be regarded as the ideal value. The following table serves as a guide for the most common types of lawn:

The right cutting height according to the season ornamental lawn Sports and play turf shadow lawn
first cut of the year 80mm 80mm 100mm
normal weather 35-45mm 30-40mm 70-80mm
when dry 50-60mm 45-50mm 100-150mm
in case of permanent wetness 40-50mm 35-45mm 85-95mm
last cut of the year 35-45mm 30-40mm 90mm
absolute minimum height 20-25mm 30-35mm 60-70mm

If you follow the ‘rule of thirds’ when mowing the lawn, you will mow to an ideal height of 40 mm as soon as the stalks have reached 60 mm in growth.


In order to determine the actual cutting height of your lawnmower, you do not have to measure the individual blades of grass.

This is much less complicated: simply place the mower on a level surface and use the measuring tape or ruler to determine the distance between the blades and the ground.

Tip 3: Never cut in wet weather

When it rains, the lawnmower should remain in the tool shed. If a lawn is mowed when it is soaked, it will not produce a clean cut. In addition, the clippings clump together and the lawnmower is put under excessive strain.

On top of that, the wheels of a heavy motor lawn mower sink into the wet ground and damage the grassroots.

Tip 4: Always mow with sharp blades and high speed

German hobby gardeners still favor the motor-driven sickle mower for mowing the lawn. In order for the rotating knives to conjure up a harmonious cutting pattern, they should be as sharp as possible.

If the cut surfaces are severely frayed, the knives should be taken to a specialist workshop for regrinding. The winter break should also be used regularly to sharpen the cutter bar.

The speed of the lawnmower engine also has a decisive influence on the cutting pattern. When the cutter bar rotates at a speed of 3,000 revolutions per minute, you get a lawn that looks like it has been peeled from the egg.

Tip 5: Do not leave clippings lying around

If you do not use a collection basket when mowing the lawn, the clippings will then be widely distributed over the entire area. While mulching is one of the fundamental maintenance tasks in the kitchen and ornamental gardens, this circumstance has a counterproductive effect on the lawn.

Fungal spores and other pathogens find ideal living conditions under the grass clippings in order to spread explosively from here.

It is, therefore, obligatory to sweep up and dispose of the remains with a rake after each cutting. However, this premise does not apply if you cut the lawn with a mulching mower. This shreds the clippings into tiny pieces that act as a natural fertilizer.

Mistake 1: Cut the lawn too early

As winter draws to a close, the lawn is reminiscent of a grown-out haircut. Understandably, ambitious hobby gardeners can hardly wait to cut the lawn for the first time. If you start too early now, you are doing your green business card a disservice.

You can use these characteristics to recognize the ideal time for the first lawn cut of the season:

  • The culms have reached a height of 80 to 100 millimeters
  • Long periods of frost are no longer to be expected
  • Nighttime temperatures no longer drop below 5 degrees

If you want to know exactly, you can add up all temperatures above 0 degrees Celsius from January. If the total is 180, the time is ripe for the first lawn mowing and subsequent scarifying

Mistake 2: Mow the lawn too short

Every year during the holiday season, the image of yellowing lawns is rampant in hobby gardens. The reason is a cut that was too short after returning from vacation. If the lawn has been allowed to grow unhindered for a few weeks, the vegetation point shifts upwards.

If the minimum height is now mowed in one go, the lawn falls into a state of shock. How to handle it correctly:

  • First cut the lawn at the highest cutting level of the mower
  • In a second stage, shorten the blades of grass according to the ‘one-third rule’
  • After a week, mowing is then done to the ideal cutting height

Mistake 3: Mowing the lawn under the blazing sun

When warm summer temperatures and blazing sunlight come together, the time of day for mowing the lawn needs to be chosen carefully. If the lawn is mowed at midday, the stalks on the cuts will burn within minutes.

The result is a brown-yellow lawn that is difficult to recover from.

Ideally, you should cut the lawn in the cooler morning or evening hours. In order not to get into a clinch with the neighbours, the statutory rest periods must of course be taken into account.

Mistake 4: Entering an unmown area

Actually, you had heeded all of the 5 best tips, and still, you get an uneven cut after mowing the lawn? In this case, a common mistake has crept in, which goes unnoticed in the busy work of lawn care.

If the blades of grass are trampled on just before cutting, they will not straighten up in time. The lawnmower blades do not catch these spots, resulting in a wavy surface.

Mistake 5: Set lawn mowing ahead of schedule

As the gardening year draws to a close, one of the most common lawn mowing mistakes comes to light. Knowing that the lawn should last long enough into the cold season, mowing is stopped far too early.

How to do it right:

  • As long as the weather permits, mowing will take place on a regular basis
  • The grass continues to grow until the first frost
  • After the first frosty night, the lawnmower is used for the last time

Ideally, you have our small table at hand to read about the optimal cutting height for the winter season. Incidentally, there is nothing wrong with removing the remaining leaves with the lawnmower later in the year.

As long as the blades of grass are not mowed again at the same time, you are using this as an excellent working aid as a replacement for the leaf vacuum.

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