Whether we've just moved into a new property and want to bring a neglected lawn back to life, or just got too busy for a while and need to tame the lawn again, there are a few lawn tips which will greatly help in avoiding causing damage to the lawn while reducing mowing heights back to a level that looks more like the turf we want for our homes.
As lawns are left for longer periods of time between lawn mowings, it's easy to see that the grass continues to get longer. A deeper look into the lawn reveals that while the grass does get longer, the thatch layer also increases in thickness, and the life supporting crowns of the lawn also raise higher.
This leaves two problems when reducing lawn mowing heights, firstly when mowing into the thatch layer, the end result will be a brown scalped lawn which can be rather ugly, and will take some time to repair.
There will also be the risk of cutting off the life supporting crowns of the lawn, which have risen higher due to the lack of mowing and longer grass, so mowing back to a height of a couple of centimetres may in fact kill the lawn in some places at best, or kill the entire lawn at worst.
To solve both these issues and bring the height of a lawn back to an acceptable level, it's most important to reduce mowing heights gradually. This allows the lawn to re-learn and adapt itself to grow at a lower height again.
Beginning at the first mowing, cut the lawn quite high, removing enough so that the lawn leaf is still green after mowing - if this means cutting the lawn at 10 cm, then do so.
Frequent lawn mowing is now important, weekly or 2 weekly is best. Continue cutting at the original height if necessary, or slightly lower the cutting height just a little. This slow reducing of heights should continue over the next couple of months, slowly and eventually reaching the optimum mowing height we're trying to achieve.
If at any time the lawn begins looking brown after mowing, then follow up the following week by mowing at the same height again, and stay at that same height until the lawn remains green after mowing - the next mowing can then be reduced in height again.
It may all sound complicated, but it really is very simple, it's just mowing regularly while safely and slowly reducing lawn mowing heights.
While reducing mowing heights to make our lawns beautiful again, it's usually a great time to boost our lawns health at the same time. Check watering times and sprinklers immediately - it's also a good time to add some Wetting Agents to the soil.
A good fertilising regimen should also begin after the first mowing, not to increase growth rates, but to provide nutrients and health to the lawn at a time of stress. Applying fertiliser at half recommended rates every 6 weeks until the repair is complete is usually the best for the lawn during repairs..