How often do you mow your lawn?
Author: Stefan Palm Date Posted: 8 December 2020
How often you mow your lawn will depend on a lot of factors such as what type it is, which season it is, how much you water and feed it and what you want it to look like.
Some people prefer long lawn, others prefer short lawn. Some water and fertilise often and others don’t. These factors and others will determine how often you’ll need to mow. Let me start by saying that most lawns here in Adelaide are warm season types like Couch, Kikuyu and Buffalo. These lawns grow faster during the warm seasons and stop altogether in the cooler months. This means that during Winter, you won’t mow much at all but during the months from October to May, you’ll potentially mow often.
Healthy lawns that are watered and fertilised correctly will grow faster. The following information is based on mowing requirements during the growing season and on the assumption that you are correctly maintaining your lawn.
Buffalo (such as Kings Pride, Sir Walter , Sapphire etc) isn’t a particularly invasive variety. It spreads relatively slowly but it does have considerable blade growth, especially from late October through to late April. During these months, I would bank on mowing weekly. If your lawn isn’t watered so much, you could increase the frequency to fortnightly. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind with buffalo is never remove more than a third of the grass at a time. Because it doesn’t have any underground runners, if you mow it too low, you can damage it. If you need to remove more than a third then mow a third off first, let it fully recover and mow another third off. Keep buffalo cut an no shorter than 40mm – if you go shorter than this you can scalp it and buffalo doesn’t appreciate being scalped. As you move past April, Buffalo will slow right done and by the time you get to the end of May, it will have stopped growing altogether.
Couch is the sort of lawn where you can choose to mow every second day through to once every 7-10 days during the warm seasons depending on how you want it to look. If you love your lawn and want it to look like a bowling green then mowing 2-3 times per week could be in order. For a manicured look, keep it cut at about 8mm, preferably using a reel type roller mower. For those who are not as hard core, then mowing less frequently would be in order – say every 7-10 days. For a healthy lawn, weekly mowing is best and try to keep it down to no more than 20mm high (typically setting 2 on your mower). Couch lawns look best when they are short. With this in mind, resist the urge to raise your mower height during the growing season. If you notice that you are scalping (discolouring) the lawn between mowings, then instead of raising the mower height, mow more frequently.
Despite kikuyu being the most invasive lawn around, it’s also the most forgiving. You could get away with only mowing every 2 weeks during summer although weekly may be a better option, especially if you lawn is in tip-top shape as this variety can grow quite quickly. Kikuyu will benefit from scaping it down to the ground once per year around November. It helps keep the thatch out which leads to a better looking lawn. The best mower for kikuyu is a standard rotary type and the ideal height is 30mm.
Cool Season Grasses
Grasses like tall fescue, fine leaf rye and blue grass will do best if they are regularly mown at a 2 weekly interval. You can cut these lawns too short so be careful about this when mowing - at least 40mm tall is ideal. Never scalp these lawns and as with buffalo, make sure you never cut off more than a third off at a time.