Mowing is the job of cutting the grass regularly to keep your lawn tidy and healthy. Cutting the grass encourages strong growth and finer grasses for a smooth, even lawn. The average lawn will need 30 cuts a year, but bear in mind that the less you cut your lawn, the slower it will grow. Your lawn will also benefit from some annual or on-going maintenance.
Top tips to make mowing and lawn maintenance easier
- Many blind or partially sighted gardeners have worked out different ways of mowing their lawn that suit them. Here’s one way to mow a smaller lawn with a path down the long side:
- Place an RNIB sound beacon at one side of the lawn, opposite the path. Starting from the path, mow towards the sound beacon.
- Move the beacon 30cm (a foot) to the left then pull the mower back to the path. Move the mower 30cms to the left, and mow towards the beacon again.
- Repeat this until you have finished the width of the lawn. You can work in the same way down the length of the lawn.
You can manage a lawn more easily if it is rectangular, with a path on one side which is set slightly below the level of the lawn. A straight edged lawn is far easier to manage, and you can use the path as an edge to mow from. Lawns cut level with the path are easier to mow and try to plan the direction of mowing to avoid unnecessary turning, reversing or overlapping.
- If you have a close-cropped lawn it will need more frequent mowing. A longer 1-inch cut shouldn’t need mowing more than once a week in summer. Hard-wearing, slow-growing grass varieties are best if you are sowing a new lawn.
- Clover, daisies and other ‘weeds’ will keep your lawn greener in dry weather and leaving them in place will mean that you don’t have to spend time weeding.
If you can’t cope with mowing the whole lawn, mow pathways, and leave the rest of the grass longer. Or perhaps consider reducing the size of your lawn.
- If you find the upkeep of your lawn difficult, consider replacing it with an area of paving, or other hard surface.
- Aerating, scarifying and sweeping, can be made easier by using a right-angle guide to mark out the area where you’re working. These are home made guides that can be laid on the ground and pegged to give you a set area to work in. Find out more about how to make your own right-angle guide
- You might want to consider employing a specialist company to carry out seasonal lawn maintenance. They use machinery to weed, feed, aerate and scarify your lawn. This can be a cost effective solution as it will save you the expense of buying specialist equipment that you will only use once or twice a year.
- Using a mower can put a strain on the back, legs and arms. Mow a stretch at a time, and don’t over do it. Always ‘warm up’ with a few gentle stretches and only work for short periods, to avoid strain.
- Modern electric mowers need two-handed control and a constant grip, which can strain the hands. Emptying the grass box, raking, spiking and feeding the lawn are extra jobs that can strain the back and arms. Do a little at a time and take regular breaks.
- If you can only walk slowly, avoid a power-driven mower unless it has reliable speed control.
- All electrical equipment should always be fitted with a residual circuit breaker.
Equipment and tools
Use one-handed shears for trimming your lawn edges. They can be set to a vertical angle to cut the outer edge.
- A manual ‘push’ mower is easier to manage, especially for a small lawn. Battery models can be useful as there is no cable to worry about.
- If you use an electric mower, have one that you push, rather than one that is self-propelled. Keep the cable over your shoulder and always use a circuit-breaker. Try out any mower before you buy.
- Rake the lawn to clear leaves and cuttings using a light leaf rake. Scarifying is raking the lawn hard to remove old matter that can choke the grass.