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Sharpen your mower technique

Grassclippings - Mowing PracticeVisit any professional Green keeper's office and you will see two clocks on the wall. The first clock is the one that signals the time for lunch and home time. The hands on the other one do not move as fast, but they do change daily - to advise the green keeping team the direction of the mowing of the golf greens for the day. The next day, the direction will change and the clock will announce this change.

Altering the direction of the mower every time you use it is a simple but very effective mowing practice that should be adopted should you want to keep your lawns in tip top condition.

We are all creatures of habit, our morning routines are pretty much the same, get out of bed, take dog for a walk, feed dog, have shower, climb into car and head off to the office, reacting to the many phone calls and emails each day makes it all a little different. When the weekend comes, it is out with the lawn mower, fire it up and commence mowing in the same spot that you did so last week - go on, you know I am right!

What you should really do is change the direction of mowing each time you mow. Up and down or side to side and on the diagonal too - a little harder to keep up with and a bit more turning and level of concentration required to keep the lines straight, but just as vital and it may involve a a few more minutes on the task.

This simple cultural practice will assist in ensuring that you do not get what is known as 'wash boarding' in the turf culture trade where the grass is so long even after mowing becuase it has got used to laying the same way all the time and is in fact growing in a horizontal fashion rather than upright.

Here is the challenge. Mow your lawn this weekend in the way that you have got so used to. Without changing the height setting, mow the lawn in a different direction to the first such as a right angles to the first pass and I bet you will still manage to fill up the grass box. You could try simply making a pass down a 'light' stripe then come back up the same line to turn the grass back on itself. You will not end up with stripes on this particular mowing session but your grass will be shorter and after a few up and down on the same pass, so in effect double mowing, your lawn will soon be standing upright a bit more and look better for the experience.

Once you have mown your lawn, why not give it a fertilise and a moss control and a worm cast control.  Keep an eye out for lawn insect larvae acitivity as there are a lot of Leatherjacket and Chafer Beetle larvae feeding on your nice young tasty grass roots.

The nice team at The Lawn Shop have a great range of lawn care products available than can easily be shipped out to you without the need to visit a garden centre this weekend.


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