A lush green lawn is considered the high art of hobby gardening. Do you have to laboriously mow it every week or is there another way? An expert reveals the best cutting depth - and what he mows with.
Mowing the lawn is a tiresome task in spring and summer. So why not just cut the lawn very short to gain time? Harald Nonn is chairman of the German Lawn Society; he heads the research department of a lawn manufacturer - and advises against it in an interview.
When should you mow the lawn at the latest so that the area grows nice and juicy green?
Harald Nonn: The best time to mow depends on the mowing height, which is why there is the one-third rule. It is mowed at the latest when the grass has grown by a third since the last cut. Because you should not remove too much of the green leaves at once, as these are important for photosynthesis and thus for the survival of the grass.
In practice, however, this one-third rule usually becomes a 50 percent rule. By the way, I also practice this. In concrete terms, this means that if I cut the grass to a height of four centimeters last time, then I cut the next time when the grass is eight centimeters high.
To what height should the lawn be cut down?
I recommend 3.5 centimeters for normal house lawns and 4.5 centimeters for lawns in the shade. Many homeowners like to mow deeper - and you can do that. We have good types of grass in the lawn mixtures that tolerate it.
But you should know: The deeper you mow, the more often you have to mow according to the third or 50 percent rule. And the deeper you mow, the weaker the grasses become because they form fewer roots and have less leaf mass to carry out photosynthesis.
Do you prefer the lawnmower or the robotic lawnmower?
From a sporting point of view and if you want to have a little leisure activity by mowing the lawn, it is of course the lawn mower. But the robotic lawnmower is a great story, because it only mows a little every one or two days. In principle, this is not mowing at all, but keeping it short.
This stimulates the grasses to form side shoots and new leaf mass. As a rule, we see that the turf is getting denser just a few weeks after installing a robot.
But I don't have a robotic lawnmower at home. I even mow by hand with a rotary mower. Because I can look at the lawn again and again and check the quality.
(This article was first published on Sunday, June 12, 2022.)