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Not only humans and animals suffer from heat and drought, it can also be a real challenge for the lawn. The high temperatures above 30 °C quickly result in bare and brown spots on the green area. For many hobby gardeners, the question then arises as to whether and how to mow under these conditions. The right approach can contribute to keeping the grass healthy and giving it an attractive appearance.

Mowing in hot and dry conditions

A lush green lawn is the pride of many amateur gardeners and requires a lot of work and effort. In order for it to remain so beautiful in the long term, it is not just about high-quality seed, but above all the right care. It starts with the first growth spurt in spring. It usually only becomes problematic in the summer, especially when the temperatures are consistently high, during dry periods and perhaps when there is still intensive use. All of this can take a toll on a lawn, making it look barren and parched. Bare and brown spots are an indication that grasses have already burned or dried up. So that the lawn surface does not suffer even more damage, you should now pay attention to a few things, especially when cutting.

How often to mow the lawn?

Dry periods are usually not a problem for a healthy lawn, in contrast to weakened grasses, which are much more susceptible. Proper care is all the more important. In addition to fertilizing and regular watering, the lawn clippings should not be neglected. This is the only way for the little plants to survive longer, hot and dry periods better. Even in summer a regular cut for optimal growth of the grass and thus promotes the density of the grass. Lawns made from inferior seeds generally grow a little faster than those made from high-quality seeds.

At the beginning of summer, mowing the lawn can do everyone four to seven days respectively. If it is warm and humid in summer, the grass grows relatively quickly and you have to mow more often. If it is very warm and dry, it grows much more slowly. You should therefore increase the intervals between the individual mowing processes. If it is very hot, it is advisable to avoid cutting the lawn completely. But even under these conditions, you don't have to do without cutting as a matter of principle, provided you shift the work to certain times of the day and adjust the cutting height to the temperatures.

The right time

If the temperatures are normal and the sun is not too intense, you can generally mow the lawn at any time of the day. The right time plays an important role, especially under extreme conditions such as persistently hot temperatures and lack of precipitation. The sun's rays are most intense in the midday hours in particular, which already means stress for the grasses. If you reach for the lawnmower at this time, it increases the stress factor even more.

  • Soil dries out faster at temperatures above 30 °C
  • Freshly cut grass can burn on the surface and cuts
  • To keep stress as low as possible, mow at the right time
  • Ideally in the cooler evening hours
  • Possibly also late afternoon hours possible
  • Grasses can recover well overnight
  • In normal weather, mowing in the morning is no problem
  • Not recommended in hot and dry conditions
  • The sun would burn all day on the freshly cut surfaces of the stalks
  • Morning dew could intensify the damaging effect

When considering the best time of day to mow your lawn, you should also consider your local city or municipality's rules and regulations regarding closed hours in residential areas, weekdays, Sundays, and public holidays. Otherwise there is a risk of heavy fines.

tip: Incidentally, you should also refrain from cutting the lawn when it is wet, after a thunderstorm or a rain shower. The wet stalks would only cut very unevenly and could also clog the lawnmower.

Don't cut too short

In addition to the time of day, the right cutting height of the grass is also important in hot and dry weather. They should be adapted to the temperatures, i.e. they should never be cut too short.

  • Temperatures up to 26 °C promote the growth of the grass
  • If they continue to rise, growth slows more and more
  • At temperatures above 30 °C, grasses reduce their growth to a minimum
  • If they stay a little longer now, they can shade the ground better
  • It doesn't dry out that quickly
  • Roots of the culms are not damaged as quickly
  • More leaf mass is needed to compensate for the slowed metabolism
  • The deeper the stalks are cut, the better the soil should be
  • This affects the supply of nutrients and soil life
  • Always use the so-called 'one-third rule' when cutting
  • After that, never cut the grasses by more than a third of their current growth height
  • The optimum cutting height under normal conditions is four centimetres
  • In extreme conditions in midsummer do not rely solely on this scheme
  • It is better to leave grasses half a centimeter longer

If you now radically cut the grass down to four centimeters despite the heat period, the grass will be irreparably burned in the worst case. Even intensive watering cannot repair the damage, at best it can mitigate it a little. One is recommended soft cut with a cutting height of five centimeters in connection with sufficient watering. In the case of shaded lawns, it is generally advisable not to cut them shorter than six to eight centimeters, including in summer.

Summer is vacation time. This means that the lawn may not be mowed for an extended period of time during this time. In order to bring the grasses back to their original height, it makes sense not to cut them radically all at once. It is better to bring it back to the normal cutting height gradually or in several stages, taking into account the 'one-third rule'.

Leave clippings or not?

Lawn clippings contain many nutrients and trace elements. With classic lawn mowing, it usually disappears into the mower's grass catcher and is then disposed of. Important nutrients are lost in this way. Meanwhile, the mulching of the lawn with special mulch mowers More and more popular. The lawn clippings are chopped into small pieces in the mower and placed directly back on the lawn.
This provides the grass with all the important nutrients, which may make additional fertilizing unnecessary. In addition to an optimal supply of nutrients, the soil life is vitalised, the aeration, structure and even the humus balance of the soil is improved and the soil is prevented from drying out too quickly. In addition, the grass clippings serve as a natural weed inhibitor.

tip: The clippings from conventional mowers are usually too long and too coarse and should not be left on the lawn if possible. If you leave it there, an impenetrable thatch will form over time, which in turn is an ideal breeding ground for numerous pathogens.

Sharp knives protect the grass

Sharp knives are a prerequisite for a clean cut, an even cut and healthy blades of grass. Blunt or semi-blunt knives can often only grasp part of the grass, or simply rip it off instead of cutting it. This causes the tips of the grass to be frayed, stubbly and unhealthy looking. You usually have to mow several times to achieve the desired stalk length.
To protect the blades, you should remove small twigs, stones and leaves before mowing and not mow when it is wet. It is also advisable to always use the full cutting width of the mower. During the mowing process, the mower should always protrude with one wheel width into the area that has already been mowed. In this way you can achieve a streak-free lawn without visible transitions.

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