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The dream of a velvety green carpet of lawn is within reach when the dainty blades of grass sprout after sowing. To ensure that the time-consuming re-seeding meets the high goals of ambitious home gardeners, the focus is now on mowing the lawn for the first time. The decision on the date is just as important as the mowing itself. Our green guide gives you all the relevant criteria for precisely choosing the optimal time and mowing your new lawn perfectly.
Lawn height determines timing
Height of growth dictates the date
A glance at the calendar does not provide you with the central information as to when the time is due for the first time. Rather, it is the growth height of the young noble grasses that serves as a meaningful orientation for the optimal time. If the seeds were sown after the winter, growth progresses rapidly on warm spring days. On the other hand, in cool autumn, the culms have more time to gain height. From the number of days since sowing, no reliable conclusions can be drawn as to when you will mow the lawn for the first time.
Mowing the lawn prematurely after sowing ends all hopes of a dense, even turf. If the stalks have not reached their minimum height, they have not grown in the ground and are torn out of the ground together with their roots. On the other hand, if the seedlings exceed their maximum height, this results in a shift of the vegetation point upwards, which also prevents the formation of a closed scar. The ideal growth height for the first mowing cycle also depends on the specific type of lawn.
- Sports and play turf: 7.0 to 7.5 cm
- Decorative lawn: 8.0 to 8.5 cm
- Shade lawn: 10 cm
These values apply both to new seeding on previously uncultivated ground and to lawn renewal. If in doubt, don't be afraid to measure with a ruler. A trained eye and years of experience are required to estimate the current growth height based solely on eye contact. Since the first cut of the lawn sets the course for the formation of a gapless, even turf, the effort is definitely worth it.
Ideal framework conditions
The growth height does play a key role in choosing the perfect date for the first lawn cut; however, it is not the sole criterion. Other decisive factors must be taken into account so that your new lawn can fulfill its function as a green calling card to your complete satisfaction. Therefore, please also include the weather and the current condition of the ground.
- dry, cloudy weather without blazing sunshine
- mostly dry grass
- night-time minimum temperature of 5 degrees Celsius is no longer undershot
If you make an appointment after the winter, please also make sure that the meteorologists no longer announce delayed ground frosts. Likewise, the first frost should still be a long way off in autumn. If the lawn has not reached its ideal growth height before the onset of winter after the autumn reseeding, postpone the first cut until spring, as the grass will now stop growing anyway.
Sharp lawn mower blade
Perfect cutting pattern thanks to sharp knives
If your lawn mower celebrates its premiere on the newly laid lawn, carefully inspect the blades beforehand. They should be freshly sharpened to leave a flawless cut. Blunt sickle knives fray the stalks or, in the worst case, rip the young grass out of the ground. The battered green offers diseases and pests an ideal target.
In addition, the high engine speed contributes to an even cutting pattern. It should be at least 3,000 revolutions per minute that the cutter bar of a petrol-powered lawnmower achieves. This speed guarantees that the grass is knocked off smoothly and no unnecessary cuts are made.
Correct lawn mowing
Correct lawn mowing according to the one-third rule
If all criteria are met for the first cut after the lawn renewal, it is important to carry it out correctly. The pivotal point for a perfect result is the cutting depth. If a lawn is mowed too short after reseeding, the grass cannot regenerate sufficiently until the next cut. In the long run, this leads to an accumulation of stress, to the detriment of vitality and scar density.
The golden one-third rule has proven itself in practice. Accordingly, you cut off no more than a third of the stalk height per pass. If your decorative lawn has grown to a height of 80 mm after sowing, set the cutting height on the lawn mower to 50 mm. If the general conditions only allowed a first cut with a stalk height of 100 mm, mow in stages. The first cut shortens the lawn to 70 to 75 mm. Only in the second pass is mowing to the ideal height of 45 to 50 mm. Please adapt these values to the respective type of lawn.
Exemplary cutting width
Pay particular attention to the width of the cut, and when mowing the lawn for the first time, create tracks as if drawn with a ruler. It is not difficult to include this detail in the mowing process. The horizontal wheelbase on conventional lawn mowers is designed in such a way that the mowed lanes have a width of between 30 and 55 cm, limited by the track of the wheels on the sides. To create a seamless green area, align the mower so that exactly one wheel width extends into the previously mown lane.
Before mowing the lawn
Entry is prohibited before mowing
Surrounded by perennial beds, flower borders and shrubs, the lawn is inevitably walked on during maintenance work. This work should not be on the agenda shortly before the first lawn mowing. If an unmown lawn is trampled on, the grass only slowly straightens up again. The result is that the lawn mower does not catch all the stalks, resulting in an uneven cut.
Do not leave clippings lying around
Not every lawn mower is equipped with a collection basket, so that the lawn is eventually covered with clippings. If this layer is not removed promptly, rot, moss matting and fungal diseases are inevitable. Therefore, please always sweep the lawn free and dispose of the clippings on the compost or use them as mulch in ornamental and useful beds. However, this requirement does not apply if you use a special mulching mower. The clippings are chopped up so finely that they fall to the ground between the grasses, where they can be used as organic fertiliser.
respect rest periods
Motorized lawn mowers generate a lot of noise. So that the first lawn cut after reseeding does not affect the good relationship with the neighbors, we recommend observing the legal requirements. In the 32nd Federal Immission Control Act, a passage regulates the operation of lawn mowers in residential areas. The most important data at a glance.
- Monday to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. - Not on Sundays and public holidays
EU Ecolabel mower
- Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. - Not on Sundays and public holidays
- Operation allowed at any time
Modern cordless and electric mowers are provided with the yellow-blue EU eco-label because they work very quietly. It is expected that the hours of operation will be extended to include Sundays and public holidays. Please note that countries and municipalities have the right to have individual guidelines. If in doubt, ask the local authority.