If you’re reading this, you probably have a lawn (or some sort of turf) that’s new. We bet it looks great! However, as time starts to go on, you might be starting to wonder when to mow your new turf and how to mow it without damaging it. In this blog post, our team at Sunshine Coast Turf has answered all of these turf maintenance FAQs.
How long should I wait before mowing new turf?
It’s important not to mow your grass too soon after laying it because this can cut off the roots as they’re growing in and taking hold. If you want to test whether it’s ready, try to gently lift your turf. If it cannot be lifted, it’s ready to be mowed.
Generally, your turf should be ready for its first mow in 2-4 weeks, depending on the time of year. In warmer months it’s common for turf to be ready to mow after 2 weeks while in colder months, it can sometimes take up to 4 weeks after you’ve laid it. However, this is only an estimation. There are a lot of factors that go into how long you should wait that can make this more complex. The main factors to consider are:
- How much water the grass gets
- How warm it is where you live
- How often you’re able to mow the lawn
If you get a good amount of rain and the temperatures are high, then you’ll be able to mow your grass sooner. If there’s less rain, or if it’s colder out, then it’ll take longer for the grass to grow enough for you to be able to mow it without damaging the roots.
How to mow new turf
The best way to mow turf is with a reel mower. This is because a reel mower will give you a clean cut, and the resulting cuttings are small enough that they can be left on the lawn after mowing.
If you don’t have a reel mower, try to avoid pushing a rotary mower over the newly laid turf until it has rooted. However, if you’re impatient, use a rotary blade with very high settings and walk slowly so that you only take off very small amounts of grass at a time.
Everything To Know About Watering New Turf
Tips to ensure that you’re not damaging the grass when you mow
Here are some tips to ensure that you’re not damaging the grass when you mow:
Avoid cutting too much off of the top
Grass should be cut to a height of 1/3 its length or less, so if your grass is 4 inches tall, only cut off 1-1.5 inches.
Don't cut if it's wet outside
Wet grass can cause uneven cutting and damage to the blades of your mower.
Make sure you have a sharp blade on your mower
Dull blades will tear at the grass instead of cutting cleanly through it, causing harm and leading to brown patches in your yard.
Don't cut too often!
Too much cutting will weaken your lawn and prevent it from growing strong and healthy.
Suggested mowing heights
The best way to keep your lawn healthy is to mow it at the correct height. Different grass types in Queensland, Australia, need to be mowed at different levels to thrive. Here are some of the most popular grass types in Queensland, as well as their ideal mowing heights:
- Bermuda (Cynodon dactylon) – 25mm
- Buffalo (Stenotaphrum secundatum) – 30-35mm
- Couch (Cynodon dactylon) – 20-25mm
- Kikuyu (Pennisetum clandestinum) – 50mm
- Zoysia (Zoysia spp) – 50-60mm
Note: these heights are only estimations, but your turf should have settled enough to be mowed at these heights, making it less prone to damage.