How to mow your lawn

Mowing your lawn is an essential and easy part of backyard maintenance. Victa horticulturalist Adam Woodhams shares his top tips and essential advice so you can have the perfect lawn.

The best time to mow

The best time of the day to mow your lawn is around mid-morning. That’s because any dew or irrigated water will have dried up, and it should be before the heat of the day has set in. This is important because turf stress can occur when a short lawn is exposed on a hot sunny day.

Mowing your lawn will vary from season to season and your location, but generally mowing every second week in summer and every 2–5 weeks from autumn through winter will be enough. Spring mowing will vary due to rainfall levels and sunny days, so watch it closely and cut as required.

Nice patch of grass

The ideal lawn height

The height of your lawn will depend on what type of grass you have. Perhaps the simplest rule of thumb is how your lawn looks. Looking untidy? Then it’s time for a trim. Typically, you should only be removing 30–40 percent of the grass blade each time you cut. If you cut any lower than that, you may be reducing your lawn’s root growth, which could hurt its long-term health.

Buffalo grass should be cut at 40–50mm, kikuyu is best kept at 40–45mm, whereas couch grass can be cut to 25–30mm. In shaded areas or the cooler months, you can keep your grass a little longer. And if you’re still not sure, kick your shoes off and take a walk on your lawn—it should feel nice underfoot without feeling like you’re sinking into it.

How to make a checkerboard pattern on your lawn

The checkerboard lawn pattern you see on sports fields is easier than you think to create at home. Also called lawn striping, it is created by using the blades of your lawnmower to bend the grass a certain way. Grass bent towards you looks darker than those bent the opposite way.

A simple way to get the checkerboard look is to mow in a straight line along the edge of your yard. Then turn around and mow a straight line the opposite way. Keep alternating directions until you’ve finish your yard. Then turn 90 degrees and mow lines across your yard in alternating directions.

Bag grass clippings

Leaving your lawn clippings on the ground after mowing can be beneficial because it allows valuable nutrients to return to your lawn. Clippings contain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, which are natural fertilisers. It'll also save you time and energy when you’re mowing.

A popular myth is that leaving your clippings on your lawn after mowing can cause thatching. This is a layer of partially decomposed grass and organic matter lying between the soil and grass. As long as you mow regularly and the grass is at the same height, this won’t be a problem as your grass will break down naturally.

Mowing wet lawn

There are a few reasons why you shouldn’t mow your lawn when it’s wet. Disease can be spread through your grass when it’s wet so you need to be aware of any fungi or bacteria in your lawn. Cutting wet grass can also cause problems for your mower by sticking to its undercarriage. A good tip is to give your mower a thorough clean after use. You can also compact your soil when it’s wet, which can cause long-term damage.

If you are going to mow when it’s wet, a good tip is to have your mower blades sharpened. This is because wet grass can shred or tear instead of being cut, which can cause long-term grass damage. You could also raise your mower blades higher so you cut less grass, which will cause less problems for your lawn.

Mower mowing grass

The right mower for the job

When choosing a lawn mower, a few things to consider are the type of grass you have, the size of your lawn and the type of terrain you will be cutting. A wider cutting lawn mower will help you mow larger areas faster. Electric, cordless or hand lawn mowers are ideal for smaller spaces and infrequent use. Although petrol and ride-on lawn mowers require servicing and fuel, they can easily tackle larger areas and rough terrain.

View our guide on choosing the best lawn mower for you 

Lawn mowing safety

It’s important to stay safe when mowing your lawn. You should always wear protective goggles, gloves, earmuffs and closed-toe footwear. Stones and debris can fly a long way when hit by the cutting blade, so make sure when you’re mowing that there isn’t anyone around.

Before you start mowing, make sure that there isn’t anything lying on the lawn that will interfere with your cutting such as small toys, large sticks or rocks. It’s also important to remember to always turn the mower off before you empty the grass catcher, unclog the discharge chute, inspect underneath the mower or cross a gravel path.

Bunnings mowing products

Ready to mow?

Check out our great range of lawn care products, lawn mowers, garden power tools and hand tools that will help you get the perfect lawn.

Lawn care products 02:35

Lawn How to fertilise your lawn Learn some great tips for fertilising your lawn and keeping it green and healthy all year round.

Brighten up your place with an instant hedge 00:22

Planning & Projects Brighten up your place with an instant hedge An artificial hedge or plant wall is not only an attractive feature in your garden, it can also add some much needed privacy. Bunnings Greenlife buyer Katie tells us how easy it is to add an instant hedge to your outdoor area.

Chilli Plant

Planting & Growing Growing chilli plant care guide Add a little fire to your food garden with a chilli plant. It’s not just a food plant, it can become a collectable obsession, too!

brick planter box 05:14

Planters D.I.Y. brick planter box A brick planter box is a great way to brighten up your outdoors. Learn how easy it is to build one in your garden.

Person mixing brown and green waste 01:40

Composting How to make your own compost Find out how to fertilise plants naturally by making your own compost. It’s a great way to save money and get rid of some household waste.

Woman measuring up the garden 01:45

Watering & Irrigation How to plan a garden irrigation system Before you irrigate your garden it’s best to be prepared. We’ll take you through the steps to plan out a garden irrigation system.

shovel

Garden Tools How to choose digging tools The right tool will make any job easier, especially when it comes to digging. And when it comes to digging, there's no shortage of tools to choose from – but which tool is right for which job?

front garden makeover 01:24

Planning & Projects How to give your front yard a makeover Learn how to transform your front yard into a tropical oasis.

low water garden

Planning & Projects How to create a low-water garden ‘Dry’ or ‘low-water’ gardening is a real art and, when done right, will provide you with an inviting landscape that uses very little water.

Finished artificial green garden wall behind garden bench 02:05

Planning & Projects How to create a green wall using artificial hedge Green walls are all the rage at the moment, but buying and maintaining one can be costly. Why not have a go at creating your own using pieces of artificial hedge – it looks great and will last the distance. Here’s how.

reducing water

How To Save Water How to reduce water usage Whether indoor or outdoor, there are lots of ways to be smart about water usage. And there are some simple actions that can make a big difference to your water bill.

ring doorbell 01:53

Doors How to install a ring doorbell The Ring video doorbell is a wireless doorbell which allows you to see who is at your front door. Find out how to install the Ring video doorbell yourself.

a tree lit up with solar lights around it 01:46

Garden Lighting How to install solar lights in your garden Solar lights are a great way to illuminate your pathways and highlight your garden beds at night. Install them yourself with these easy steps.

how to organise your pantry 02:52

Shelving & Storage How to organise your pantry Create an organisational system in your pantry with these handy storage hints. Trust us – its life changing!

front door 01:31

How To Paint How to paint your front door Make an entrance every darn day of the week by painting your front door a bold, enticing colour!

how to hang pictures

Walls The best way to hang pictures on a wall Learn the tricks to hanging your wall decor so it looks good – and doesn’t damage the plasterboard. Create an effortless-looking display by taking the time to consider spacing, proportion, frame styles and colour palettes.

Health & Safety

Please make sure you use all equipment appropriately and safely when following the advice in these D.I.Y. videos. You need to be familiar with how to use equipment safely and follow the instructions that came with the equipment. If you are unsure, you may feel it is safest to consult an expert, such as the manufacturer or an expert Bunnings Team Member.

Grave health hazards are linked to asbestos, which may be in homes built up to 1990. Health hazards may result from exposure to lead-based paints in older materials and copper chromium arsenic (CCA) treated timber. For information on the dangers of asbestos, lead-based paint and CCA treated timber and tips for dealing with these materials contact your local council's Environmental Health Officer or visit our Health & Safety page. You can also use a simple test kit from Bunnings to indicate the presence of lead-based paint.
Top of the content