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A nicely kept lawn sets off a garden. Mowing correctly from March to October will keep the grass looking its best - in general this means cutting twice a week in summer and once a week in spring and autumn.
A rotary or hover mower will do the job in most gardens. Adjust the frequency with which you mow and the height of cut with the seasons but always resist the temptation to cut too close.
Always mow in dry weather. Mower blades will cut better when it's dry and won't clog with wet grass. Remove debris such as stones which could damage the blades.
Set mowing height at highest setting for the first cut of the year. As a general rule, never take off more than one third of the top of the grass. In spring and autumn keep grass at 2.5cm (1in), in summer 4cm (1.5in).
Collect clippings or rake them up as this helps prevent fungal infections, but in very dry conditions they can be left on the grass to help keep in moisture.
Unless you have treated your lawn with a weedkiller, put the clippings on your compost heap, layering it with woodier material.
Mow up and down in straight lines ensuring you just overlap and don't leave tufts of grass. Start in the middle with a straight line across if you have an irregular lawn, doing one side at a time.
To get a stripe your mower must have a roller. Try to cut in a different direction each week. That way you'll catch all the stray blades of grass.
Finish off by mowing around the perimeter. This will tidy up any marks made by turning the mower.
Once you've finished mowing, smarten up the edge using a pair of long-handled edging shears and tidy up the clippings.
Add a 5-8cm (2-3in) layer of mulch (composted bark, garden compost or soil conditioner). This will help trap water in the soil and add nutrition. Leave a 10cm (4in) mulch-free collar around the base of the stems.
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