Wellington City Council mowing team offers mowing tips

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1. How low can you go?

Mowing Team Leader Gus Anderson says you should cut a maximum of “one third of the leaf” each mow.  

“That’s crucial for maintaining the health of your lawn.”  

If you cut it lower the grass can initially “bounce back” and grow more quickly, meaning you might need to mow more often. In terms of length for Council sites, it depends on the grade of lawn, but they generally aim for between 50mm to 120mm.

2. Avoiding weeds 

If you cut your grass really short it can rip it out at the root, allowing weeds to move in. Former mowing manager Matt Beres says Kiwis traditionally tended to cut their lawns much too low. 

“In New Zealand people tend to scalp their lawn to within an inch of its life.” 

Follow tip number one to prevent your lawn from sprouting weeds. 

Gus, Ray and Matt know a lot about lawns.

3. Mulching versus catching  

As for catching versus mulching, that comes down to personal choice and how much time you’ve got.

“By mulching grass you can release nutrients back into the soil, however there is a risk of smothering the grass, creating diseases and making a mess,” says Gus.

“A mix of catching and mulching is sometimes best – catch the grass when it’s wetter and mulch when it’s dry. Again, people have their own ideas and sometimes time is of the essence.”