The sun is baking and everyone’s lawn may be in dire need of a trim, especially as it sways mockingly in the slight breeze while turning an almost unflattering shade of yellow in the heat. The first thought may be to reach for the lawn mower to turn each blade of grass into uniform little soldiers. But should you be doing it while it is hot and sunny outside?
Well, the simple answer is no, but there are many reasons for this.
Long grass is its own microenvironment, similar to a mini-rainforest. The longer grass helps to shade the soil below it and also slows down moisture loss, allowing the grassy goodness to stay a deep green for longer. If the grass is cut too short, then there is a risk of exposing the grass roots to the sun, causing more damage than expected.
The health of the mower
Mowing the grass using a push mower counts towards your 150 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, giving a person quite the workout. A person weighing 70 kilograms (155 pounds) can burn 167 calories per 30 minutes using an engine-powered push mower, along with an additional 149 calories per 30 minutes for raking the grass after. Of course, for hand mowers, this calorie output is greater.
In hot weather, it is recommended that everyone should avoid extreme exercise as this could lead to heat exhaustion or heatstroke. If the person can cool down within 30 minutes, heat exhaustion does not need medical help, however, if it turns into heatstroke, it can cause an emergency situation.
If you are growing your lawn for wildlife and providing them a flower-rich habitat, it is recommended by the Royal Horticultural Society that these lawns should only be mowed every four to six weeks. In fact, some experts recommend that you should stop mowing your garden altogether, as these garden jungles can provide an oasis for insects, birds, and small mammals, creating a small microclimate.
Advice for if you really have to mow your lawn
If your fingers are still reaching toward the lawn mower, then it is recommended to: “avoid mowing the lawn during extreme heat, as the lawn will be trying to recover from the heat or a potential drought. The optimum time is in cooler temperatures, after a rainfall,” Chris Bonnett, a gardening expert, told Express.co.uk.
If the urge cannot be sated then it is recommended that the blade should be adjusted to very high settings, as this will help the grass stems to provide more shade to the soil. An extra tip is to leave the cuttings where they are as they can also provide shade.
So, if you decide to mow your lawn during Summer, make sure you are hydrated, mow in the cooler temperatures, and adjust the blade height.