Why Am I Getting A Rippled Effect In My Lawn?

Why Mowing in the Same Direction Leads to Contours


Many homeowners fall into the habit of mowing their lawn in the same direction every time often unknowingly creating subtle contours or ripples in the grass. But why does this happen?

When you mow in the same direction consistently the weight and action of the mower can compact the soil and push the grass blades in that direction. Over time, this can lead to the formation of subtle ridges and valleys creating an uneven surface known as "contours". These contours not only detract from the overall aesthetics of your lawn but can also affect its health and functionality.


Notice the ripples


Ways to Avoid Ripples and Contours:

Preventing ripples and contours in your lawn requires a conscious effort to vary your mowing pattern and technique. Here are some tips to help you achieve a smooth, uniform lawn surface:

  1. Alternate Mowing Directions: Instead of mowing in the same direction every time vary your mowing pattern with each mow. For example, if you mow north to south one week, mow east to west the next week. This helps prevent the grass blades from leaning in one direction and encourages upright growth. You could also do both during the same cut and double cut creating a diamond effect.

  2. Maintain Consistent Mowing Height: Set your mower to the appropriate cutting height for your grass type and stick to it. Cutting the grass too short can stress the turf and make it more susceptible to ripples and contours. You can only cut short if your lawn is thatch free and you are cutting regularly to take the height down gradually.

  3. Keep Blades Sharp: Sharp mower blades make clean cuts, resulting in healthier grass and a smoother lawn surface. Check your mower blades regularly and sharpen or replace the cylinder as needed.

  4. Address Soil Compaction: Aerating your lawn helps alleviate soil compaction, allowing air, water and nutrients to penetrate the soil more effectively. This promotes healthier root growth and helps prevent the formation of contours.

  5. Practice Proper Lawn Care: In addition to mowing, proper lawn care practices such as watering, fertilising and over-seeding are essential for maintaining a healthy, resilient lawn that is less prone to ripples and contours.

  6. Use the correct cylinder for your height of cut- If you are cutting below 20mm you need to be using the 10 blade cylinder or you will get something called 'washboarding'.You then need to be cutting every other day with a 10 blade cylinder.


                                After mowing both ways- a big improvement           
Which way are you going to cut next time you mow?
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