‘Causes havoc!’ Gardening expert warns against ‘detrimental’ autumn mowing mistake


    If gardeners mow their lawn under the wrong conditions, not only could they end up causing problems with their lawn for winter, but chances are they’ll risk ruining their lawn mower too. Paul Chappell, co-owner of gardening tool manufacturer, DTW Tools and Machinery, said: “Mowing lawns during wet or cold weather conditions can be detrimental, not only to the lawn, but to the machinery itself.”

    Paul explained: “When the weather is cold, the blades of lawn mowers become less efficient, particularly in older or well-used models.

    “They struggle to get the momentum they need to spin quickly enough to cut the grass blades. 

    “This leads to grass getting caught in the mechanism, which can wreak havoc with the machine itself.”

    There could be even worse effects on lawnmowers when the weather is wet and can lead the garden appliance to overheat.

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    They said: “Lawn’s roots need a steady supply of oxygen to grow strong and healthy. Mowing wet grass can cut off that oxygen supply and suffocate your grassroots, leading to thin and patchy growth. Why does that happen? There are two reasons. 

    “When your grass is wet, your soil is wet, too. Rolling your heavy lawn mower across wet soil causes compaction, which means oxygen can’t reach the roots. The wheels can also cause unattractive ruts in wet soil.

    “Cut wet grass tends to clump. Your mower leaves these large clumps of clippings behind in the lawn, where they block airflow, water, and sunlight from reaching the living grass.”

    Mowing the lawn when it is wet also encourages fungal lawn diseases. The experts said: “Those tears in the blades of grass will leave your lawn more susceptible to infection from fungal disease.

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    At this time of year, it is doubly important to clean lawn mowers carefully after each use, and especially before putting them away safely and securely in, ideally covered in a thick, waterproof blanket, until spring. 

    Chris Bonnett, founder of gardening website Gardening Express, said: “Before winter comes around you want to clean the deck of any dampness and residue. 

    “This is the part that stops blades and debris from shooting out, it protects you and the engine of the lawn mower.

    “A lot of people don’t consider this part of their lawn mower but if you don’t clean this, you could end up leaving it exposed to moisture throughout the winter and it may begin corroding and affecting the lawn mower’s performance.”


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