As with pruning, the regular trimming of your lawn – if done correctly – can be good for its health.
Mowing or trimming back long grass to an appropriate height encourages it to produce new shoots and become bushier, and the thicker the grass grows, the more resistant your lawn is to disease, weeds, and drought. The key thing to avoid is cutting it too short; this weakens the grass and exposes it to all the bad things that proper trimming helps prevent. A height of 2 inches is generally considered a healthy length to keep most turf grasses.
Keeping your lawn trimmed also adds value to the landscape – the clean-cut lines and boundaries are visually satisfying and help prevent the spread of weeds into other areas. Edging and redefining keep the lawn from encroaching on any hard surfaces or garden beds, which can quickly become overrun and choked by creeping grasses.
TOOLS FOR THE TASK
What types of garden tools are needed to keep a lawn maintained? Let’s take a look at each type of tool and how exactly they can help you get the job done.
- String Trimmers – Use a trimmer to access those hard-to-reach areas that the lawnmower can’t get to, such as tight corners, under fences, or along garden beds. Grasses that are left to grow wild can become unsightly and spread their seeds to unwanted areas, so it’s a good idea to trim them at the same time as when you mow. There are a few different trimmer designs out there; here are some of the key features to consider:
- Automatic- vs. Bump-feed: One of the main differences between trimmer designs is the way the string is fed through the trimmer head. With automatic-feed trimmers, the cutting string is continually kept at a certain length by sensors in the head and centrifugal force. The bump-feed design, on the other hand, requires the user to gently “bump” the bottom of the trimmer head against the ground to allow the string to be fed through. While the automatic feed may be more convenient for some, the bump feed design allows more versatility in the length of the string, which is great for trimming in areas where a lighter touch is needed.
- Straight- vs. Curved-shaft: The traditional straight-shaft trimmer is great for heavy-duty jobs and trimming hard-to-reach areas. The curved-shaft trimmer is a bit shorter and has less reach, but is usually lighter and gives the user finer control over where they’re cutting. The angle of the curved-shaft design also makes it a lot more comfortable to operate for longer periods of time.