Whilst scarifying a mossy lawn recently, after a few passes and a good rake, curious patterns were revealed in the grass.
Looking a little more closely you can see that the grass is bent over one way on one stripe, and the opposite way on the other stripe:
This effect was not caused by the process of scarifying, or by raking the moss out, but by the years of mowing the grass in the same direction every time.
This lawn was a nice rectangle and the owner had a gardening crew come in and cut his lawn once a week. This crew obviously followed the same routine each time, starting at the same point and going in the same direction with the same mower week in, week out. As a result of this routine, the grass tended to bend over in the direction of mowing and ended up growing along the ground, rather than upwards and spreading.
The result is long, thin grass which has trouble thickening, and hence encourages moss ingress.
The advantage of mowing in different directions each time
If you mow your lawn in a different direction each week, it will prevent this “bending over” of the grass blades, leading to a thicker, and healthier lawn.
If you find that your grass is starting to bend over and grow stalks horizontally, the easiest way to fix this is run a light rake over the lawn before mowing. This will help the grass to stand up, bringing about a much cleaner cut of the grass, helping it the fill the gaps more readily. You will find that the lawn will quickly look thicker and much tidier.
If you are worried about how you are mowing your lawn please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and I will be happy to advise.