Lawn Mowing & Turf Care Short Course

Course CodeSGH13
Fee CodeSG
Duration (approx)20 hours
QualificationCertificate of Completion

Sneak Peek


Lots of people mow lawns, but very few mow them really well.

This course teaches you to be a cut above everyone else – whether you are a home gardener, a tradesman gardener, a groundsman, mowing contractor or someone preparing to work in the horticulture industry.

It will teach you more about mowing grass than what most professional horticulturists ever learn; but beyond that you also learn to understand lawns, evaluate turf quality, maintain turf and manage the business of providing a turf care service.

Lesson Structure

There are 5 lessons in this course:

    • Advantages and Disadvantages of Turf
    • Overview of important Turf varieties
    • In unexpected drought conditions
    • Turf problems and considerations
    • Evaluating turf quality and needs
    • Criteria - rigidity, resilience, smoothness, texture, uniformity etc
    • Mowing calculations
    • Basic calculations area of a rectangle, circle, triangle etc
    • Mowing -height, direction, getting a clean cut
    • Understanding how grass grows
    • Leaf sheath and blade structure
    • Growing habits - tilering, stolons, rhizomes
    • Understanding Roots
    • Shoot : Root Ratio
    • Grass recuperative potential
    • Understanding how lawn mowers cut grass
    • Other considerations for mowers
    • How to mow grass
    • Before you mow - variety, turf function, condition
    • Length of cut
    • Direction of cut or pattern of cutting
    • Increasing density
    • Scalping
    • Mowing frequency
    • Other considerations -mowing newly established turf
    • Mowing newly established turf
    • Raking before cutting?
    • Collecting grass clippings
    • Summary of points
    • Cutting steep slopes
    • Using growth regulators
    • Problems that may occur by mowing
    • Mowing safety - safety rules, what to wear, other considerations
    • Mowing and its impact on the environment
    • Maintaining turf
    • Maintenance tasks
    • Turf/lawn aeration
    • Timing aeration
    • Other aeration techniques
    • Dethatching / Scarification
    • Topdressing
    • Rolling
    • Fertilising
    • Soil pH
    • Other ways to improve soils
    • Weeding
    • Dealing with pest and diseases
    • Environmental problems in turf
    • Watering
    • Types of mowing equipment
    • Cylinder mowers
    • Rotary mowers
    • Tractor mounted
    • Ride on mower
    • Push type mowers
    • Hover mowers
    • Options for power
    • Deciding what you need
    • Mower maintenance
    • Electric mowers
    • Petrol mowers
    • Changing mower blades
    • Other turf maintenance equipment
    • Edger
    • Leaf rakes/vacuums
    • Forks
    • Rollers
    • Wheelbarrows
    • Strimmer/brush cutter/whipper snipper
    • Spray equipment
    • Should you buy, lease or hire?
    • Starting your business
    • Before you start
    • Be informed
    • Developing a customer base
    • Location
    • Employees
    • Equipment
    • Finance
    • Buying into a franchise
    • Avoiding disputes
    • Other services you might offer
    • Legal requirements
    • Professional advice
    • Keeping business records
    • Taxation
    • Understanding contract law
    • Developing your business
    • Managing growth

How Do You Mow a Lawn to Keep it looking it's Best?

This is a far more complicated thing to answer than what most people recognise. All sorts of things need to be considered, from the varieties
of plants growing in the turf, to the weather conditions on the day, what the lawn is used for and the equipment being used to cut it.

When to Mow?
The frequency of mowing depends on species or variety of grass, the time of year (rate of growth), the height of cut and the quality of lawn sought, or whether there is a dry spell or a drought (when mowing should be reduced and mowing height set higher, to not contribute to further stress). 

Never mow wet grass. The weight of the moisture tends to bend the grass and this is then missed by the mower
Mowers sometimes just knock over rather than cut taller wet grass

How much should you Cut?
You should aim to never remove more than 30 to 40% of the leaf biomass when cutting (even if the grass has grown beyond its usual preferred height).  To achieve this, you need to cut more often when grass is growing faster, hence increasing its leaf biomass faster. 

How can you Get a Clean, Even Cut?
The best ways to ensure you get a clean cut are:

  • Remove debris before cutting.
  • Use good equipment
  • Make sure blades are in good condition, sufficiently tightened, and kept sharp.
  • Regularly empty and clean catchers.
  • Don’t try and cut thick grass too low
  • Take your time

These ideas are only the tip of an iceberg though. If you really want a good lawn there is a lot to be learned. That's what this course has been designed for.



  • Gardeners – Tradesmen
  • Horticulturists
  • Turf Industry Employees (Mower shops, turf farms, etc)
  • Parks Staff
  • Sportsground Staff
  • Mowing Contractors
  • Home Gardeners
  • Students
  • Anyone planning to buy or establish a mowing business

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