Did you know that you could hurt your lawn by mowing too much? There is such a thing as “over-mowing your lawn,” so tell your neighbor to take a break if he’s spent the last four mornings mowing his lawn. However, how often you mow your garden depends on the area, type of grass, and season.
The length of the lawn matters more than when you last mowed. You should mow your lawn once a week in most areas, but some grass types grow faster than others. Experts say the general rule is to avoid cutting more than one-third of the grass blade.
For more information on types of grass and when to mow, depending on type and season, our guide below provides all the answers and mowing tips to ensure the perfect lawn.
The Frequency of Lawn Mowing
Do you know what type of grass you have? Maybe it’s fescue, bluegrass, ryegrass, or Bermuda grass. All of these grass types grow at different rates, and while it’s generally acceptable to mow your lawn once a week, you can mow a lawn too lawn, also known as “scalping your lawn.”
Here are a couple of tips for when to mow your lawn:
- Cut every four days in early spring.
- Cut weekly in late spring through summer as the temperature warms up.
- Don’t cut when the grass is wet.
- Cut grass slightly shorter before winter months to minimize pests and diseases.
In general, you want to ensure that your grass retains at least two-thirds of its height. However, if you’ve let it grow a bit longer, then take a look at the grass blade and ensure that your mower blades won’t take more than 2 inches about the white or light green area of the root stem.
Types of Grass and Mowing Frequency
Here are the main types of grasses and when to mow each.
Warm Season Grasses
These types of grasses always grow in warmer climates, such as the southern United States in areas like Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Louisiana. Some types of warm-season grasses include:
- Centipede grass
- St. Augustine Grass or Floratam
- Zoysia grass
In most cases, these grasses only require a once-per-week mow. However, Bermuda grass can be mowed more frequently as it tends to overgrow. However, centipede grass grows almost horizontal to the ground and requires much less mowing.
Cool Season Grasses
These grasses are often found in more extreme temperatures, where the barometer drops into freezing temperatures during certain months. You’ll find these grasses in four-season states in New England, Pacific Northwest, and northern Midwest states. Some examples of cool-season grasses include:
- Fine fescue
- Kentucky Bluegrass
- Tall fescue
Depending on what part of North America you live in, you typically want to maintain at least 3 inches of grass. It’s also important to note that taller grass can shade out weed seeds and keep the soil cool, and it withstands drought.
In most cases, you’ll need to mow more during the summer months, starting in May and going through September. During this time, if your area experiences more rainfall, your grass will probably grow much faster and thicker.
However, you may want to let your grass grow a little taller during hotter months because it provides more shade and cools your lawn during times of extreme heat stress.
As winter approaches, most grass types go dormant and don’t grow as much. Starting in October, you’ll likely have to mow less and then not at all through the cold winter months.
When Shouldn’t You Mow
When the grass stops growing, you can only make it worse by mowing over slow growth and dead patches. Most grass types stop growing in October as the weather turns colder. As your grass stops growing, you shouldn’t have to mow unless it grows over three inches, and you are approaching winter months.
Other Mowing Tips to Improve Your Lawn
Most lawns should be kept at 2.5 cm to 4 cm in height. Some patches will be worn down due to walkways, which means they can be left a little longer.
Besides, shady areas can be left a little longer due to the lack of sun. In this case, you can let your grass grow as tall as 8 cm if mostly shaded, such as grass growing under a tall tree.
When mowing, you should look to change the direction of mowing to increase what’s known as “upright shoot growth.” Some experts go as far as to say that you should mow at right angles every other mowing, and if you change mowing patterns, that it will prevent issues with your soil or scalping your lawn.
Maintain Your Lawn Mower for Healthy Grass
Did you know that dull mower blades can leave your grass more susceptible to diseases? Grass that is cleanly cut with sharp blades has the most opportunity to retain water and thicken after being cut.
You should also adjust the cutting height depending on the temperature, season, and precipitation. You can raise the height of your mower blades at the beginning and end of a season. If it’s a hot and dry season, then you can raise the blade to increase grass growth.
This provides more shade and improves the health of your lawn due to the extra moisture. This keeps your grass greener as well.
Want a fresh look to your lawn? You can fit your mower with a roller, which creates a “striped” look.
Professional landscapers also trim the edges of the lawn with a half-moon tool and remove grass that hangs over the sides after mowing.
When it comes to mowing your lawn, the seasonality matters the most. When it’s hot out, your lawn needs some shade to maintain its green vibrance, but during rainy, wet seasons, your grass will grow higher and higher if not cut weekly or even every four days.
Finally, you’re the best judge of your lawn’s health. As you watch your grass grow, please take note of areas where it may seem more sparse and need more help growing, rather than mowing it down along with the rest of your lawn.