It is everyone’s dream to have a lush green lawn, but that comes with investing lots of effort and resources towards yours. One of the many ways to keep your lawn healthy is by mowing it more often, especially when it is growing too fast.
Letting your lawn grass grow too long may encourage the growth of weeds. In the end, you may end up with a lawn full of weeds or brown dried patches of grass on the lawn.
On the other hand, mowing the grass too short does more harm than good. It exposes the weak grass blades to elements such as drought in summer and this will give you the same results as when it is not mowed at all.
Together with other lawn care tips, the health of your lawn lies in the balance of mowing; not too short and not too long. We call this balance the one-third rule.
Even if you are in the same climatic zone and experience the same weather with your neighbor who mows their lawns now and then, it does not mean you should also do the same. Grass grows to different heights during different seasons, which means the number of times you mow it will also vary.
Mowing frequency will also vary depending on other factors such as the type of your grass, when you last watered it, whether or not you just overseeded or fertilized it. With these factors in mind let us now focus on how often to mow our lawns in the different seasons of the year.
How often should you mow your lawn in spring?
Your lawn grass has taken a heavy beating from the frost of the just-finished winter months. And now the sun is shining again and the birds are chirping. By this time you are very much tempted to start your lawn mower engine and get working; stop and take some time as you think things through.
Remember that the grass, just like any other plant, went into dormancy the moment frost first struck in, at the start of the winter. This, therefore, means that the grass height is most likely the same as you last mowed it in late fall or early winter; the grass has not grown at all.
And because there might still be ice on the grass, you will want to wait for a week or two before you can start mowing your lawn grass. Melted ice leaves the grass wet and this is not a good time to mow the lawn.
There are many reasons as to why you should not mow wet grass. Doing so while the grass is wet leaves uneven height and also weakens the roots system, rendering it vulnerable to the harsh elements in the coming months.
As you eagerly wait to mow the grass, ensure that you have not or are not planning to overseed or fertilize it. Mowing the grass in these circumstances will destroy it and also lead to waste of lots of resources in terms of grass seed and the expensive fertilizer, something that you do not want.
Unlike in the winter where there could be no growth at all, grass will grow more during the spring. During the start of the season, no much-growing taking place, as the grass is recovering from dormancy. You may even mow the grass once in the first two weeks of the season.
In the mid or towards the end of springtime, you might find yourself mowing the grass once every week. Temperatures have increased at this time and it is time for grass to grow, so mow it often to allow the root system to breathe.
But even as you do that, always remember to use the one third thumb rule which states that you should never cut more than one third the height your lawn grass at once. Doing so renders the short grass blades vulnerable to harsh weather elements.
How often should you mow your lawn in summer?
The unmasking of the sun and increase in temperatures comes with the blossoming of the lawn grass in the summertime. With proper grass care and watering, lawn grass grows about an inch every 3-5 days.
This, therefore, means that you will be forced to mow your grass more often than you did in the springtime; once every 3-5 days. On the flip side, summers come with very high temperatures which might have adverse effects on the grass if you do not properly take care of it.
Even as you follow the one third thumb rule, you should always leave your grass to grow taller; 3 inches during summertime. This help by protecting the base of the grass against excess evaporation. This in turn helps keep the grass hydrated for maximum growth.
As temperatures reach the highest this is the time of the year when you might be required to water your lawn more often. Failure to do this leaves the grass dehydrated and this is when you start seeing brown patches of dead or dying grass on the lawn.
And while you go about watering the grass during summer, always ensure not to overdo it. Overwatering the lawn works the same way as not watering it at all. It leaves the soil clogged and the grassroots can no longer breathe.
Overwatering also encourage the growth of mildew and mold on your lawn, and these are harmful to the health of the grass. On the surface, the weeds may overgrow the grass and this will eventually kill your lawn.
It is also in this season that you conduct other lawn care practices such as weeding, overseeding, and fertilizing. For example, fertilizing your lawn just before the first frostbite leaves the grass with enough nutrients to sustain it throughout the dormant months of fall and winter.
As you approach the end of summertime, mow your grass to the optimum height to avoid the temptations of mowing during the cold and wet winter season.
How often should you mow your lawn in Fall and Winter
Temperatures drop below 40°F in winter, and this is too cold for grass to grow. At the same, the snow that falls on the grass makes the base of the grass too cold for any significant growth to take place.
Even if the grass does grow, the rate will be much slower than in the previous spring and summer months. This, therefore, means that you will be required to mow your lawn least often in these cold months.
If you live in parts of the country that receive snow during winter, you may not need to mow your grass at all. This is because the grass may have not grown at all and it is always very wet for mowing.
Even if you live in regions that receive little or no snow at all, you may find yourself mowing the grass only once during the entire season. And when you do this, ensure your grass is long enough so that you do not leave it too short and vulnerable to the elements.
Also, ensure to mow the grass only when it is completely dry; mowing wet grass damages the blades and leads to an unevenly cut lawn. The best lawn healthy practice is to wait until springtime for you to mow your lawn again.
Tips for Mowing a Lawn Professionally
Having expounded on the frequency of mowing your lawn, let us now focus on how you should do it. You do not just wake up and start your lawn mower engine and go about the mowing.
There are Dos and DONTs, and tips to pay attention to if at all you want is a lush green lawn grass.
- Mowing your lawn in the evening hours; mowing it early in the morning is wrong because the grass might still be wet from the night dew or light shower. Doing it in the middle of the day might expose the freshly cut to elements especially if it is summertime. But mowing the lawn early in the evening allows the grass to recover overnight.
- Ensure the lawnmower blades are sharp; blunt lawn mower blades leave frayed grass tips and this might as well kill the grass as not mowing it all.
- Follow the one third thumb rule; cutting your lawn grass too short exposes the weak freshly cut grass blades and the base to elements such as excessive evaporation.
- First, remove debris before mowing your lawn; going for so long without mowing your grass especially in the dormant fall/winter months leads to lots of debris on the surface. Removing the debris which includes leaves and tree branches, protects your lawnmower from mechanical damage.
- Leave the grass clippings on the surface; these contain lots of nutrients that acts as natural fertilizer for the health growth of lawn grass.
Conclusion: As said, keeping grass green, thick and lush requires great effort. Mowing correctly at the right time of the season is a key if you want to achieve a lawn of your dream.