Mowing is an integral part of lawn care and maintenance. Though considered a boring and monotonous task by many homeowners, mowing offers multiple levels of benefits which makes it worthy of your time and effort.
- First, regular mowing helps to keep the grass short and clean, which, in turn, enhances the aesthetic appeal of any lawn.
- Second, timely mowing promotes good grass health as well as eliminates unwanted pests from a garden.
- Last, when the grass is cut regularly, only the best shoots survive, thereby leading to a greener and livelier garden. Besides, the fallen shoots act as fertilizer and revitalize the soil.
Though mowing offers several benefits, over-mowing can have serious implications and thus, must be avoided.
In general, if your lawn has started to looking yellow and dull instead of green and lively, you are over-mowing your grass.
So, how often should you mow your lawn?
The correct answer to this question depends on the time of the year.
Pro Tip: Just because some mowing frequency works for your neighbor, it does not mean the same frequency will work for you too as each lawn and each grass is different.
In this article, we address an important and fairly common question:
How often should you mow your lawn in Summer, Spring, Fall and Winter?
Let's start with everyone's favorite season - Summer!
How often should you mow your lawn in the Summer?
The answer to this question will depend on several different factors including:
- Are you planning on fertilizing your grass during the summer season?
- Have you been contemplating doing overseeding?
- How tall was your grass at the beginning of the season?
- How do you plan to water the grass through the summers?
- Is the summer this year going to be hotter or colder than the previous summers?
In Summer, the grass grows faster than it grows during spring or fall. In general, it takes any kind of grass three to five days to grow by an inch.
So, if you are planning to mow your grass and keep it at about three inches, we recommend mowing your lawn every four days.
This will help the grass maintain its ideal length and stay healthy and hydrated throughout the summers.
During the Summer, you must practice the one-third rule, which says that you must remove only one-third the height of the grass during one mowing session.
However, keeping in mind that during the summer season, you must leave your grass slightly longer than the length you keep during the other seasons. Longer grass length helps your lawn survive drought-like conditions, which often become common during summers.
Other than regularly mowing your lawn, do not forget to water your lawn regularly.
Make sure to water the grass whn the sun is setting. This will give the grass ample time to soak all the water.
How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn in the Spring?
Most grasses spend winters in dormancy. However, as the spring season approaches, grasses begin to prepare themselves for the summer months, when the growth of grass reaches its peak.
This information may make you too eager to pick your mower and start mowing. However, resist.
Before you decide to mow your lawn, take some time to analyze the current condition of your lawn. This is essential as the decisions you will take now will affect the health of your lawn throughout the year.
Here are a few things to consider before you start mowing your lawn during the spring season.
First things first, do not mow your lawn if the grass has not reached at least two inches in height.
- If the grass is shorter than two inches, wait for it to grow to the ideal length.
- If the grass has reached this optimal height, set the mower's height to comply with the one-third rule, and mow the grass.
- If your grass is still recovering from a harsh winter and is still thawed, mow only after giving it some time to come back properly to life.
The right time to mow also depends on when you fertilize your lawn:
- If you have only recently fertilized your lawn, make sure to give the soil and plants ample time to absorb the fertilizer before beginning with the mowing process.
- If you have overseeded your garden, mow late in the spring as this will give ample time to seeds to develop roots.
Once you have decided the right time to mow your lawn based on the above-mentioned factors, mow your grass to one-third of its original length.
To keep your garden green and healthy, make sure to mow your lawn every three to five days during the Spring Season.
Though this routine works for most lawns, you may have to alter your mowing frequency depending on the type of grass in your lawn as well as the amount of rainfall your area receives.
Since, during the spring season, the grass recuperates from the harsh effects of the winter, proper water and fertilizing is as important as regular mowing.
Fertilize your lawn at the beginning of the spring season and water it after the heat has slightly wilted the grass.
How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn During Fall?
We have already established that regular mowing is crucial for healthy lawn growth, and of course, it makes for a clean and tidy appearance.
Mowing too frequently can be harmful to your lawn, especially during fall, which raises an important question - how often should you mow your lawn during fall?
Lawn growth and subsequently, the frequency of lawn mowing depends on the region's weather conditions - the temperature, rainfall, and snowfall all impact lawn growth.
In extremely colder climates, you need not bother mowing warm-season grass at all during winters.
On the other hand, cool-season grass' peak growth seasons are spring and fall.
Thus, cool-season grass should be mowed during springtime or early fall.
Typically, mowing once a week does the trick when the lawn is growing well, but always check the grass length before mowing.
A good benchmark to understand how often you should mow your lawn in the fall or any other season is the length of the grass.
Irrespective of all other factors, you never want to cut more than one-third of the leaf blade.
Even in the instance that the grass is too long, you want to cut one-third, to begin with, and then another one-third in the next mowing session.
Also, never mow a wet lawn, the surface will be uneven, and you may even damage your mower.
By the end of the fall, you want to reduce the grass length to allow more sunlight.
So, use the lowest setting on your mower for the last two cutting sessions.
You also want to rake the lawn to get rid of the leaves regularly.
You need to be prompt about this as fallen leaves can get wet, stick together, and ultimately suffocate the grass. They can also lead to fungal diseases.
Fall is also the right time to aerate your lawn. Also, if you use fertilizer only once a year, fall is the ideal time.
You want to wait towards the latter half of the fall to apply fertilizer.
Overseeding the lawn is also a good idea during fall as the ground is warm, and the nights are cool. Overseeding helps fill in bald spots and introduce more resilient grass.
If your lawn has a pest problem, figure out a pest control solution by the end of fall to limit damage during winter end.
Watering is an essential consideration as well.
While you can cut back on the watering, it's still just as crucial for lawn growth. You will have to take all of these factors into consideration when deciding to mow your lawn during fall.
How often you mow your lawn during fall primarily depends on how quickly it grows, which further depends on several factors.
Adequate fertilizer and lots of watering translate to faster growth generally. How quickly your lawn grows also depends on the kind of grass.
As the names suggest, cool-season grass grows fastest in fall and spring while warm-season grass grows fastest in summers.
Further, each type of grass has an ideal height, which will again factor in how often you need to mow the lawn - some varieties have an ideal height of 2-3 inches while others have an ideal height of 1-2 inches.
To sum it up, mowing once every week during fall should suffice. However, you may feel the need to adjust this mowing frequency based on the factors discussed above.
How Often to Mow During Winter?
During the winter season, the idea of leaving the comfort of one's heated room and stepping out in the garden is not a very enticing one.
However, lawns require as much maintenance during winters as they require during summers and other seasons. Thus, make sure to give your lawn the care and attention that it requires, even on days you do not want to leave your bed.
One question that concerned lawn keepers often ask is: how often should I mow my lawn during winters?
During the summer months, supported by heat and sunlight, all kinds of grasses register fast growth.
However, as soon as the winters arrive and the temperature begins to fall, the growth of grasses slows down.
Thus, during the winter season, the need for mowing automatically decreases.
However, the grass still requires mowing as when the grass grows tall, it begins to bend, thereby shading itself.
This shade causes the eruption of diseases and other problems.
During the winter season, you should mow your lawn once every three to four weeks.
More importantly, during the winter season, do not stick to the popular one-third rule.
Instead, adjust the mower blade in such a way that two-third of the grass remains after mowing.
During the winter season, the grass blades visible just above the ground become more vulnerable than the roots and thus, they must be protected well. This can only be done by mowing the grass higher than is normal.
Lastly, if you want your grass to stay green and healthy, make sure to keep people from away after it has snowed.
Heavy frost or ice reduces the strength of grass blades and thus, walking on grass can leave it damaged.
Just because you have decided to shun your shorts for woollies, it does not mean you can shun your lawn too.
During the winter season, though grasses grow slow, they still require proper attention and care.
Make sure to mow your grass once every three to four weeks and make sure not to mow it too short. That being said, keep people away from your grass, especially after it has snowed.
Keep these simple things in mind and your garden will look as beautiful in the winters as it looked during the spring and summer.
While these tips and suggestions work in most cases, it is essential to understand that every lawn is different and so is every area.
With that in mind, the success of mowing frequency, as well as many other routine lawn care practices, also depends on how you care for your lawn.
However, just remember to practice the one-third rule and you will easily be able to maintain a green and beautiful lawn throughout the year.