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How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?

mowing lawn Depositphotos 387747612 XL min e1676883669505 How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?

You spend more time mowing your lawn than on any other type of lawn maintenance. Hate it, or enjoy the time outside–it should be done in a timely fashion.

When you mow your grass generally depends on several things. Grass length. Weather. Fertilization. Soil type. Type of grass. What you want it to look like. Most lawns seem to be on a weekly mowing schedule. Some more often. 

For climate change and bee propagation adherents, a recent study recommends mowing every two weeks to provide bee habitat and reduce exhaust fumes. And the extra height helps deter weeds.

We will provide information about timing your mowing that helps promote healthy grass and a beautiful lawn.

How Often to Cut Your Grass

Regular lawn mowing will actually improve the quality of your grass. Here are some guidelines that can be applied in most cases. You have to use a little common sense and mow less during drought conditions and more if it rains every second day for two weeks.

  • Spring and Fall. Mowing once a week gives the grass time to regrow.
  • Summer. Your grass will probably grow faster. Consider mowing twice a week. Or three times every two weeks.
  • Winter. Usually, grass does not grow very much in winter–if at all. Whether you have three feet of snow on the grass or there is not enough sunlight. If you have to cut it, never cut the grass too short in winter. Keep the lawnmower set fairly high and cut off as little as possible. 

Cutting too often can create a nitrogen deficiency. Your lawn will let you know by turning yellow, and drying out in the sun. Besides reducing the amount of cutting, you can replace the nitrogen and help rejuvenate an overcut lawn by applying a nitrogen-rich slow-release fertilizer in spring/summer.

Note: Make sure your lawn mower blades are sharp and the grass is dry for the best results. 

How Short to Mow 

As you will see below, different species of grass have different height suggestions. Two inches is a good working number for all of them. Your grass should stay green and healthy. It is also easy to keep to the one-third rule.

Types of Grass

Unless you seeded the grass in your yard, it might be difficult to know what grass type is growing there. Making it hard to choose grass length. The map gives you some idea of where you are likely to find the grasses on our lists.

grass zones min How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?
The different grass zones of the world are determined by the amount of rainfall and temperature. The different colors indicate the different types of grass that can be found in each zone, allowing us to better understand the environment and how it affects the vegetation.

Following are recommended mowing heights for your grass type.

Warm-Season Grass

According to the University of Georgia, these are the most popular warm-season grass choices. Along with their suggested heights after cutting.

Bermuda grass.1″ – 1 1/2″
Centipede grass1″ – 2″
St. Augustine grass2″ – 3″
Zoysia Grass.1″ – 2″
Tall Fescue2″ – 3″

Note: The University of Georgia Department of Extension offers help identifying types of grass. This is important because some subdivisions seeded Tall Fescue in backyards and Bermuda Grass in front yards. (No, I don’t know why.) Most other universities and colleges offer the same service.

Cool-Season Grass

Here is a list of the most popular cool-season grasses and their preferred heights after cutting. Cool-season grasses grow quickly in spring and fall but slow down in the heat of summer. You will have to adjust your mowing habits to the amount of grass growth. Make sure that you do not over-mow in the summer. 

Fescue2″ – 3″
Kentucky Blue Grass2″ – 2 1/2″
Rye Grass1″ – 2″

The One-Third Rule

Always follow the one-third rule. Never cut more than one-third off of the grass height at one time. 

For instance: You like your Rye grass to be 1″ tall. But it got away on you and is 4 1/2″ high. Do not whack off 3″ at one time. Cut off one-third of the height (approximately 1 1/2″). Wait a few days and cut off another third. Continue until the grass is back to your desired height.

Resist the urge to just “get it done” in one pass. Removing too much of the grass blades at one time can stress the plant. It may stop growing roots to put all of its energy into growing new stems and blades–making for weaker plants.

Lawn Mower Height Settings

When in doubt, always opt for higher lawn mower settings. You may have to cut the lawn a little more often but you will not damage the grass. Even more importantly, keep your mower blades sharp. You may have to sharpen them 2 or 3 times each growing season. More if you are mowing rocks and/or pine cones.

lawn mower height Depositphotos 203912988 XL min How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?
Adjust the height of his lawn mower to ensure that the grass is cut to the desired length. Typically this is done using a wrench to loosen the bolt and adjust the height of the mower.

What to Do With Grass Clippings

Leaving grass clippings on the lawn each cutting to replace soil nitrogen is the equivalent of one application of fertilizer. Giving you another reason to follow the one-third rule and/or cutting more often. Cutting 2″ off a thick healthy lawn at one time will leave swathes of grass too thick to filter down to the soil and decompose.

Use a mulching blade to make even shorter clippings. They fall through the standing grass easier and decompose more quickly. Do not leave grass clippings on the lawn if they are too long and thick. They will shade living grass and it will turn yellow. 

Hint: Grass clippings make a great additive to compost.

Note: Some people do not like the idea of leaving grass clippings on the lawn because of the possibility of having to dethatch it. Adhering to the one-third rule should not create a thatching problem.

Hire a Lawn Care Company

If you are someone who does not like, or cannot cut grass–but like the look and feel of a healthy green lawn–you can hire a lawn care or landscape company to do the job for you. They provide the mowing, watering, fertilizing, etc. services you choose.

Note: You can also hire the kid next door until your own kid grows tall enough to use the lawn mower.