Mowing your lawn regularly is the most important aspect of lawn care.
But many people make the mistake of cutting their lawn too short. Letting it grow over a couple of weeks then mowing it all off, which will ruin your lawn quickly. So that begs the question – “how often should you cut grass?” Well the simple answer is ‘little and often’.
In this article, we go in depth and tell you exactly when to mow your lawn for the best results.
How Often Should You Cut Grass?
The two main factors which determine lawn mowing frequency are;
- The time of year
- Your personal lawn height aesthetic preferences
The Time of Year
Grass grows at different rates throughout the year, but you should be mowing more in spring and autumn than any other time. This is because growing conditions are best which causes faster growth.
In summer, growth slows down so cutting back on your regular maintenance tasks is a good idea but don’t stop cutting your lawn entirely.
Winter will likely require you to do very little mowing – as grass growth pretty much comes to a stop.
How Short or Tall You Like Your Grass
The general rule of thumb is to only ever remove a maximum of a third of the length off the grass.
If you like the way your lawn looks when the grass is 5 cm tall, you would have to mow no later than it growing to 6.5 cm tall. This could mean mowing every 3 days depending on season or as long as every 7 days apart.
The shorter your lawn, the more often you will need to mow.
If you have a formal lawn and want it 10 mm tall, then wait until your lawn reaches 13 mm before cutting it again. This could mean mowing your lawn every single day if in spring or autumn.
When cutting long grass, the height must be cut gradually. This means that you will need to mow your lawn often during the seasons of spring and autumn. Annual Meadow Grass (a weed) will take advantage and spread quickly when your lawn is left untouched for 10 days or more between cuts.
The Benefits of Mowing the Grass Regularly
The benefits of mowing little and often include:
Your Lawn Will Remain Neat and Tidy
This is the most obvious benefit, but it also means that when you mow regularly, all grass types are kept at a uniform height. Some types of grass grow more quickly than others and can make your lawn look untidy fast if they’re not cut evenly every week or so.
When you just leave grass to grow without mowing it, things start getting out of hand pretty quickly because some parts will be taller than other areas which leads to patchy areas.
You Remove a Healthy Amount of Leaf
Mowing regularly means you remove a smaller part of the grass leaf. By never cutting more than a third of the height off the lawn, it stays green and healthy without any problems. It still has plenty stored food to make up for what is taken away by only mowing one-third its total length.
Mowers that mulch your clippings are a great idea because they leave behind nutritious grass clippings which your lawn will consume over time.
It Creates a Thicker, Denser Sward
By removing a blade of grass’ tips, you release hormones that make the plant grow bushier and denser. This improves its appearance while improving your lawns health over time.
There Is Less Room for Weeds and Moss
This denser sward not only improves the appearance of your lawn, but also prevents weed seeds and moss from invading it as there is less space for them to grow.
You Save Money and Time
How Infrequent Mowing Damages Your Lawn
If the thought of mowing the lawn bores you, beware.
Leaving it to grow for two weeks and then cutting it very short will damage it, because:
You Remove the Grass of Its Ability to Produce Food
Grass leaves are like solar panels. They trap light from the sun which is used in photosynthesis (the production of food). When you mow infrequently, you’re almost guaranteed to mow too short.
As a result, every bit of leaf that’s removed reduces the ability for grass to feed itself.
You Take Away Its Stored Food Supply
Grass leaves also store food (in the form of water, proteins and carbohydrates) in their leaves. It uses this food supply to survive during periods where there is not enough moisture or nutrients for it to grow its own supplies.
When you let grass grow long then cut it short – taking away that stored food reserve – the surviving plants are forced into using whatever resources they have left on repair work instead of root development, which causes more issues to develop.
The grass puts all of its resources into producing new leaves, stalling root development. This shallow rooting limits how much water the grass can consume from the soil – so as soon as the weather starts to get warm and dry, your lawn will simply dry out.
Weed and Moss Invasions
Your lawn drying out and lying dormant leads to a patchy lawn that is sparse.
This is the perfect opportunity for weeds and moss to take hold in the space where a thick dense lawn should be.
Onset of Lawn Disease
Long grass left to grow before mowing can hold on to moisture, despite appearing that your lawn is dry. Cutting wet grass leads to tears rather than a clean cut and this creates a chance for fungal diseases like Red Thread to infect it.
How often you cut the grass is dictated by how long you like your lawn and how quickly the grass grows. The time-conscious gardener has two options;
- Invest in a robot mower
- Or keep it on the higher side so that one will have less need for cutting as frequently
For those who do not want to spend much time maintaining their garden, then every 10 days should suffice between spring and autumn.