There is something truly special about a beautifully maintained expanse of grass: it always looks stunning and seems to offer limitless potential for fun – from summer picnics to kickabouts with friends, you name it, and a neat lawn allows you to do it. However, every gardener also knows that a pristine lawn is also very difficult to create and even harder to maintain. Grass can be a wild and temperamental mistress, which either conquers your entire garden or refuses to grow in the right places.
I always struggled to maintain my lawn – I thought I knew what I needed to do to make it luscious and healthy, but it always seemed to have other ideas. Whenever I seemed to have gotten it just right, something always seemed to go wrong and put me back to square one. I found this incredibly frustrating because I thought that I was doing everything correctly. However, I wasn’t, and neither do most gardeners.
The frequency with which you mow your lawn is the most important part of lawn care. However, this changes from season to season and place to place, making it hard to know exactly how often you should do it.
The following article will examine how often you need to mow your lawn and try to explain why allowing you to adjust your schedule according to your specific needs.
Why Should I Mow My Lawn?
Before we examine how often you need to mow your lawn, it’s worth taking a moment to examine why people mow their lawns at all. All lawns are different and the right answer for my lawn, may not apply to your lawn, so if you understand why lawns need to be mowed, you’ll be in a better position to develop a system that is right for your circumstances.
The most obvious reason that we mow lawns is appearance – grass does not grow evenly or in an ordered way, so if you don’t mow your lawn regularly, you’ll quickly find that some parts of your garden will have large clumps of grass and other parts of it will be bare. Most of us have seen an unkempt garden and will agree that grass tends to look a lot like an out of control weed when it isn’t cut regularly.
However, aesthetics isn’t the only reason that you should cut your grass. Mowing the lawn is also good for its overall health. Grasses have evolved an intricate system of hormones to regulate their growth and are healthiest when the roots and the blades are balanced. The tip of each grass blade contains a hormone that suppresses horizontal growth, thus cutting them off will allow your grass to grow thicker around the roots, making it healthier and less likely to be damaged by the environment.
To Remove Pests
Mowing your lawn will also help to keep weeds, pests, and other unwanted things in check. Most other plants aren’t as sturdy as grass and are less likely to survive after having had a part of them cut-off, meaning that mowing your lawn will be less beneficial to them than it is to grass and help to keep their numbers down.
To Remove Debris
Mowing also helps to remove the kinds of foreign objects that naturally accumulate on your lawn. Grass tends to clump around such detritus, making it grow unevenly and less attractive.
Mowing your lawn may also make your property safer. Long grass is a known cause of wildfire in hot areas, which means that a well-kept lawn could be a matter of life and death in areas where hot weather and droughts are common.
How Often Should I Mow My Lawn?
There is no universal answer to the above question because the specific conditions of your garden have a massive impact on how often you should mow your lawn. Grass requires heat, water, and nutrients to grow, so if your lawn gets a lot of these throughout the year – it will grow faster and need to be cut more than a lawn does not get a lot of heat, water, and nutrients.
Essentially, a lawn in Iceland will need to be mown less than a lawn in London, which in turn will need to be mown less than a lawn in Barcelona. However, as a general rule, the healthiest grass is usually cut little and often in the summer, less frequently in Autumn and Spring, and not at all in the winter.
How Often Should I Mow My Lawn in Winter?
Winter has the most variance from place to place about whether a lawn should be mown and whether yours needs to be mown in winter, may even vary from year to year. Most people won’t need to mow their lawn in winter, because the grass won’t usually be growing. However, if the weather is particularly mild and the grass is growing, then you might need to mow your lawn once a month throughout the winter.
You must never mow the lawn when it is wet or frosty because that has the potential to damage the turf or compact the soil, which will ruin your lawn.
How Often Should I Mow My Lawn in Spring?
Most people will mow their lawn for the first time in March, as the weather starts to get warmer and their lawn is gearing up for the growing season. The first few cuts of the year are often considered to be the most important, meaning that you have to take extra special care when you are doing them. You should try to only cut dry grass, making it a longer cut than your normal ones later in the year. Never cut the grass too short, during spring, because that has the potential to damage your lawn irreparably before you have even had a chance to enjoy it.
By April, the weather should be getting warmer, and you can start to cut your lawn more often. There is quite a lot of variance in climates from year to year, so how often you mow will also have to vary. In an unseasonably cold or wet April, then you should probably only mow every 14 days, while in an average April you should mow every 10 days. If April is particularly warm, then you may need to mow every week.
How Often Should I Mow My Lawn in Summer?
Summer is the busiest time for anyone with a lawn, and most people should mow once a week during the hottest months of the year. We recommend trimming your lawn to around 4cm once a week, throughout May and June, as this will ensure that it stays at its healthiest. If you’re in a colder part of the world, then you might be able to stretch that to around 10 days, however, once a week will be best for the vast majority of people.
This rule becomes less solid, during July and August and you’ll have to make a judgement based on the growing conditions in your particular area. If it is particularly dry, then your grass will grow more slowly, meaning that you should cut it every two weeks or so. If it is unseasonably hot and dry, then you may need to reduce this even further, or, better still, cut it, but mow it on a longer setting. If your area gets a decent amount of rain during July and August, then we would recommend mowing it once a week, just the same as in May and June.
How Often Should I Mow My Lawn in Autumn?
September is usually wetter than August, making it an ideal growing time; therefore, we recommend that you mow the lawn regularly (every 7-10 days will normally suffice). Then as the month proceeds, you can usually lengthen the periods between mows, as it gets colder and wetter. If September is unusually warm or cold, then adjust accordingly – more time between mows for the latter and less time between mows for the latter. By October, the mowing season will be drawing to a close and you can switch back to your usual winter schedule. It is often good to do one final mow of the season in November, if conditions permit, to make sure that your lawn is ready for next year.
How Much Should I Remove When I Mow?
The length that you cut your grass to is crucial to the overall health of your lawn. We generally recommend taking a little and often, rather than a lot, because that creates the healthiest overall grass. However, this also depends on the time of year that you are cutting.
What Length Should I Cut in Good Growing Conditions?
The better the growing conditions, the shorter you can cut your grass. Remember, grass needs nutrients, moisture, and sunlight to grow, so you can only risk a short cut when it has all three of those things. This is most likely to happen during summer, and you can generally cut your lawn shorter in the hotter months. However, you still need to be wary of how much moisture it has available because if you cut it too short, you could kill the plant and ruin your lawn.
What Length Should I Cut in Bad Growing Conditions?
The worse the growing conditions, the longer you should cut your grass. Your lawn needs nutrients, moisture, and sunlight to grow, and you will need to leave more of the plant intact if it is missing one of those things. This means that winter cuts will almost always be longer than summer cuts unless you are experiencing a particularly mild winter or a particularly dry summer. Remember, cutting is good for your lawn, so you should still try to take a small amount off, even in bad conditions.
Start Your Journey Towards the Perfect Lawn!
All lawns are unique, and there is no magic rule that will work for all of them. Thus, this article has sought to provide you with the knowledge to understand your own individual growing conditions and make informed decisions based upon them. How often that you specifically need to mow your lawn will depend on your climate, however, generally – a little and often is much better than one big mow infrequently and you’ll need to mow more in the summer than during the rest of the year. Finally, remember that mowing the lawn is vital to keeping it healthy, so don’t avoid doing it!