As the weather heats up, many homeowners are wondering: How often should I cut the grass? It’s a question that perplexes many.
Even searching for the right information in regards to how often, or how little you should mow the lawn, returns a variety of different answers. Mow too often and run the risk of ruining your lawn, mow too little and you run the risk of having a nightmarish lawn that looks messy and uncared for. Not to mention the personal tips and trick that individuals swear works on their lawn and so, should work on yours too.
All of this information, all over the place, is frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a few basic rules and understanding how your grass grows, you can find the perfect balance and mowing schedule to keep your lawn looking healthy, green, and neat.
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LENGTH
Some say mowing the grass as often as possible keeps your lawn healthy. Others disagree, noting that mowing less, such as once a week, should be more than enough to maintain a good looking lawn.
The truth is that the answer lies somewhere in the middle. Experts agree that mowing the lawn shouldn’t be based off an arbitrary schedule, but instead should be based on the length of your grass. Grass growth rate, usually is what determines when you should mow your lawn.
For instance, for grass that is healthy, green and growing at a rapid rate, then you will have to mow the lawn more often. Less so, with grass that is growing at a dramatically slower rate.
Additionally, if your grass becomes yellow, brown, and dried out after being mowed then you have probably cut the grass too short. In this event, it’s probably best if the blade on the mower is adjusted to allow a higher grass height.
NEVER MORE THAN ONE-THIRD
Landscaping specialists use the one-third rule when helping homeowners take care of their lawns. It’s already been established that cutting your lawn too much or too little, can lead to negative consequences for your grass.
A good way to allow your yard work to achieve the best results possible is to follow the one-third rule. The one-third rule states that you shouldn’t cut more than one-third of the height of your grass in one single session. If you remove more than one-third off the top of the grass, you run the risk of stressing your grass and causing more damage.
Studies conducted by experts have shown that the healthiest length for most varieties of grass, is 3 inches. Thus if you abide by the one-third rule, you should have to mow your lawn until the grass has reached a height of 4.5 inches or higher. However, if the grass does reach beyond 4.5 inches, it’s important to note never cut more than one-third of the grass.
If your grass is long and becoming unruly, simply take a break between mowing sessions (usually 1-2 days) and mow your lawn again, never cutting more than one-third.
CONSIDER THE CLIMATE AND SEASON IN YOUR AREA
As you consider the rate your grass grows, also consider the climate in which you live. This will also determine how often you mow the grass, as it is the largest factor in your lawns height. For instance, in wetter climates with lots of rain, grass tends to grow quicker than grass that grows in hotter, drier climates.
Additionally, it is important to understand the season. If it is growing season for your grass, then be prepared to do more yard work, as the grass will probably be growing pretty rapidly. During the dormant season, grass won’t require as much landscaping and attention.
CONSIDER THE TYPE OF GRASS YOU HAVE
This is perhaps one of the biggest factors to consider when deciding on a mowing schedule. There are a number of grass types but generally, fall into two categories. “Warm” season grass and “Cool” season grass. Each category of grass typically has a different growing and dormant season.
Warm season grasses have a growing season that takes place mostly during the summer months. Meanwhile, cool season grass has a growing season that typically occurs during the spring and fall. Experts suggest mowing the grass once a week during the growing season should be adequate for proper lawn care.
It is also recommended to trim cool season grasses once they reach the height of 3.5 inches. For warm season grasses, during the growing season, it is suggested to trim the lawn once the grass has reached a height of two inches.
Lawn care and landscaping are an important part of homeowning. Caring for your grass is a big job, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. Follow these simple tips, and mowing a healthy lawn won’t be a problem in the future.