Sometimes, you just don't want to pull out the lawn mower. Mowing a lawn too low is not the only scalping danger—cutting off more than one-third of the height of grass in any single mowing also is very stressful and damaging to lawns. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Grass started from seed takes about two months to reach a height suitable for mowing, while grass started from plugs or stolons and sprigs needs about three to six weeks before mowing. If you dramatically lower the height of cut or let the grass grow too long before cutting it, you can injure or even kill your lawn. Most warm-season grasses spread through above-ground stems, or stolons. As a result, you see dieback across the turf as grass succumbs to drought and heat stress. Find everything you need to know about grass and grass seed at Scotts. These heat-loving grass species can be cut much lower than cool-season species. If you let your grass grow to about four inches and then mow it down to two, for example, you may open the door to disease or further weed growth—even if two inches is the proper height for the grass. New grass is more tender, flexible and finer than more established grass. Mowing grass can be tedious and time consuming, and it's tempting to let your grass grow" and grow" and grow. Patiently waiting for tall grass helps ensure your new planting has lush growth through the years. Mow new grass when it is dry. Once you’ve made the first pass, let the grass sit for a few days then mow it again, this time to the recommended height. She writes about green living, careers and the home garden. I have cut it to a length of three inches for several years now. Also, cut the grass when it’s dry as cutting wet grass is never recommended. Because of summer's heat, trim the lawn to a higher range of 2.5 to 3 inches tall. Her writing has appeared on various websites. Let your grass grow long and tall until small, oval-shaped seed heads develop on the tips. How Long After Planting Do I Cut Sod?. Cool-season grasses prefer the mild temperatures of fall and spring for active growth -- they enter dormancy during the summer. As you periodically mow, change your direction each time to keep the grass blades upright for clean cuts. Grass that's too long is also hard to mow, and the extra-long Grass should be allowed to grow to one-and-a-half times its recommended height before its first mowing, or about 4 to 5 inches if the recommended height for grass is about 3 inches. That is why you need to let the grass grow at an ideal height before cutting so that its roots will gain age and strength. Let your grass grow too long between cuttings, and you run the risk of creating an ideal habitat for insects like mosquitoes and critters like voles, mice and snakes. That all depends on the species of grass you’re referring to. Not only would you be letting the grass go to seed, but the weeds will do the same. So here’s the long and short of mowing, blade height and watering. In dry ground, the soil is firmer and the roots more secure. By mowing properly, you preserve the turf's health for consistent lush growth. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of California Integrated Pest Management Program; Mowing New Lawns; 2009. Dark green leaves can withstand the intense rays of the sun, but those parts of your turf near the soil While cutting its height, you should still allow its roots to grow deeper into the ambient soil and ensure a healthy establishment process. M owing frequency/schedule If you’re working with a recently established Bermuda grass turf and your lawn hasn’t been mowed yet, ensure to wait towards the end of winter to undertake your first mowing. Cutting the grass when it’s wet causes it to tear instead of cutting cleanly and this can open the door to … Clippings will be longer Your grass should have a firm root establishment at this point to support a mowing session. Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. Cool-season grasses grow ideal in the middle of 60 degrees and 75 When giving the grass its first cut, set your mower blades to a height that's slightly higher -- 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) -- than the maximum mowing height for its species. Most lawn grasses are going to be grown laterally if left uncut, less vertically. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. This could take one to two months, depending on the type of grass in your lawn. Sod should be in place for at least two weeks before running the mower over it. Lush turf relies on healthy grass blades for maximum photosynthesis -- longer blades produce … All Rights Reserved. Cutting Grass Experts suggest that you should never cut more than one-third of the height of your grass off at any one time. Their vigorous spreading makes them acclimate to short heights while still retaining a dense growth pattern. The reel mower allows you to tidy up the lawn’s appearance without damaging the blades. Allowing clippings from long grass to settle on your lawn causes similar issues to letting grass grow beyond 3 inches. The fescue grass in my yard is not doing well. If you cut the lawn too short during dormancy, the grass cannot photosynthesize properly to encourage root spread. When you leave grass to grow long before mowing, it holds on to moisture. Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Dannah Swift has been writing since 2009. When to Mow Grass started from seed takes about two months to reach a height suitable for mowing, while grass started from plugs or stolons and sprigs needs about three to six weeks before mowing. When cutting grass, you want to make sure you reduce each blade of grass by approximately 1/3 of it’s original length. Growing vigorously in late spring and summer, warm-season grasses enter dormancy during the cooler fall and winter months. By letting your grass grow tall, you’re inviting weeds to grow out of control as well. However, allowing your turf to run wild with growth contributes to disease outbreaks and creates an unappealing aesthetic. What Happens if You Let Your Grass Grow Too Long?. How high you should allow the grass on lawns to reach before cutting it is perhaps the most frequently asked question about lawn care that people have. You need little lawn care during the cold months of winter. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a certificate in paralegal studies. When using a mower to cut grass, it will produce a lot of compaction. In this short article, let us tell you when to cut new grass and how to do this properly. Only take off about one-third of the grass’s total height, even if this doesn’t bring it down to the recommended height for the particular type of grass. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities. Here is how long you should let your new grass grow before thinking of cutting it to increase its chances of surviving If you just planted a new lawn, you must be eager for it to grow enough so you can mow it and have it look… Depending on the species, cut warm-season grasses to an optimal range of 0.5 to 2 inches. The roots are still pretty weak and mowing wet grass not only clogs the mower, but it also tears new grass from the soil with even the slightest pull. Cutting your grass at the proper height encourages weed suffocation, cool soil temperatures and water conservation. 5 Reasons Why I Let My Grass Grow Too Long David Oblas September 28, 2018 5 Minute Read “It’s just because you’re lazy.” Well, no. When starting a new lawn, early maintenance is critical for its long-term health, and mowing is no exception. There’s a lot of debate about how high to mow your lawn in the fall. On a new lawn, it's best to use a hand-powered reel mower over a gas-powered rotary mower. Once established, your lawn may need twice a week mowing sessions during the most active growth periods. If you've let your newly seeded grass grow exceptionally tall, keep in mind that grass should never have more than a third of its total length removed in a single cutting… Grass & Grass Seed Find out how to grow a new lawn or repair the one you have. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! That means if you like your grass 2 inches in height, you want to cut the grass when it is 3 inches long. Following its natural growth cycle, you need to cut your cool-season grass to a 2 to 2.5 inch height during the spring and fall. If you allow grass to grow beyond 3 inches before mowing, clippings become a problem. It may seem like its too long but this will allow it to build up a good root system. Sure, the grass will still grow if it is not maintained, but in order to get the most out of your lawn, extra steps should be taken. Mowing before the grass is fully established slows root development and could ruin your hard work. Kentucky Bluegrass and Creeping Red Fescue are lawn grasses (also used in Sod installations may only need up to a month to establish, whereas seeded areas need as much as 8 weeks before mowing can be tolerated. Dull cutting blades cannot Therefore- after cutting off one-inch (one-third of three-inches), you should be left with about two-inches of lush green common Bermuda grass. Reel mowers make a clean cut across the grass blades, while the often dull blades of a power rotary mower have a tendency to tear the grass. But it’s not all serious, as long as you know the first mowing height and the recommended mowing height for your mixture going forward, everything will be just dandy. Frequency: With warm soil temperatures and recent rains, grass grows quickly in early summer When starting a new lawn, early maintenance is critical for its long-term health, and mowing is no exception. It happens. This short height allows air to circulate around the blades for cooling. This means you might find yourself mowing wet grass , despite it appearing dry on the surface. An attractive healthy growing system needs supplemental feeding, proper mowing and watering and Only take off about one-third of the grass’s total height, even if this doesn’t bring it down to the recommended height for the particular type of grass. You should leave the grass for around 5/6 weeks before cutting. I suspect that I may be cutting it too short--especially in the summer heat. This slightly higher height provides the grass with more blade surface area for photosynthesis. We recommend that the ideal height of your grass should be around 5 – 7cm before you cut it, and this goes for all of our grass … And unfortunately, weed seed has a quicker, more successful Unlike establishing a lawn from seed, installing sod gives you grass that's already mature. Just because the weather is cooler doesn't mean you should stop cutting your grass. In general, wait until your grass grows just past its highest height range, such as 3 inches for cool-season species. It’s not often you hear that mowing your grass can save water. This is the perfect time to start reducing the height of your lawn mower if you like a shorter cut. Mowing Height to Promote Grass Root Growth, Instructions on Using a Dethatcher on Your Lawn, The Lawn Institute: Mow it High and Let it Lie, University of California, Davis: Mowing New Lawns, Ohio State University Extension: Lawn Mowing. That will leave plenty of leaf blade for photosynthesis. Lush turf relies on healthy grass blades for maximum photosynthesis -- longer blades produce more energy for vigorous foliage and root growth. You always want to cut grass with clean, sharp mower blades but this is particularly important when mowing new grass or lawn. Take gentle turns, as sharp turns will also tear out the grass, even if the soil is dry. Always remove no more than one-third of the grass and leave the clippings on the lawn to act as a mulch/compost. Your lawn will continue to grow thicker as long as growing conditions are favorable. But I think you need to cut lower.Specifically, I think you should wiggle your cutting height down all year long, not just in the Fall. Sticking to the one-third rule slows the development of thatch in the lawn, which is an accumulation of dead plant material that can suffocate the grass. Firstly, you should know what kind of grass you're growing, warm-season grasses or cool-season grasses, then you will know what the best soil temperature is. You say that you're cutting at four inches, but a three-inch cut is ideal for like fescue and Kentucky If you've let your newly seeded grass grow exceptionally tall, keep in mind that grass should never have more than a third of its total length removed in a single cutting. Once the grass is truly established, it’s OK to use a gas-powered mower. Reel mowers make a clean cut across the grass blades, while the often dull blades of a power rotary mower have a tendency to tear the grass. New lawns are susceptible to mowing damage if you cut too early during their establishment. But how to do things rightly? This means you must get it right the last chance you have to cut your grass before winter. Because you must wait for seeds to germinate, you cannot cut the grass until two months have passed. How Long Does Grass Need to Grow Before You Mow?. If you live in an area that gets very hot summer sun, cutting the grass too short may cause it to turn yellow and die under the sun's heat. Grass should be allowed to grow to one-and-a-half times its recommended height before its first mowing, or about 4 to 5 inches if the recommended height for grass is about 3 inches. How High Should You Set Your Mower Blades? 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