When should you cut your grass?

gardener mowing a lawn

Mowing is something every lawn needs in order to stay healthy and presentable. It is the most important lawn maintenance task there is. And choosing when to start mowing your lawn can make a huge difference on your garden’s overall appearance.

It’s also essential you choose the right time of day to do the mowing. Otherwise, you might be left with some sub-par results.

When to mow your lawn depending on the season

Mowing is normally performed between March and October, however, depending on the weather (whether it’s mild), might continue throughout winter as well. Yet, bear in mind the starting date for mowing will depend on local conditions and won’t always start in March.

Perform the first grass cut of the year in spring, around mid-March. From there on, mow the lawn at least once every week.

Try to keep your grass’ height the same all throughout spring. For most lawns the ideal height would be 2.5-4cm (1-1.5in). However, for those that take a lot of wear and tear, strive to keep their grass raised at around 5cm (2in) in height. If a part of your lawn is covered by shade, maintain the grass at a height of 7.5cm (3in).

Also, avoid mowing your grass too short as that can weaken it and allow weeds and moss to run rampant.

When summer comes creeping in around the corner, double the frequency of your mowing. Mow your lawn bi-weekly(twice a week) on average, only dropping to weekly, during periods of drought. As for the mower settings, raise your mower blades a little during hot weather. Longer grass copes better with drought and keeps its colors more vibrant. It’s also stronger and is less prone to wear and tear.

In weeks of drought nip off only a few stalks of longer grass, to stimulate its growth and to keep it nice and healthy.

With the days growing shorter and temperatures getting colder, grass will begin to grow slower. This means that the lawn will need less mowing, less frequently.

So when autumn comes around, do the same as in spring, mow your lawn, once a week. However, be sure to raise the height of your mower blades as winter approaches. Autumn is usually the season during which you will perform your last cut.

Mowing the lawn in winter isn’t usually necessary unless the weather is warm and the grass still growing. If this is the case, it might need the occasional mow, but only on a high cut setting.

However, avoid doing this if the ground conditions are too soft or frozen. Never mow grass which is wet or frosty, as this can compact the soil and harm your turf. Wait until after the lawn has dried to perform mowing.

What time of day should you mow your lawn?

Opinions on what time of day is best for lawn mowing usually vary, with some saying it doesn’t, matter while others claim it does. There is however an optimal time of day for lawn mowing but it might require you to be more flexible.

To avoid mowing during the wrong time of day, keep on reading!

Avoid early mornings, as this is the worst time of day to mow a lawn.

So if you hate getting up early, you’re in luck! During this time, grass will usually be wet because of morning dew, rain or irrigation, making it hard on your mower to do its job.

Mowing a wet lawn can clog up and damage your mower. It can also cause your grass to tear, leave visible ruts, and compact the soil and believe us that is not something you want.

There’s some debate in the gardening community as to how important it’s to actually choose a particular time of day to mow your lawn.

However, most professional gardeners would agree that between 8 AM and 10 AM is the best time of day to cut your grass. The reason for that being that lawns need time to heal before the evening comes. Grass needs the benefit of the day to dry and heal before dusk settles.

Since mowing your grass in the early morning can damage it and mowing it during the early afternoon can burn it because of all the high temperatures, the ideal time is mid-morning. That is of course if you’re free during that time of day.

Although midday isn’t the most optimal time to mow your lawn, it is generally safe. The main downside of mowing during this time of day is the scorching sun. Aside from causing your t-shirt to stick to your skin, the hot weather can also stress out the turf.

Therefore, if for some reason you decide to mow the lawn at midday, cut no more than the top third of the grass. Cut more and you might expose all the tiny plants your lawn consists of to the unforgiving sun and that isn’t something they’d enjoy.

Another thing to take into account if you’re mowing during midday is that your mower will get extra hot and you might end up burning yourself on it.

Altogether it’s best to avoid cutting your grass in hot weather.

The afternoon is the second-best time of day to mow your lawn.

So if you couldn’t get up between 8 AM and 10 AM to tend your lawn in the morning, now’s your chance. The weather during the late afternoon is still a tad warm but there’s no risk of the sun burning the lawn. It’s also early enough to give your lawn enough time to recover before late evening.

You see lawns are most susceptible to fungal infection attacks after dark, so don’t cut your grass after 6 PM under any circumstances as that will weaken it even further.

Therefore stick to a schedule and try to do all your mowing by 6 PM.

Mowing your lawn super late is the same as mowing it very early, it’s not a good idea. Yes, it’s cooler in the evening compared to midday or the late afternoon, but believe us, mowing your lawn during this time is not worth it.

And just like with the early morning by cutting your grass during this time you risk exposing it to disease and fungal infections.

To top it all off, the grass won’t have enough time to recover before nightfall. So, it’s best you stray away from mowing in the evening.