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If it’s your first time taking care of a lawn, it can be challenging to know what to do and what to avoid.
One such cause of confusion is knowing how often to mow lawns.
You might think that it’s just grass, so surely, there’s no way you can mess it up, right?
But mowing a lawn is an important practice that directly impacts the grass’ health.
Hence, mowing too often or too rarely can actually make your lawn a hot mess.
Luckily, we’re here to guide you through what you need to know about setting up a mowing schedule.
How Often To Mow Lawns
There is no straightforward answer to the question of how often you should mow a lawn.
After all, this depends on various factors, like what season it is or how quickly the grass grows.
A great place to start is to mow your lawn once every week.
However, you must actively adjust this schedule based on your observations on your grass’ growth patterns.
To know how you can change your mowing schedule to keep your grass in optimal health, simply follow the tips below.
Understand the Rate at Which Your Grass Grows
The frequency with which you mow your lawn can change because different kinds of grass have different growing speeds.
For example, grass can grow faster or slower depending on the season.
Normally, the grass starts growing slower in the winter and picks up again during the spring and summer.
Aside from this, there are seasonal types of grasses.
We have cool-season grasses, which grow faster during colder months and seasons.
On the other hand, warm-season grasses grow faster during the summer.
There are also additional factors that can influence your grass’ growth.
For instance, the use of fertilizers will certainly make grass grow faster than usual.
On the contrary, receiving inadequate water will cause your grass to grow slower, or perhaps not to grow at all.
As you can see, due to the variations that these factors offer, it’s impossible to truly pinpoint what frequency to follow when it comes to mowing your lawn.
Only Cut up to One-Third of the Grass Blade
Although your mowing schedule may change depending on the rate your grass grows, there’s one thing that will remain constant when you mow your lawn.
That is none other than the length you need to cut off from the grass each time you mow the lawn.
The thing is, the grass is healthiest when you only cut or mow one-third of its current height or less at a time.
It ensures that you don’t put stress on the grass, which can stunt its growth.
That usually happens when people cut more than 40 percent of the blade’s current height.
Cutting too much at a time can result in your lawn looking scalped and uneven, with a few bald areas.
In some instances, your grass can look brown because you end up exposing the grass’ brown stem already.
When this happens, you also run the risk of giving weeds a place to thrive on your lawn.
These can effectively steal the nutrients from your grass and cause them to die.
There are grasses, though, that may benefit from scalping at the beginning of the growing season.
This is applicable for Bermuda grass and other similar types, which grow faster when scalped after winter when the weather is starting to get hotter.
However, not all grasses can handle this, so remember to check if it works for your grass.
Additionally, remember to avoid dull lawnmowers when cutting the grass since this may rip the grass rather than cut it properly.
To avoid this problem, it’s best to stick with some of the best lawnmowers for your yard.
Have a Desired Height for the Grasses on Your Lawn
How do you know, though, if it’s time to cut the grass to one-third of its current length?
The answer is, you should set the desired height for your lawn grass.
This way, it’s easy for you to track if they’re already a third higher than they should be; then, you can proceed with cutting the grass.
For instance, if you prefer to keep the grass one inch tall, you can then mow when it reaches 1.5 inches or a bit less.
This way, you’ll be able to deduct almost half an inch from the grass, once again keeping it at your desired height of one inch.
While it’s really up to you how tall you want your grass to be, you can set the New Mexico State University recommendations regarding the desired height for some types of grasses.
The school recommends cool-season grasses, like the Kentucky bluegrass and perennial ryegrass, to be kept at a height of one to three inches.
Meanwhile, the Bermuda grass, a type of warm-season grass, can stay at a height of around 0.5 to 1.5 inches.
Of course, the final say is up to you; after all, you’ll be deciding how you want your lawn to look.
Adjust Your Desired Grass Height if You Feel You Are Mowing Too Frequently or Too Rarely
Your desired grass height indirectly serves as the basis when you will be next mowing the lawn.
After all, it’s when you reach a height 30 percent more than your desired height that you start cutting the lawn.
What you have to note, though, is that setting too short a desired height usually translates to cutting grass more often.
That is because grass growth normally slows down as it gets higher.
Therefore, if your cutting height is too short, it will take a short time for mowing time to arrive.
However, if you raise the cutting height, you can remedy this problem.
Depending on the temperature and other growth factors, you’ll definitely have a longer time in between each mowing session.
It’s important to point out a crucial caveat here, though: regardless of the mowing height, you should never let more than two weeks pass in between cuts.
Doing so may “shock” the grass’ root system when it finally gets cut, leading to its damage.
Mowing your lawn is essential in keeping the grass healthy, beautiful, and free from weeds.
While it may sound like an easy, straightforward task at first, there’s more to lawn mowing than you might think.
That’s exactly why it’s important to know how often to mow lawns.
If you can follow the schedule that works best for your grass, you’ll definitely see your lawn thrive and remain beautiful regardless of the season.