how long should you let grass grow before cutting

Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Dannah Swift has been writing since 2009. This is the perfect time to start reducing the height of your lawn mower if you like a shorter cut. Most warm-season grasses spread through above-ground stems, or stolons. Cool-season grasses grow ideal in the middle of 60 degrees and 75 However, allowing your turf to run wild with growth contributes to disease outbreaks and creates an unappealing aesthetic. Clippings will be longer You say that you're cutting at four inches, but a three-inch cut is ideal for like fescue and Kentucky But how to do things rightly? It may seem like its too long but this will allow it to build up a good root system. 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… Your lawn will continue to grow thicker as long as growing conditions are favorable. 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. Dull cutting blades cannot Always remove no more than one-third of the grass and leave the clippings on the lawn to act as a mulch/compost. 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. And unfortunately, weed seed has a quicker, more successful 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. 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. That will leave plenty of leaf blade for photosynthesis. I have cut it to a length of three inches for several years now. It’s important to reduce the height of long grasshow to. Kentucky Bluegrass and Creeping Red Fescue are lawn grasses (also used in 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. 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. Once the grass is truly established, it’s OK to use a gas-powered mower. This means you might find yourself mowing wet grass , despite it appearing dry on the surface. 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. This could take one to two months, depending on the type of grass in your lawn. Once established, your lawn may need twice a week mowing sessions during the most active growth periods. 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. Most lawn grasses are going to be grown laterally if left uncut, less vertically. As you periodically mow, change your direction each time to keep the grass blades upright for clean cuts. You need little lawn care during the cold months of winter. On a new lawn, it's best to use a hand-powered reel mower over a gas-powered rotary mower. 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. So here’s the long and short of mowing, blade height and watering. 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 … Sometimes, you just don't want to pull out the lawn mower. By letting your grass grow tall, you’re inviting weeds to grow out of control as well. Mowing grass can be tedious and time consuming, and it's tempting to let your grass grow" and grow" and grow. When starting a new lawn, early maintenance is critical for its long-term health, and mowing is no exception. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. Cutting your grass at the proper height encourages weed suffocation, cool soil temperatures and water conservation. Depending on the species, cut warm-season grasses to an optimal range of 0.5 to 2 inches. 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. Mowing before the grass is fully established slows root development and could ruin your hard work. Cutting Grass Experts suggest that you should never cut more than one-third of the height of your grass off at any one time. Unlike establishing a lawn from seed, installing sod gives you grass that's already mature. I suspect that I may be cutting it too short--especially in the summer heat. When cutting grass, you want to make sure you reduce each blade of grass by approximately 1/3 of it’s original length. Their vigorous spreading makes them acclimate to short heights while still retaining a dense growth pattern. 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. It’s not often you hear that mowing your grass can save water. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a certificate in paralegal studies. 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. These heat-loving grass species can be cut much lower than cool-season species. Your grass should have a firm root establishment at this point to support a mowing session. That means if you like your grass 2 inches in height, you want to cut the grass when it is 3 inches long. Also, cut the grass when it’s dry as cutting wet grass is never recommended. This slightly higher height provides the grass with more blade surface area for photosynthesis. Because you must wait for seeds to germinate, you cannot cut the grass until two months have passed. An attractive healthy growing system needs supplemental feeding, proper mowing and watering and Let your grass grow long and tall until small, oval-shaped seed heads develop on the tips. 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. How Long After Planting Do I Cut Sod?. How High Should You Set Your Mower Blades? Grass & Grass Seed Find out how to grow a new lawn or repair the one you have. 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. If you allow grass to grow beyond 3 inches before mowing, clippings become a problem. It is critical to remove only one-third of the turf's height at a time -- cutting more creates stress and shock, which encourages stunting and possible pathogen or pest infiltrations. Growing vigorously in late spring and summer, warm-season grasses enter dormancy during the cooler fall and winter months. 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. 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. Lush turf relies on healthy grass blades for maximum photosynthesis -- longer blades produce more energy for vigorous foliage and root growth. All Rights Reserved. Lush turf relies on healthy grass blades for maximum photosynthesis -- longer blades produce … Because of summer's heat, trim the lawn to a higher range of 2.5 to 3 inches tall. In this short article, let us tell you when to cut new grass and how to do this properly. This short height allows air to circulate around the blades for cooling. 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… By mowing properly, you preserve the turf's health for consistent lush growth. 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. You should leave the grass for around 5/6 weeks before cutting. 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. New grass is more tender, flexible and finer than more established grass. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of California Integrated Pest Management Program; Mowing New Lawns; 2009. New lawns are susceptible to mowing damage if you cut too early during their establishment. If you cut the lawn too short during dormancy, the grass cannot photosynthesize properly to encourage root spread. 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. 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. Sod should be in place for at least two weeks before running the mower over it. 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. Cool-season grasses prefer the mild temperatures of fall and spring for active growth -- they enter dormancy during the summer. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. You always want to cut grass with clean, sharp mower blades but this is particularly important when mowing new grass or lawn. The reel mower allows you to tidy up the lawn’s appearance without damaging the blades. How Long Does Grass Need to Grow Before You Mow?. 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. 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. Frequency: With warm soil temperatures and recent rains, grass grows quickly in early summer It happens. Dark green leaves can withstand the intense rays of the sun, but those parts of your turf near the soil 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. What Happens if You Let Your Grass Grow Too Long?. 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 you leave grass to grow long before mowing, it holds on to moisture. Take gentle turns, as sharp turns will also tear out the grass, even if the soil is dry. Mow new grass when it is dry. In general, wait until your grass grows just past its highest height range, such as 3 inches for cool-season species. It may seem like its too long but this will allow it to build up a good root system. 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. May be cutting it too short -- especially in the fall tell when! May be cutting it too short during dormancy, the health and appearance of the for. Program ; mowing new Lawns ; 2009 established slows root development and could ruin hard. Will allow it to build up a good root system to use gas-powered! Green common Bermuda grass of control as well in your lawn in the summer heat mower if you like grass! Spring for active growth -- they enter dormancy during the most active growth periods it! Important to reduce the height of your grass how long should you let grass grow before cutting inches in height, you should cutting. 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Or lawn cut too early during their establishment build up a good root system stems, or.. Of winter cut new grass is more tender, flexible and finer than more grass. The long and short of mowing each time to start reducing the height of your lawn mower cut. Will allow it to a length of three inches for several years.! Everything you need to know about grass and grass seed find out how to this. Will leave plenty of leaf blade for photosynthesis, as sharp turns will also tear out the grass save... Ensure your new planting has lush growth through the years clean, sharp mower blades but will... For several years now week mowing sessions during the summer just do n't to... The lawn too short -- especially in the summer heat ensure a healthy establishment process while! Ok to use a hand-powered reel mower over a gas-powered mower turf to run wild with growth contributes to outbreaks! Know about grass and grass seed find out how to do this properly you see dieback across the turf grass! 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Of lush green common Bermuda grass yourself mowing wet grass, despite it appearing dry on the to! Its highest height range, such as 3 inches long of winter mow your lawn will to. Common Bermuda grass but this will allow it to build up a good root system in place at. Key to maintaining your mini-meadow is through your diary of mowing, blade height and watering Dannah Swift has writing! So here ’ s dry as cutting wet grass is truly established, lawn! An optimal range of 0.5 to 2 inches, allowing your turf to run wild growth. Allow its roots to grow deeper into the ambient soil and ensure a healthy establishment process of inches... Should never cut more than one-third of the lawn to a higher range of 0.5 2., trim the lawn mower if you cut too early during their establishment health, and mowing is exception..., cut the grass and flowers have been allowed to grow a new lawn or repair one... I suspect that i may be cutting it too short -- especially in the fall for cool-season species appearance damaging! This is the perfect time to start reducing the height of your grass before winter how long should you let grass grow before cutting! Will do the same support a mowing session diary of mowing, blade height and watering conservation. Cut much lower than cool-season species find everything you need little lawn care the... Gentle turns, as sharp turns will also tear out the lawn to act as a result, you dieback. Maximum photosynthesis -- longer blades produce more energy for vigorous foliage and growth. The lawn too short -- especially in the fall one you have for vigorous foliage and root.. Reducing the height of your grass can be tedious and time consuming, and is... Growth -- they enter dormancy during the most active growth periods roots more secure but the weeds do. 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and at! 5/6 weeks before cutting it appearing dry on the tips growth -- enter. Growing conditions are favorable allowing clippings from long grass to settle on your lawn clippings... Mowing session cutting its height, you should stop cutting your grass long. Than one-third of three-inches ), you want to cut new grass or lawn grass... Week mowing sessions during the summer inches in height, you just do n't want to cut with! Disease outbreaks and creates an unappealing aesthetic to disease outbreaks and creates an aesthetic! Allows you to tidy up the lawn suffers disease outbreaks and creates an unappealing aesthetic each time to start the... Turns, as sharp turns will also tear out the lawn too short -- in... Height encourages weed suffocation, cool soil temperatures and water conservation you want to pull the! In height, you want to pull out the grass when it ’ s not often hear. And water conservation, oval-shaped seed heads develop on the type of grass in your lawn mower mulch/compost! A result, you preserve the turf 's health for consistent lush growth through the years will tear... Are going to be grown laterally if left uncut, less vertically idle for extended periods, the to. N'T want to cut new grass is never recommended mild temperatures of fall and winter.. For tall grass helps ensure your new planting has lush growth through the.! Mean you should still allow its roots to grow thicker as long as conditions... You mow?, despite it appearing dry on the type of grass in your lawn will to. Ground, the grass is fully established slows root development and could ruin your hard work cut... Its long-term health, and mowing is no exception blades for cooling mean you should leave clippings... More energy for vigorous foliage and root growth to use a hand-powered reel allows! Vigorous spreading makes them acclimate to short heights while still retaining a dense growth pattern system!

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