Contact Clippings

  • Email Grass Clippings - Email the Grass Clippings Team

    Telephone: 0871 234 3480

    Fax: 0871 234 3481

    GMT Office Hours Only

Our Details

Our Partners

« How to cure your dog from burning the lawn with Urine | Main | Get turfcare qualifications on line »

When should I cut my grass?

First_cut_of_the_lawnWe have been noticing on our search stats that a lot of the queries relate to the timing of the first grass cut of the season.

I am not sure if the searcher is actually expecting to get a result with a specific date when the lawn comes to life. The answer to the question is - There is no set time or defining moment when you need to get onto your lawn.

No two lawns are the same and no two gardens, even if they are side by side, are the same so it follows that any advice given here may well be appropriate for one lawn owner and not for the next.

To circumnavigate the question slightly, it is probably best to give a little check list of what to look for and how to gauge the timing.

Grass will grow all through the year and that includes the winter. The severity of the winter and the temperature will dictate the rate of growth and it naturally follows that temperatures of below freezing for a prolonged period will determine pretty much zero growth whilst temperatures in January of double digit numbers will see the leaf blade shrug off the winter blues and add a little growth.

You will really have to be the judge and jury. The general advice, and this is still determined and influenced by many factors, is if you decide to set your winter grass length at 25-40mm and the grass grows beyond the limits that you have set, then the grass can be cut.

Avoid cutting in the winter if the surface is either saturated or frozen but after a decent drying day it is safe to run the mower over the lawn.

Never take more than one third of the leaf blade at any one time (good advice that is relevant at any time of the year) and if for any reason the grass gets away a bit then take two or more cuts, reducing the height each time, until you are back to the required length.

Certainly cutting the grass frequently will remove any dangers of shock later in the season. I have been witness to many a distressed lawn in the spring time when the owner has decided to take all 8 inches of growth off in one foul swoop.

The dangers of cutting so much off in one go are several. Firstly, a shocked grass plant will spend a period of convalescence and become insular as it recovers. In this time, moss, weeds and undesirable grass species may infiltrate and start to colonise leading to competition and eventual exclusion of the desired grass.

In turn, you will probably be faced with an expensive over seeding or turfing exercise to get your garden back on the right track.

The old saying, 'a stitch in time, saves nine' is probably a good one so little and often and before it becomes a problem are good rules.

Enjoy your lawn and have a good season.

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83536153e69e200e5500cd12b8834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference When should I cut my grass?:

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

roybert

This year I will be making the first cut in Feb as the grass has grown in patches so plan to just trim.

Thanks for the great piece of sharing. I have already bookmarked your blog for future references.

Tom

I know this is old and I search on google i found your site.

I am from NY and plan to cut my grass this weekend not sure is safe or not. The reason i want to cut the grass because i want to spread crabgrass preventer. The temperature is around 50 degree. Do you think its safe to cut?

Reply - thanks for your reply. Mow it now, but not too low first mowing session. Good luck!

clare wright

hi i rotavated and completely started again with my lawn a year ago last september, i used seed without rye grass, this will be the second spring and it is really lumpy and a bit dry looking in patches, allot of looks as though it has died, i dont want to have to start over , how do i get it to being a lovely lawn and how do i get the bumps out?????

Reply - The autumn and winter has been quite dry and worm casts may be causing the bumps. I would search the blog and type in 'Lawn Renovation' and read a technical post that starts 'I am often asked by clients...' and follow the flow chart of the lawn renovation process.

golf course fertilizer runoff

I suggest you cut the grass once a week.

Reply - yes, we agree!

Dan

Cut it only on a thursday at 10:17am

Reply - thanks for your comments - glad you noted the precise time!

John Nelson

I recently had the lawn returfed about one month ago. It is getting quite long but I am reluctant to cut it until I get a completely dry day. Any ideas or comments.

Reply - pick a nice windy day. No more than 25% of the growth off in any one mowing session. You could try just taking the tip off and them do it again in a few days after. Just remember to keep it cut if conditions permit throughout the autumn - spring. It will not stop growing!

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear on this weblog until the author has approved them.

If you have a TypeKey or TypePad account, please Sign In.

Lawn Technical Pages

Common Lawn Problems

Buy Lawn Products

Other Gardening Sites

Weed Control

  • Weed Free Contract Pesticide Application Services and Weed Control in Amenity Turf

    The Lawn Company Professional Lawn Care Treatments, Lawn Care Products and Advice

Turf Industry Sites

Weather

  • Metcheck - detailed UK weather including seven day forecasts

    Met Office - UK Meteorological services