How often to mow your lawn is a question that many have asked over the years and the answers vary depending on several factors. Sure, if everyone lived in the same climate and grew the same type of grass, this may be easier to answer. But of course, that is not the case.
The most common answer is to mow your lawn once a week. However, if your grass grows faster than others or if you get more rain than usual, you may need to mow twice a week. And some people may only have to mow every other week. Let’s look at some of the factors that go into this question.
There are many things to consider when deciding how often to mow your lawn. Some of these include what type of grass you have, how long you want your lawn to be, the time of year, your climate, and how much it has rained lately.
What Type of Grass Do You Have?
Many people have no idea what kind of grass they have. In fact, most lawns have a mix of different types of grasses. But the general rule is that warm-season grasses are most often found in the southern United States while cool-season grasses are more often found in the northern states. Check the Scotts grass identifier to help figure out what type of grass you are growing.
How Long Do You Want Your Lawn to Be?
Your preference can have something to do with how often you mow the lawn as well. Do you like your grass really short or longer than most? Experts say that mowing your lawn too short is not good for it. Here are some recommended heights for different types of grass.
|Type of Grass||Recommended Height|
|Hybrid Bermuda Grass, Bentgrass||1/2 to 1 inch|
|Common Bermuda Grass||3/4 to 2-1/2 inches|
|Zoysia Grass, St. Augustine Grass, Centipede Grass||3/4 to 3 inches|
|Ryegrass, Kikuyu Grass||1-1/2 to 2 inches|
|Fine Fescue||1-1/2 to 4 inches|
|Kentucky Blue Grass||3/4 to 3-1/2 inches|
|Tall Fescue, Buffalo Grass, Blue Grama, and Bahia Grass||1-1/2 to 4 inches|
Different Seasons Mean Different Schedules
Did you know that there are warm and cool-season grasses? Yes, some types of grass grow better in cooler weather such as the spring and fall while others thrive in the hot weather months like July and August. Here are some of the different varieties of each.
Warm-season grasses include:
- Blue Grama
Cool-season grasses include:
- Kentucky Bluegrass
What Climate Do You Live In?
Those who live in the southern states like Florida, Louisiana, and Texas may have to mow more often since it gets warmer and grass grows more. However, this can also depend on the type of grass you have (see above). Here are some tips to remember:
- Let your grass grow taller during droughts
- Cut your warm-season grass shorter in the spring
- If you live in an area where it snows, cut your cool-season grass shorter in the fall to prevent mold from snow
- Let shady grass grow taller than the grass that gets a lot of sunlight
Has it Rained a Lot Lately?
You may already know that it is best to let your grass grow longer when the conditions are dry, but what about when you get a lot of rain? Well, rain makes grass grow so, obviously, you are going to need to mow it more at that time. The best way to figure it out is to look at it. If it looks like it is getting too long, give it a mow.
The One-Third Rule
You may have heard about the one-third rule for cutting your lawn. Or maybe not. The rule is that you should never cut more than one-third of your grass at one time. So, if you have been away or just have not had the time to mow the lawn and it is five inches high, you may be tempted to go out and cut away two or three inches.
Don’t do it! The healthiest part of your grass is the top half of the blade. Cutting off too much grass at one time takes the main food-producing parts of the grass. Your lawn is likely to turn brown and die if you cut off more than one-third. Your grass may also go into shock, causing it to die off earlier than usual. It will also be more susceptible to heat, drought, and weeds.
Bag Them or Leave Them
Do you leave your grass clippings on the lawn or bag them? This is one of the most arguable issues about lawn mowing. Many say that you should bag the clippings and add them to the compost pile or worse, throw them out. However, those grass clippings are the perfect food for your lawn. Why would you want to throw it away?
Grass clippings have tons of nutrients like potassium and nitrogen, which your lawn needs. You may be buying fertilizer for your lawn, but you should just leave the clippings lay where they fall for instant fertilizations. Not to mention that it means less work for you.
The typical rule for grass clippings is that if they are an inch or less, leave them lay. For more than an inch, toss them into the compost to use for mulch. Also, if your lawn is wet, the clippings may stick together and smother the grass. Toss that in the compost pile as well. The clippings can even help improve soil that is heavy clay or too sandy.
A Few Words About Mulch and Compost Bins
Why go out and buy mulch when you can make your own for free? Mulch is good for keeping the soil temperatures stable, conserving moisture, reducing weeds, and providing nutrients. You can use it in the garden, around your flowers, and on your lawn. You can make your own compost pile easily.
Some people get really elaborate and make or buy fancy compost bins or containers. You do not have to do that. You can use wire mesh for a simple and affordable way to save that mulch. Gather these materials first:
- 10 to 12 feet of wire mesh or fencing
- Wire cutters
- Zip ties or wire
Once you have all of that, just roll the mesh into a circle and use the wire or zip ties to hold the ends together. The gloves will keep you from scratching or cutting your hands on the wire and the wire cutters may be needed to snip the wire. After attaching a few zip ties or wires to the ends, stand it up and start filling it up.
You Can Toss in All Sorts of Things
You can put more than just grass clippings in your compost bin though. Toss in fruit and vegetable scraps, garden scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, tea bags, and all kinds of other kitchen waste. As long as it is organic, you can throw it in the compost bin.
You can also toss those leaves in the compost bin during the fall. And any small weeds or overgrowth that you accumulated during the fall and winter can go in there too. But do not forget to turn the compost often. About once a month, turn the material by scooping the middle to the outer edges and vice versa.
You probably do not have to mow your lawn at all during the fall and winter in many states. Although some people in the extreme southern states may be mowing all year long. There are many factors to consider. But just make sure you do not cut it too short and remember the one-third rule.