19/05/2014

How often should you cut the grass?

People often ask the question – how often should I cut the grass. The simple answer is there is no right or wrong answer, but rather you should follow some basic lawn care advice.

There is no correct frequency in which to mow your lawn. This all depends on how long you want your grass to be. In the UK people generally cut their grass quite short, however this isn’t always best. 

How often you should cut your grass is actually determined by the rate in which your grass grows. There are three main factors that affect grass growth rate, these are; temperature, water and nutrients. Without any of these three key ingredients your grass would not grow. 

Grass requires a minimum of 6 degrees Celsius to grow and during the winter months grass grows at a much slower pace as the temperature is much lower. During extremely cold winters like the last couple of years in the UK, you may not have needed to mow the lawn at all until mid-spring. 

During the winter it is recommended that you let the grass grow a little longer to help protect it against the elements. Longer grass will protect the ground from frost, pests and diseases. 

If the grass does grow a little longer than you want in the winter, don’t be afraid to cut it. The biggest problem you will face cutting your grass in the winter will be finding suitable conditions to mow your lawn. You should always wait until the soil is dry before mowing your grass and avoid cutting the grass when it is wet. Cutting wet grass may damage your lawn and cause damage to your lawnmower.

Most people will cut the grass for the first time when the weather begins to get warmer, probably around March-April time. The first cut of the season is also probably the most important too. Many people cut their lawn far too short. When cutting your lawn you should follow the one third rule. Never cut more than a third of the blade of grass off in one go. Cutting more than this will stress the grass. You can often tell when the grass has been cut too short as it turns yellow or brown. This is often referred to as scalping. To avoid this you should change the cutting height of your lawnmower. 

To achieve the length of grass you want you may need to cut your lawn over a number of weeks, gradually decreasing the cutting height to the length you require. 

During March to June you may only need to cut the lawn once a month, but as the weather gets warmer and you reach July, you may need to cut the grass once a week to keep the grass the length you want it to be.
During periods of drought you may want to limit the amount you cut the grass. Water is essential for healthy grass growth and without it the grass won’t grow. The benefit of letting the grass grow longer in extremely hot conditions is that longer grass blades offer the soil protection from the sunlight. This prevents evaporation of the water from the soil allowing the grass to use it instead.

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