Always remove no more than one-third of the grass and leave the clippings on the lawn to act as a mulch/compost. What Happens if You Let Your Grass Grow Too Long?. Clippings will be longer 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. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. This is the perfect time to start reducing the height of your lawn mower if you like a shorter cut. Not only would you be letting the grass go to seed, but the weeds will do the same. Find everything you need to know about grass and grass seed at Scotts. When cutting grass, you want to make sure you reduce each blade of grass by approximately 1/3 of it’s original length. 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 you’ve made the first pass, let the grass sit for a few days then mow it again, this time to the recommended height. 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. New grass is more tender, flexible and finer than more established grass. How Long After Planting Do I Cut Sod?. 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. If you allow grass to grow beyond 3 inches before mowing, clippings become a problem. In general, wait until your grass grows just past its highest height range, such as 3 inches for cool-season species. © Copyright 2020 Hearst Communications, Inc. 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. When using a mower to cut grass, it will produce a lot of compaction. When starting a new lawn, early maintenance is critical for its long-term health, and mowing is no exception. 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. She holds a Master of Arts in English literature from the University of New Hampshire and is currently pursuing a certificate in paralegal studies. 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. 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. Cutting your grass at the proper height encourages weed suffocation, cool soil temperatures and water conservation. Allowing clippings from long grass to settle on your lawn causes similar issues to letting grass grow beyond 3 inches. Patiently waiting for tall grass helps ensure your new planting has lush growth through the years. 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. Cutting Grass Experts suggest that you should never cut more than one-third of the height of your grass off at any one time. Mowing before the grass is fully established slows root development and could ruin your hard work. In this short article, let us tell you when to cut new grass and how to do this properly. Take gentle turns, as sharp turns will also tear out the grass, even if the soil is dry. The fescue grass in my yard is not doing well. 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 … Most lawn grasses are going to be grown laterally if left uncut, less vertically. Cool-season grasses prefer the mild temperatures of fall and spring for active growth -- they enter dormancy during the summer. Sod should be in place for at least two weeks before running the mower over it. Frequency: With warm soil temperatures and recent rains, grass grows quickly in early summer 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. When the mower sits idle for extended periods, the health and appearance of the lawn suffers. It may seem like its too long but this will allow it to build up a good root system. 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. 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. She writes about green living, careers and the home garden. 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. This slightly higher height provides the grass with more blade surface area for photosynthesis. 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… Cool-season grasses grow ideal in the middle of 60 degrees and 75 All Rights Reserved. Depending on the species, cut warm-season grasses to an optimal range of 0.5 to 2 inches. Let your grass grow long and tall until small, oval-shaped seed heads develop on the tips. By letting your grass grow tall, you’re inviting weeds to grow out of control as well. Growing vigorously in late spring and summer, warm-season grasses enter dormancy during the cooler fall and winter months. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →, University of California Integrated Pest Management Program; Mowing New Lawns; 2009. Just because the weather is cooler doesn't mean you should stop cutting your grass. It may seem like its too long but this will allow it to build up a good root system. In dry ground, the soil is firmer and the roots more secure. 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. That is why you need to let the grass grow at an ideal height before cutting so that its roots will gain age and strength. I suspect that I may be cutting it too short--especially in the summer heat. Once established, your lawn may need twice a week mowing sessions during the most active growth periods. Most warm-season grasses spread through above-ground stems, or stolons. It’s not often you hear that mowing your grass can save water. That will leave plenty of leaf blade for photosynthesis. 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. 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. On a new lawn, it's best to use a hand-powered reel mower over a gas-powered rotary mower. You should leave the grass for around 5/6 weeks before cutting. You need little lawn care during the cold months of winter. Grass & Grass Seed Find out how to grow a new lawn or repair the one you have. 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. This could take one to two months, depending on the type of grass in your lawn. 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. While cutting its height, you should still allow its roots to grow deeper into the ambient soil and ensure a healthy establishment process. It happens. But how to do things rightly? Her writing has appeared on various websites. 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. 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. Sometimes, you just don't want to pull out the lawn mower. By mowing properly, you preserve the turf's health for consistent lush growth. As you periodically mow, change your direction each time to keep the grass blades upright for clean cuts. Cutting the grass when it’s wet causes it to tear instead of cutting cleanly and this can open the door to … Because of summer's heat, trim the lawn to a higher range of 2.5 to 3 inches tall. Unlike establishing a lawn from seed, installing sod gives you grass that's already mature. 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. There’s a lot of debate about how high to mow your lawn in the fall. 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. 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. Writing professionally since 2010, Amy Rodriguez cultivates successful cacti, succulents, bulbs, carnivorous plants and orchids at home. 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… That all depends on the species of grass you’re referring to. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Lush turf relies on healthy grass blades for maximum photosynthesis -- longer blades produce more energy for vigorous foliage and root growth. 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. When starting a new lawn, early maintenance is critical for its long-term health, and mowing is no exception. Also, cut the grass when it’s dry as cutting wet grass is never recommended. So here’s the long and short of mowing, blade height and watering. These heat-loving grass species can be cut much lower than cool-season species. How Long Does Grass Need to Grow Before You Mow?. 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. New lawns are susceptible to mowing damage if you cut too early during their establishment. Let your grass grow too long between cuttings, and you run the risk of creating an ideal habitat for insects like mosquitoes and critters like voles, mice and snakes. Once the grass and flowers have been allowed to grow, the key to maintaining your mini-meadow is through your diary of mowing. Kentucky Bluegrass and Creeping Red Fescue are lawn grasses (also used in And unfortunately, weed seed has a quicker, more successful 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. Mowing grass can be tedious and time consuming, and it's tempting to let your grass grow" and grow" and grow. However, allowing your turf to run wild with growth contributes to disease outbreaks and creates an unappealing aesthetic. This short height allows air to circulate around the blades for cooling. Grass that's too long is also hard to mow, and the extra-long Lush turf relies on healthy grass blades for maximum photosynthesis -- longer blades produce … 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. Based in Fort Collins, Colo., Dannah Swift has been writing since 2009. How High Should You Set Your Mower Blades? When you leave grass to grow long before mowing, it holds on to moisture. Because you must wait for seeds to germinate, you cannot cut the grass until two months have passed. If you cut the lawn too short during dormancy, the grass cannot photosynthesize properly to encourage root spread. The reel mower allows you to tidy up the lawn’s appearance without damaging the blades. With an electronics degree and more than 10 years of experience, she applies her love of gadgets to the gardening world as she continues her education through college classes and gardening activities. An attractive healthy growing system needs supplemental feeding, proper mowing and watering and Their vigorous spreading makes them acclimate to short heights while still retaining a dense growth pattern. This means you must get it right the last chance you have to cut your grass before winter. Dull cutting blades cannot Dark green leaves can withstand the intense rays of the sun, but those parts of your turf near the soil As a result, you see dieback across the turf as grass succumbs to drought and heat stress. I have cut it to a length of three inches for several years now. Mow new grass when it is dry. 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. It’s important to reduce the height of long grasshow to. Your lawn will continue to grow thicker as long as growing conditions are favorable. 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