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Are you a novice attending to your lawn? Is it for the first time that you have a lawn to maintain? Are you plagued by questions like how often should you mow your lawn? or what should you do to keep your lawn lush and healthy?
If you would like to understand the small nuances of lawn maintenance that help you enjoy a stunning landscape with a reduction in your efforts, then you are at the right place. Read through the lawn care tips mentioned below to make the best out of your lot.
Table of Contents
How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?
Though most experts recommend mowing your lawn at the frequency of once per week, this is a broad generalization and may not suit your lot. Equate it to your frequency to have a haircut. Every person has a different period for this, and so is the case with your lawn!
Firstly, decide on the length of grass you want on your lawn. Let that be the decider. If you want shallow grass level, you may need to mow frequently; else you are fine doing it once in 10 days. Some mow lawn every two weeks and do merely fine.
Also, do not cut off more than one-third of the length of the blade. So, this is the ideal length to stimulate growth, and more cutting will damage your lawn.
Long Shoot, Long Root
Are you happy with the thickness and quality of the grass? Would you like it to be more luscious? Do you have the problem of weeds destroying the lawn? How often should you mow your lawn under these conditions? In all these cases, please let the grass grow in length. It may be uneven and not fair to look at initially, but this is recommended for many reasons.
Firstly, longer shoots suggest longer roots for the grass. Longer roots mean the grass can reach out deep below for its nutrients and water. It also means that it is rigidly fixed and is not easily uprooted, and will mature with time.
Secondly, longer grass means larger blades that are exposed to sunlight. They will produce more food through photosynthesis and the nutrients they get from the soil and grow more. Usually, this implies that if you wait, the grass’s growth will happen faster with time.
Thirdly, long roots reach down below for nutrients, and you need not provide added supplements like fertilizers, and it even demands lesser watering.
Fourthly, longer shoots do not allow weeds to grow as the latter are not able to compete with the former for nutrients and sunlight. So, you resolve your weed problem too.
All in all, allowing the grass to grow makes your lawn resistant to many stresses like variations in temperature, climate, wind, water conditions and matures it. Hence, they get sturdier and more resilient. You could mow the lawn once a month or longer, depending on the condition of your lot.
Mow Lawn Once A Month
Yes, there are instances where you need to mow only once a month, even after having the lawn of your choice. If you are one who likes to have your lawn interspersed by some wildflowers of different colors, then again, you should mow your lawn once a month.
Accordingly, this allows for more nectar formation, more bee and insect mediated cross-pollination, and a variety of foliage bejewelling your lawn.
Mow Lawn Once A Week
Does frequent mowing thicken grass? There is truth in this statement as well, and you need to decide what works well for your lawn. Frequent mowing thickens grass by not allowing one part of the lawn to overgrow the other scantier part. It promotes uniform growth by allowing all lawn parts to get equal exposure to sunlight, nutrients, and water.
Grass blades stop growing after a particular length. Scientists suggest that grass blades’ tips have hormones or chemicals that inhibit the shoot from growing further. Going by this philosophy, trimming the grass’s tips, not more than one-third of its length, removes these inhibitors from the system and stimulates growth.
Mow the lawn once a week and keep it free from rodents, pests, and unwanted creatures.
Lawn Mowing for Beginners
The question often plagues beginners – how often should you mow your lawn? Are you doing it right? How healthy is your lot? Well, you cannot get everything right on the first go.
You learn every time you trim your lawn and see how the grass responds. See how your lawn is doing in the climate, with watering frequency, etc. It is learning on the job. However, there are few places you cannot go wrong by following these lawn mowing techniques.
Choosing The Mower
Beginners need to be extremely careful with the choice of the tool. With the right tool, lawn mowing for beginners will be an enjoyable task compared to when you pick a lousy tool that destroys your learning experience.
With a smaller lot, you have a valid choice of both gas and electric lawnmowers. The electric one may be the right choice as it is easier to charge and use and is eco-friendly with less noise and air pollution.
For a more considerable lot, however, you can choose from a wide range of gas-run mowers, which also come in self-propelled and riding on varieties. Try a friend’s product if you can before you invest in one. But read through a useful review and buyer guide to help you pick the specifications and brands as per the terrain and nature of your lot.
Mow when the grass is dry. Do not do it in the early morning when the grass is wet with the dew or if you have just watered the lot. Wait for the lawn to dry up. It will make your task more manageable, and you will get a better-trimmed lawn.
Lawn mowing for beginners may not be intuitive, and you can stick to a schedule of, say, once a week when the weather is wet or humid and once in 2 weeks in dry weather. Later on, this will become intuitive when you get the hang of it.
How often should you mow your lawn should be determined by the height of the grass you need. Longer grass blades help develop better roots, while shorter blades stimulate growth and prevent pests and insects.
Ideally, keep a height of 2.5 to 3.5-inches to get the best of both worlds. In any condition, do not cut more than one-third of the grass blade at one go. Else, you damage the grass.
In shady areas, keep the grass slightly longer than the other areas. Shady areas like under trees have lesser access to sunlight compared to the different areas that are exposed in an unhindered fashion. You need to do this to ensure that you are giving equal opportunity to the grass throughout the lawn to ensure that finally, they are all of the same lengths.
Trimming Your Lawn
Ensure that you have the facility to do grass mulching in your lawnmower, whether inherent to it or as an additional accessory. Mulching stimulates grass growth and is highly recommended as part of trimming.
Grass clippings are good fertilizers and help to trap moisture, especially in the dry seasons. Use your bagged clippings also as a fertilizer; it helps the grass and the environment.
Also, keep the blade sharp and keep a watch for dulling of your blade. A dull blade not only gives terrible results but also damages your lawn. Again, this is in addition to increasing the time, energy, and money for cutting the grass.
Please wear protective gear like clothing to cover your whole body, no free-flowing clothes, boots, gloves, goggles, etc., to save yourself from any harm. Lawnmowers are professional-grade tools, and they deserve to be given the due. Manufacturers explicitly mention the precautions to be taken in their operator manual; please follow them seriously.
Many also recommend wearing protective ear gear as these tools often produce high decibel sounds that damage your hearing in the long run. Many also wear masks to save themselves from harmful emissions. It is due to these reasons that many of the operators prefer electric or battery-operated lawn mowers wherever possible to save themselves and the environment from noise and air pollution.
Focussing on how often you should mow your lawn, do not forget this vital part of the process. Your job is only as good or bad as your equipment, for starters, and you should not neglect to maintain the equipment.
Maintenance tips are given in the operator manual; follow them correctly. Service your equipment at the recommended frequency. Change the oil, check the blade for dulling, clear the grass stuck at the bottom of the mower, check the gas tank once you are done with the job. Normally, this will save time for the next use and increase the performance and life of your equipment.
Store your device in a dedicated place with adequate space in the surrounding and protect from rodents, waterlogging, etc. Keep it away from the reach of your pets and children.
Watering Your Lawn
How often should you water your lawn? Watering your lawn is dependent on the weather and season. In dry weather, you may need to be watering your lawn more than twice a week; at other times, even once a week may suffice. The average frequency is about once or twice a week for moderate weather.
Do not water your lawn when it is too sunny, as the water will evaporate before being able to seep into the ground—watering your lawn in the early morning before the overhead sun is a decent time.
However, evening time is the best time as it gives the water overnight time to seep into the ground. The lawn gets enough time to soak in the water to reach its roots thoroughly.
Your lawn needs about an inch to an inch and a half of water level every week. Moreover, this could be from your irrigation or rainfall. While watering your lawn, soak until about 8 inches of the grass is wet.
Pro Way to Mow
How to mow a lawn professionally? Who does not like to do a job with finesse and expertise? What are the lawn mowing techniques that the pros use? Here we are giving you a glimpse into some of these tips.
- Keep changing the route of mowing for a particular patch. It means if you have cut the grass in one direction for one stretch of your lawn this time, change the direction by 90-degrees the next time you mow that patch. Moreover, this allows the grass to stand straight and allows for better cutting.
- The trick to getting stripes on your lawn is to use a lawn stripper kit. The lawn stripes are due to the sunlight reflected in different directions. You can keep the grass taller in one strip as compared to the ones adjacent to it. Moreover, this will give a darker look to the taller strip of grass.
- Mowing in the morning after the dew has dried you a clear vision in sunlight and helps you know the grass’s direction while cutting along with the length and other features.
- Trim after mowing will help you use the grass height after mowing to decide the trimming height for the edges. Gas and electric trimmers and separate trimming attachments are available to do the edge trimming for you.
- Some people use bricks or stones to demarcate the lawn. In these cases, you do not need to trim the edges separately. You simply roll the mower wheel along the edge for cutting and trimming.
- Follow this up with a leaf blower to blowback all the leaves into the lawn to act as a natural mulch and give it that natural look.
- Edge, mow, trim, and blow – this is your mantra on how to mow a lawn professionally.
Lawn Mowing Service
How often should you mow your lawn? If you are not one to invest your time in this activity and prefer to outsource it to lawn mowing services, then your service provider will help you decide the right answer to this question.
Mowing the lawn yourself is a cheaper option, even after accounting for the money invested in the mower and gas. But if you can afford to use lawn mowing service, then you are in for a professional-looking landscape at all times if you engage a professional group.
Lawn mowing services charge per visit, the services you avail like trimming, blowing, etc., and the size and nature of your landscape. Most lawn mowing services include mowing, trimming, edging, removal of debris and twigs, including blowing leaves to give you a professional-looking lawn.
In addition to the per visit charge, lawn mowing service charges could be per hour of mowing, per acre, or square foot of mowing. Additional services like weeding, pesticide or fertilizer treatment, aeration, insect/pest/rodent control, watering will cost you the extra buck.
For an average residential lawn, a single visit could cost about $125 to 150 but can go up to $200 to $400 depending on additional services and size of the lawn.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How often should you mow your lawn in winter?
Before the start of winter, trim the grass to keep a height of about 2-inches. Subsequently, this will prevent damage to the lawn by the snow and protect against snow mold. But ensure that you do not cut it to this length in one go. Remember, the ideal cutting length is not more than one-third of the grass blade length.
Depending on the grass’s speed, you will need to mow your lawn in winter. Let the grass grow to a height of about 5-inches or till the time it is growing straight. You should not wait for it to start tipping and bending as it makes mowing and trimming more difficult. Bending and shading of the grass also invite diseases by reducing the sunlight and harboring pests and insects.
So, you should mow your lawn in winter once every three to five weeks, depending on the length and manner of growth.
How often should you mow your lawn in summer?
Summer is the time the grass grows at a high rate. There are ample sunshine and a good climate for the growth of foliage throughout. After the harsh winter, grass often shows a growth spurt in the early part of summer. Frequently, this suggests that you should mow your lawn more frequently.
Summer is the onset of a warm climate, and the grass and soil dry up faster. Longer shoots mean longer roots, which enable the grass to soak in more water, retain the same, and utilize sources at a deeper level of the soil. So, you could increase the length of the grass to 3 to 3.5-inches for the summer months.
The one-third rule for trimming grass holds good in any season, so you cannot cut more than one-third of the blade length in one go. Depending on how fast the grass on your lawn is growing and the grass’s length, you will need to mow your lawn in summer once a week to once in two weeks.
How often should you mow your lawn in the fall?
Fall is again the time of the year when it is cooler, and the growth metabolism of the grass goes down substantially. Furthermore, the length of the grass and the growth rate determine the frequency of mowing the lawn.
At some places, the grass almost stops growing and reaches a state of hibernation. In such cases, you do not need to worry about trimming and mowing your lawn. You can safely wait till spring until the growing season begins again. This situation is especially true for places that are extremely cold with or without snowfall.
In such cases, depending on your lawn, you may need to mow it once every four to six weeks, if at all. The deciding factor is the moment you feel the grass will tip over itself and stop growing straight.
How many times do you mow your lawn in a year?
It is clear from the above discussion that the frequency of mowing your lawn varies with the seasons, in addition to the length of the grass and your choice of the grass length. Seasonal variations cause the mowing frequency to alter from once a week to once in a month to less than that.
On average, one can say that a regular lawn needs anywhere between 20 to 30 mowing cycles per year. Generally, this could increase to up to 35 cycles in case there are long summer months.
How long should you wait before cutting the new lawn for the first time?
Newly laid grass takes its time to catch roots. Remember the rule of longer roots for longer shoots. So, for a newly laid lawn, wait till the grass grows a height of at least 3.5-inches. Further, this ensures that the roots are slightly longer and have gained a firm grip on the soil.
Growing to this height may take up to 8 weeks in a newly laid lawn, and you should wait patiently and not jump to conclusions that there is something wrong with your lawn. You should water it adequately and keep it healthy to allow a proper root system before trimming it.
Also, let the grass clippings remain in the lawn as it provides nutrition to the lawn. Avoid waiting till the grass bends over.
Mowing your lawn and maintaining it may seem to be a daunting task. But like any skill set that needs to be developed and honed, lawn mowing and maintenance also gets easier on the go. The more you are tuned in to the needs of your lawn and understand how it responds to your trimming, mowing, and water activities, the faster you will be able to enjoy a good landscape.
The climate and weather changes, the nature of the soil, wind, shade and sunlight zones, and several other factors decide how often you should mow your lawn. Make use of the information and insights provided by the above guide to help you tend better for that professional-looking landscape.