Mowing your lawn is an essential part of keeping it looking happy and healthy. When it comes to how often you should mow, there are several factors that will play into your mowing schedule. Consistency will be key.
The most important thing to remember with mowing is that “how often” isn’t as important as “how much” grass you cut. Improper mowing can lead to brown spots, weak roots, and burnt grass. Below are important points to consider when asking “How often should I mow my lawn?”
How Much Should I Cut
The lawn care experts at Timberline Landscaping recommend never taking off more than 1/3 of the grass’ length during a single mow. When too much grass is removed at a single time, the grass is much more likely to brown. This happens because the lower part of the grass is shaded and almost white in color when the grass is long. If cut too short, the tender part of the grass blade is exposed to the sun and burns easily.
Grass can get smothered and/or grow mold when a significant length is cut off all at once. The cut blades will accumulate on the newly cut grass surface and can stunt its growth. When the grass is stressed or burnt, weeds are more likely to invade.
Remember, different types of grasses have different optimal lengths. That being said, you can keep your grass longer or shorter if mowing is done correctly.
For Longer Grass:
It is easier to maintain grass that is longer because the blade’s roots will be well established and grow deeper. Make sure you don’t let the grass get too long. Sticking to a schedule while mowing more often during the grass’ growing season will help you maintain long and lush grass. If you do miss a scheduled mowing and allow the grass get too long, remember to not take more than 1/3 of the length off in a single cutting. Mow more often (as much as twice per week) while lowering the mowers blades incrementally to get it back to the optimal length.
For Shorter Grass:
You have to do some extra preparation if you want to maintain shorter grass. Short grass will need to be mowed often, especially in the peak growing season.
It is important that the length is taken off gradually to keep your grass from going into shock or burning. Even if you follow all of these steps, grass that is cut TOO short is not good. It can lead to weak roots and bare patches. If you do accidentally cut your grass too short, water and fertilize it to encourage growth and minimize the damage. Cycle and soak irrigation can help prevent water from evaporating and increase water absorption.
The most common lawn grass in Colorado Springs is Kentucky Bluegrass. Kentucky Bluegrass is a cool-season grass. Living in Colorado, this is most likely your lawn type.
This grass thrives at 3 ½ inches tall and should not be cut shorter than 2 ½ inches. The shorter the grass is cut, the more the roots will shrink causing the grass to be less stress-tolerant and need more water.
When to Mow
Having a schedule for mowing your lawn encourages your grass to be healthy and green. You’ll want to mow your grass more often during its growing season with the average being about once per week depending on the type of grass.
Cool season grass’ growing season is during spring and fall. Frequency will also depend on how much your lawn is watered or how much rain you are getting and how often you fertilize it. Make sure you adjust your mowing schedule based on rainfall as well.
Avoid mowing your lawn when it is wet because it could damage your mower and cause bare spots.
Common Problems Caused by Improper Mowing
If your grass looks unhealthy after cutting it:
- The blade setting on your mower could be too low causing scalping that exposes the crown and soil to excess heat
- Your mower blades may be dull causing a tattered leaf or yellow appearance
- You may be letting your grass get too long before cutting it causing the leaf blade to become bleached
Mowing your lawn properly requires attentiveness and planning. Done properly, you can achieve a lush and beautiful lawn that looks healthy. Mowing is just one piece of the lawn care pie, but our lawn care experts know Colorado’s soil, common lawn problems, and specialize in plant health care. Contact us today!
Learn more about winter lawn care.