How Often to Mow Lawn? A Guide of Lawn Mowing Frequency in Different Seasons

Lawn Mowing Frequency

The first thing you need to know as it relates to mowing your lawn during different times of the year is… how often should I mow the lawn? There’s no clear-cut answer to this question. It’s more of a gauge/guesstimate. And, several variables will also dictate how much you’re going to have to mow your lawn. For example,

• The temperature/region you live in • The desired height (what you like) • Frost, snow, cold conditions • Lack of water/sunlight; and, other factors, will dictate your mowing frequency.

So, lets breakdown the seasons, and some important factors that will dictate how often you’re going to mow your lawn at different stages of the year.

1. How often to mow the lawn in winter?

40 degrees F or less, your lawn isn’t growingMany people love the winter because they don’t mow the lawn at all. When temperatures hit 40 degrees F or less, your lawn isn’t growing. Then there are those regions where the Winter doesn’t affect the weather much; in areas where it’s 120 degrees F or more, grass also stops growing. So, there are two extremes here, depending on which hemisphere (or even what half of the country you live in).

When might grass grow in colder temperatures?

It’s infrequent, to say the least; but, if you live in a region where the weather is cold, yet

• Certain patches of grass are exposed to prolonged sunlight • It’s more than 40 degrees F for several days in a row • The grass remains dry; you might have to mow it.

What about wet grass? Should I mow the lawn after a rainfall? You should avoid mowing it if possible, so when snow falls and dew forms, or if you live in a region where the Winter is rainy, you’ll also avoid mowing the lawn. Muddy soil and wet grass will damage the roots, so don’t mow when the grass is wet.

If you mow in the Winter…

• Avoid months/days when it’s frigid and snowfall has accumulated • Do so when it’s 40 degrees F or higher • Keep the blades higher than normal (the grass doesn’t grow during these months)

2. How often should we mow in spring?

temperatureDuring the Spring, the frequency at which you mow the lawn depends on the temperature and rain levels. If you’re in a region where the weather remains above 40 degrees F, consider the ⅓ rule. The rule states that you shouldn’t cut more than ⅓ the normal height you maintain your lawn. So, if you like a grass height of 3’’, you’ll cut it to 2’’ each time you mow. Don’t go any shorter as this can damage the fibers, roots, and wreak havoc on your lawn.

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Remember, the grass might take longer to grow during the Spring, so keep an eye on the lawn. It’s the best gauge to help you determine how frequently you’ll mow it.

3. How often should we mow the lawn in summer?

at least once a weekNow the growing season is in full effect. You’re mowing your lawn frequently. In most regions of the country, at least once a week, and if the sun’s bright and you’re fertilizing, possibly twice a week. Early and mid-Summer you’ll want to maintain higher grass (4-6’’). Late Summer, you’ll start cutting down to 3’’. You’ll need to make sure the blades are sharp, as dull blades will damage the grass, and cause uneven levels as Fall approaches. You’ll also abide by the ⅓ rule later in the Summer. This will help preserve the grass as cooler temperatures are approaching.

4. Lawn mowing frequency in Fall

There’s no tried-and-true rule that works for everThe grass isn’t growing as quickly as it did in the Summer, so you won’t need to mow as frequently. However, you want to prepare it for Winter. Consider mowing the lawn every 1.5 to 2 weeks. Again, the temperature and type of grass will greatly impact the mowing frequency. And, if you’re in a state like Florida, you might still have to mow the lawn weekly.

There’s no tried-and-true rule that works for everybody. Play around with timing, understand the growth rates, measure your lawn, and keep an eye on things. Over time, you’ll get better at gauging frequency and maintaining a healthy lawn, no matter what time of the year it is.

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What To Avoid When Mowing Your Lawn

Aside from mowing too often, there are several mistakes to avoid if you want to keep your lawn looking green and healthy.

Do Not Mow Wet Grass

The clippings from wet grass will clog your lawnmower and become so matted on your lawn they block the sunlight on the healthy grass underneath.

Wet grass blades will also stick together or become matted down under your mower’s wheels, creating an uneven cut.

Mowing a wet lawn increases the chance of a plant disease infestation by spreading fungus all over the plant life in your yard.

This fungus is not only potentially harmful to your grass but also to any flowering plants you have near the edge of your lawn.

Water also makes grass very slippery, which significantly increases your risk of injury while mowing, especially if your yard has a steep slope to it.

Do Not Mow Too Quickly

Mowing your lawn when you are in a hurry will likely wind up, leaving it looking worse than before.

You may end up with uneven grass or large clumps of clippings all over your lawn.

Only mow when you are able to dedicate the time to do it properly. 

If you are too busy to mow your lawn regularly, consider hiring a professional landscaping service to do it for you.

Do Not Mow in the Same Pattern Every Time

Blades of grass will usually grow toward the last direction in which you mowed them.

To keep the grass blades growing straighter, alternate your mowing pattern every time you mow.

Alternating your mowing pattern also prevents the wheels of your lawnmower from creating deep ruts in your grass.

Do Not Mow with Dull Lawnmower Blades

Dull lawnmower blades will tear a blade of grass instead of making a defined cut.

These tears will make the grass more susceptible to pests and diseases.

It is crucial to have your mower blades sharpened every other month for a cleaner cut.

Do Not Remove the Grass Clippings

It used to be very common to bag up your grass clippings and throw them away.

Recent studies have proven this to be the wrong thing to do, however.

The grass clippings will add nutrients to the soil and help retain moisture as they decompose.

Grass clippings may produce up to 30% of your lawn’s nitrogen needs.

Over time, these grass clippings form a mulch to produce a healthy lawn.

However, if you’re in a situation where you have to pick up clippings we have some tips on this.

Check out our post on the easiest way to pick up grass clippings.

Do Not Mow in Wide Rows

If you mow in very wide rows, it becomes easy to end up with strips of uncut grass.

It is best to overlap every strip you mow by three inches to avoid missing any grass.

How Often to Mow Lawns in Fall Winter

Unlike in the Summer, grass will not grow as quickly in the fall or winter months (even in regions where you don’t get snowfall).

Even if you don’t get snowfall during the winter, it may seem like your lawn has stopped growing altogether in the cooler months.

The truth is, when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, mowing your lawn every week becomes a thing of the past.

Especially in cooler climates, you might not need to mow your lawn at all.

Here are some things to consider when thinking about mowing your lawn in the autumn or winter months:

  • Try to avoid mowing your lawn when it is wet. Maybe it has just rained, or the ice is melting on your grass. Whatever the case, try to avoid mowing your wet lawn. Mowing a wet lawn leads to uneven mowing because of an unsettled base under the grass. The cooler temperatures can also cause issues with mold or mildew growth.
  • Don’t cut your grass on the one hot day of the Winter. Just because it is hot for one day, does not mean you should rush out and mow your dormant lawn. I recommend a short mow for your lawn at the end of the season, but once that’s done, leave your lawn alone to ensure it will be able to handle the cold to come.
  • Proceed with caution is you do mow your lawn at this time of the year.

The amount you should mow your lawn in the Winter differs greatly from the recommendations I’ve made for mowing frequency in the Spring or Summer.

For the most part, if you live in a climate that experiences colder winters, you do not have to worry about mowing your lawn at all. The best thing you can do once it stops growing is to wait until spring.

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