For some people, the answer to this question is simply “Mow The Lawn Once A Week!” In some homes, it’s a Saturday ritual that runs straight through the summer. While this might keep your lawn neatly trimmed at times, it’s not always the right answer.
The truth is, the type of grass you have, the type of soil under your turf, the health of your turf, and of course the prevailing weather pattern can all factor into how often you should mow your lawn. You could also argue the length you need to keep your lawn is also an important consideration.
How Does The Weather Affect How Grass Grows?
Grass grows best when it’s given just the right blend of sunshine and moisture. This promotes vigorous growth as the roots take up water and key nutrients from the layers of the turf. Though in dry conditions there might not be enough moisture in the layers of the turf and the underlying soil to let grass grow vigorously.
How Should I Mow My Lawn During Wet & Sunny Weather?
Depending on where you live wet and sunny conditions prevail most in June when the days are long and the sun is strong. Though seasonal rains can come at different times in other parts of the United States and Canada.
In times like this, you likely will need to cut your grass once a week. You might also want to set the lawn mower deck lower. That way you can trim the lawn down to stay a head of it throughout the rest of the week.
How Often Should I Mow My Lawn During Dry Weather?
When the weather turns dry or the days start getting significantly shorter, grass can grow slower, as there is less energy to feed the process of photosynthesis and there may not be sufficient water for the grass to process soil nutrients.
If you have a lawn irrigation system, you can turn it up to help thoroughly saturate the soil during the hot, dry times of years. Another option is to cut the grass less frequently or adjust your lawnmower’s cutting deck to leave the grass longer. This will essentially shade the upper layers of the turf to preserve more soil moisture.
In a scenario like this, you might want to cut your grass every 10 to 14 days. Though, this might leave your lawn looking wild and unkempt to the neighbors. Not to mention inviting to animals and insect pests. In certain parts of the country an untrimmed lawn can also promote soil fungus problems that might not show up until the next spring as dead spots in the lawn.
One way to deal with this is to keep cutting your grass once per week, but set your lawn mower’s cutting deck at 3 to 4 inches high. The end result is a lawn that looks maintained, though still long enough to help hold in precious soil moisture in the underlying turf.
How Tall To Cut Certain Types Of Grass
If you turn over a box of grass seed and read the label, you might be surprised at just how many different types of grass there are. In some cases, it might be a blend of two or three different companion grasses with a nurse grass to help them root.
The predominant type of grass growing in your lawn will influence how high you need to cut it to keep it growing healthy. This may factor into how short you need to cut it.
The Best Cutting Height For Common Types Of Grass
This is a popular type of subtropical perennial grass. The blades are V-shaped and it tends to grow quickly in wet conditions. Since it is such a water-loving grass, you might need to cut it to 2 to 3 inches high during dry conditions.
This is another reliable perennial grass found all over the Earth. It can handle being cut down as low as half to 1-inch high.
Common Bermuda Grass
This grass originally started out in Africa but has since taken root all over the southern and mid-Atlantic United States Bermuda grass gradually develops a thick carpet of roots that grows well in warm, wet, and humid conditions. This provides Bermuda superior drought resistance. It tends to do best when cut down to .75 to 1.5 inches high.
This grass is more popular in northern climates thanks to its superior cold resistance. It tends to do best when cut down to 2 to 3 inches high. Though in ideal conditions it can grow very quickly in bursts, which means you might have to mow the lawn on short notice.
Is a North American grass found predominantly in the great plains. It has wide blades and is known for being low maintenance. Buffalo grass also has superior drought resistance. Its ideal cutting height is 2 to 3 inches.
Also known as “Creeping Fescue” this type of grass is known for its narrow blades and the ability to spread itself by underground root runners. This trait reduces bare spots that may develop over time. It tends to grow slowly in shady locations and does best when cut down to 1.5 to 2.5 inches high.
It’s a very popular perennial meadow-grass that is known for its color, lushness, and wide blades. It does best in moist, well-drained soil. Ideally you can cut down to 1.75 to 2.5 inches.
Is a cool weather grass, it tends to do better in northern climes. It tends to do best when cut down to 1.5 to 2 inches.
This is a another warm-season grass that tends to grown best in tropical and subtropical weather. Even a modest rain can encourage vigorous growth, which makes it a somewhat high-maintenance grass. With weekly cutting you should be able to maintain it at 1.5 to 2.5 inches high.
While the general rule of thumb may be to cut your grass once a week, there are certainly different types of grass and certain weather conditions that can require you to cut it sooner than once every 7 days. If the weather has been dry, you might even be able to go two weeks between mowing sessions, then leave it long to preserve the soil moisture.