The Rules of the Lawn: How Often You Should Mow Your Lawn

guy mowing grass with push mower
Written by: LCMM , July 13, 2021

When it comes to lawn care, it takes a delicate balance. Mowing your lawn too much can impact how lush it can appear, but not cutting it enough can come with its own drawbacks. Other considerations you make — or forget to make — can also impact how healthy your grass can be.

So how often should you mow the grass and what is the proper mowing height? There are actually rules regarding how often and how short you should cut your lawn to maintain happy healthy grass. The truth may surprise you.

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Grass Height Matters

The truth is, frequency is not as important as height. If you mow your lawn down too low, whether it is once a month or once a day, you will destroy your lawn. There is an art to achieving a healthy lawn with each and every mow. Consider the one-third rule, used among professionals.  This rule states that you should never cut more than one-third of the lawn’s height.

If you do not allow your lawn to flourish and grow, it will die quickly, leaving you a yellow yard for the rest of the season, but if you stick to the one-third rule, you will notice your lawn will continue to flourish, although you may have to mow a bit more often.

Grass Height Matters

Factors to Consider Before Mowing Your Lawn

Depending on the climate, you could cut the lawn dozens of times in a year. Many people have a schedule for how often they mow their lawns. Some choose to cut once a week while others mow more or less often. But when it comes to grass, a set schedule may do more harm than good. As you think about lawn mowing, consider the following factors to determine if it’s a good time to mow:

  • Grass height: Your grass may reach a height of 4 inches one week, so you mow it down to 3 inches. Depending on rainfall and other factors, your grass may only grow half an inch the following week. Or, it can grow an inch and a half. Keep an eye on your grass height to know if your lawn needs another mowing or if it can wait a few days. Give the grass a chance to grow to a healthy, vibrant height.
  • Grass color: Your grass’s color is a visual representation of how healthy it is. Unhealthy, dying grass will start to take on a yellow or even brownish hue. The healthiest lawns will display a lush green color. Grass wants to grow to achieve a healthy root and nutrient system, and cutting it too short can have the opposite effect. If your lawn is looking pale or turning brown, consider holding off on mowing to give it time to grow up strong, healthy, and vibrant.
  • Grass type: Different grass types have different growing patterns. Some, like fescue, ryegrass, and bluegrass, grow faster in the spring and fall than in the summer. Others, like zoysia, grow faster in the summer and can be cut shorter. Know the type of grass in your lawn to help you better plan when to cut it and how short you can cut it.
  • Wet grass: Mowing a wet lawn is bad for both your lawn and your lawnmower. The damp grass will leave behind clumps that block grass from receiving adequate sunlight. The wet clumps of grass can also get stuck in your mower, causing clogs and strain on the engine. Wet grass can stick to your lawnmower’s blades, making them dull. Dull blades will tear instead of cut your grass, which could be detrimental to its health.
  • Dry, tall grass: Tall grass, even when dry, deserves some consideration before mowing. Extremely tall grass can wrap around your mower’s blades, leading to clogging and jamming. And if you leave behind tall grass, it can turn into thatch on your lawn, which can harm the grass underneath. If your lawn’s grass is tall, raise your mower’s blades before mowing. You can always lower the blades and cut your lawn shorter after a couple of days.
  • The weather: Keep a close watch on the weather, especially if you live in an area with frequent and drastic weather changes. Having to stop mowing your lawn halfway through because of rain, thunder and lightning will cause your grass to grow unevenly. Then, you might damage the taller grass the next time you cut your lawn after it dries. Know the weather in store for the day so you can mow with confidence and complete the task.

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The Conditions to Frequency

Of course, you never want to allow your lawn to grow too long, either. That can be a recipe for disaster, inviting grub and other diseases onto your lawn, killing it quickly. Once again, there is an art to a beautiful, healthy lawn. You must monitor how quickly your grass grows. Depending on where you are located and the care you provide your lawn, you may find yourself mowing throughout the spring every week.

If your lawn receives a lot of water through rain or watering, it will reach its original height rather quickly. If you use a fertilizer, as well, you will notice significant growth. The good news is that if you kill your lawn by mowing too often or too short, this type of maintenance will allow it to regrow quickly. Learn from your mistakes and change the height of your blade, sticking to the one-third rule at all times.

Remember that your lawn is a living thing. Like a garden or flower bed, your grass requires a certain amount of love and care to flourish. Experiment when you first move into your home to find how the lawn grows and what grass-cutting methods work best for caring for your lawn. Then, keep that in mind with each season. Just because your mower can cut your grass to an eighth of an inch or smaller does not mean it should.

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Contact Green & Black LLC for Professional Lawn Mowing Services

If you want a beautiful, healthy lawn but don’t have the time to make it happen, there is help! At Green & Black, we offer commercial and residential lawn mowing services that can save you the trouble of making sure you’re caring for your grass the right way. We’ll ensure you get a healthy mow by adjusting the height of our blades based on the one-third rule and depending on the length of the grass at the time it’s being cut. You’ll maintain a gorgeous lawn without lifting a finger. Throw out your mowing schedule and let the experts handle the specifics — you enjoy the results.

Contact the lawn experts at Green & Black at 651-356-9193 or request a free quote online. We look forward to helping you maintain your lawn and keep it always green and beautiful.