Knowing when to stop mowing your lawn when the growth season comes to a close doesn’t have a broadly applicable solution. Before putting your mower away for the winter, you should take into account two things: the weather and the kind of grass in your yard.
The perfect time to mow your lawn in the fall is just as crucial as the height of the cut. A few simple guidelines can help your grass survive the winter and begin a healthy regeneration in the spring.
Before answering the query of when to stop mowing the grass, we must first understand its importance. The majority of us are aware that throughout the winter, our grass grows more slowly, necessitating less frequent trimming. Even if it may appear that your grass has grown, you should still refrain from mowing it because doing so might harm it.
It’s important to avoid mowing during rainy, weather conditions since this might damage the turf and cause erosion. The blades of your lawnmower lose efficiency when the temperature drops and stop cutting as well.
Additionally, frequent mowing in rainy, colder weather might lead your grass to get soggy from standing water. This might seriously harm the soil beneath your grass in addition to increasing the likelihood that your garden will develop into a mud bath. ‘Too much continuous moisture in the soil created by regular mowing becomes locked up and generates dampness that can lead to bugs, illnesses and even grass heaving,
Experts recommend that you stop mowing your lawn once the grass becomes dormant and the temperature falls below 50˚F. This often occurs in late October or early November for the majority of locations. You may cut your lawn till the end of November, though, if your garden is typically damp (and not freezing). Additionally, mowing beyond November is acceptable for people who live in drier areas or climates.
Carefully mow the grass to a height of 2.5 to 3 inches before the winter. Your lawn could not get the nutrients it needs to thrive during the upcoming growth season if the grass blades are too short.
Rake up any grass waste, including leaves, organic matter, and clippings once you’ve finished winterizing your mower. By doing this, the lawn is able to get the nutrients and air it needs to live when dormant.
Your lawn most likely comprises of cool season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue if you reside in the central and northern United States or southern Canada. The top growth of the grass gradually slows down when the temperature of the soil drops to 45 degrees and the weather becomes cooler. The first deadly frost marks the end of cold season grasses’ apparent growth. Now is the time to mow the lawn one last time this season. Just prior to or immediately following the first deadly frost, mow your lawn one last time if it contains cool-season grasses.
However, there are several exceptions. Cool season grasses can continue to thrive during the winter since they don’t totally enter dormancy. They simply pause (slow down) growth, and the complex carbohydrates they produce as a result of the cold weather function as an antifreeze.
The grass may continue to grow far into the fall and occasionally even into December, but at a considerably slower rate than during its peak growing season in the spring and fall, in regions with usually subzero winters. If this happens, mowing should still be done as needed, regardless of the date.
The grass should be mowed at a height of 2.5 to 3 inches, the same as it is the rest of the year. You may also set the mowing height 34 inch lower but no lower than a height of 2 inches if adjusting the mower is simple and quick.
Warm season grasses including Bermudagrass, Zoysia grass, and Bahia grass are ideal for lawns in southern climates. Warm season grasses die over the winter when soil temperatures are continuously below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, in contrast to cold season grasses.
So, in the fall, after the warm-season grass has finished growing, give it one last trim at a height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Warm season grasses should be cut higher on the spectrum in the fall to let them to store more carbs for the winter. This lessens the chance of developing cold-season lawn illnesses like big patch, a fungus that thrives in cool, damp conditions.
It’s just as vital to mow the grass correctly in the fall as it is throughout the year. It is generally advised to avoid mowing grass too short. Never cut grass blades lower than where they are still green. This is where photosynthesis takes place, so if you mowed the grass too short last autumn, it will take longer to grow back in the spring. This may result in uneven, patchy growth with open areas that moss and weeds will easily encroach onto.
Additionally, longer grass blades offer superior wintertime protection. Fall pruning that is too short leaves roots vulnerable to frost damage.
On the other side, it might be harmful to leave grasses excessively tall throughout the winter. Tall grass blades absorb moisture and can contain fungus and other illnesses, especially in regions with mild winters.
Short grass prevents mice, voles, and other animals from settling on your lawn in cold climates, especially when there is snow on the ground. They dig holes and ruts in the grass as they do this, which must be filled up and over seeded in the spring.
If you must cut your grass after a frost, wait until it is above 40˚F. Always wait until the grass is entirely dry and any remaining frost has dried. When you mow frozen grass, ice crystals will start to pierce the cell walls all around them, eventually killing the cells. Future grass that is sickly or brown from this will frequently result.
Stepping on frozen grass might harm the blades, so avoid doing so. However, if the grass is robust, snow will not harm it.
When the time comes for the last cut, you might be unsure of whether it’s preferable to set the cutting height on your mower to a high or low setting.
Actually, how much shade your grass receives depends depend on your design. If your garden receives a lot of winter shadow, raising the setting on your mower by half an inch can help the grass photosynthesize more effectively when exposed to sunlight. Depending on how much sunshine various portions of your garden receive, you might want to adjust your setting.
Gardeners, however, are divided. If you reside in a region where there are frequent frosts, keeping your grass longer can help it adapt to the cold and stop the frost from going too deep. Longer grass during the winter is likely to benefit long-term health since a plant may get more sunlight because its leaves have a greater surface area. Whether you choose to trim your grass long or short is up to you, but it won’t determine how healthy your lawn is in the end.
If you live somewhere warm enough for your grass to keep growing, you might be able to mow it in December. Avoid mowing your lawn until the weather starts to warm up again if you live in a cold region and your grass is dormant.
In the winter, you should try to keep your lawn on the shorter side to avoid exposing it to disease by letting it too long. However, cutting your lawn too short in a cold climate might stress the grass, which can harm the leaves or roots. To prevent permanent harm, cut your grass to around two to two and a half inches long.
Even though it may be some time off, understanding when to start mowing again is crucial. As a general rule, you ought to hold off until there are no longer any indications of frost.
Early in the spring is typically the best time to begin mowing your lawn once more, according to Jon. “The severe weather has passed and there won’t be any more frost, establishing the essential circumstances to resume the care,”
Start cutting your lawn in the spring using the highest setting on your mower, and never mow a wet grass. It’s always safer to cut your grass too late than too early, so don’t be hasty!