how often mow lawn

Mowing the lawn regularly will keep your lawn beautiful, but how often should I mow my lawn? What is a rule of thumb for a lawn care schedule, and what else should I consider to keep my lawn healthy?

Every lawn is unique because homeowners have different gardening and lawn care styles. All homeowners in the neighborhood water and fertilize their yard, but lawns look different. The various watering times and nitrogen fertilizer schedules are reasons why people mow their lawns differently and at other times. 

Our lawn mowing tips reveal the various factors that determine how often you should mow your lawn. Types of grass, weather conditions and seasons are a few factors to consider when planning a regular mowing and lawn care schedule. Before you grab the mower to cut the yard, check the lawn.

First Check Your Lawn: Grass Type Matters

What type of grass do you have on your lawn? The grass species and the season determines the mowing frequency. Different types of grass grow to varying speeds throughout the year. For a beautiful lawn, the lawn maintenance should coincide with the grass varieties.

Warm-season grasses, like Buffalo, St. Augustine, Zoysia, or Bermuda grass, grow faster during summer months and cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, Fescue, and Perennial Ryegrass, grow faster during fall and spring.

The thickness and grass height also vary between the various types of grass and regions. It would be best if you grew grass taller in summer months, drought season, and grass growing in the shade. Cut the warm-season grasses shorter during spring to get rid of dead grass blades. Mow cool-season grass shorter at the end of fall to avoid snow mold in snow-prone regions. 

How Often To Mow Lawn

How often should you mow your lawn, and what effect does frequency have on grass health, weeds, strong roots, and how good your yard looks?

Lawn Mowing Schedule

The mowing schedule should be according to the season, region, and type of grass; it is not always your personal preference that determines how often you should mow your lawn. It’s not about when you have the time but when the grass is the proper length for mowing. During the growing season, and depending on the grass type, grass could need mowing every week. 

How often people water and fertilize the lawn also influences the mowing schedule. The more water and nitrogen fertilizer the grass receives, the faster it grows, and the more frequent mowing is required. According to the season, region, and grass type, the balance is to water and fertilize – not to starve the grass, neither to overfeed, causing too much growth too fast. Mowing tall grass and cleaning up grass clippings can be a messy chore that takes time you could’ve spent elsewhere.

Also, consider the weather conditions; you don’t want to mow wet grass nor mow your lawn too short during drought seasons.  Wet grass can lead to unsightly lines where the lawn mower left uncut grass blades.

schedule how often you should cut the grass

How Often Should I Mow My Lawn – The Rule-Of-Thumb

The rule of thumb is to cut no more than one-third of the grass blade height at a time. For example, if your grass is three inches long you can only cut off one inch maximum – so set your cutting depth at 2 inches or higher. This means you might have to make multiple passes with a few days rest in-between if your grass has gotten out of control. An overgrown lawn is just as bad as cutting a lawn too short.

Bioadvanced and Dummies have charts for the cut length for various types of grass. If you’re not sure when is the right time to mow the grass, check the chart for the grass height.

Grass Height in Inches For Grass Type

Warm-Season Grass
  •  Bahia Grass 2-3
  • Bermuda Grass Common 0.75-1.25
  • Bermuda Grass Hybrid 0.5-1
  • Blue Grama Grass 2-3
  • Buffalo Grass 1.5-4
  • Centipede Grass 1-2
  • Kikuyu Grass 1-1.5
  •  St. Augustine Grass 1-3
  •  Zoysia Grass 0.5-2
Cool-Season Grass
  • Bent Grass 0.25-1
  • Fescue Fine Grass 0.5-3
  • Fescue Tall Grass 1.5-4
  •  Kentucky Bluegrass 0.75-3.5
  • Rye Grass Annual 1.25-2
  • Rye Grass Perennial 0.75-2.5 

Don’t Mow Your Lawn Biweekly

Experts suggest you should avoid mowing the yard more than once a week. Mowing your grass biweekly or cutting too much of the length at once hurts the roots. A healthy, green yard needs a robust root system that requires a balance between the length of the grass blades and the roots. The longer the roots, the healthier and more stress-resistant is your lawn.

The root system develops based on the length the grass grows; chopping off too much grass reduces photosynthesis, depriving the roots of sufficient nutrients and energy. The grass starves and turns brown.

Most of the time, clippings are good to leave on the grass as mulch. However, the problem with leaving extra-long grass clippings as mulch is it blocks the sun and smothers the short grass blades.

How Often Should You Mow The Lawn if It’s Overgrown Grass

If you missed mowing the lawn regularly and now you need to move overgrown grass, avoid the temptation of cutting the grass to the desired height in one session. Cut no more than a third of the leaf blade height and set the cutting height accordingly each time you mow your lawn.

With the first mow of the season, I mow my lawn on the most extended setting and staying within the 1/3 rule. It may take a few sessions to get the grass at the ideal height. However, you don’t have to wait for the 30% grass growth before the next session of cutting overgrown grass. Mow more frequently will help you shorten the grass blades to the required length. However, make sure you don’t cut below the mowing height for the grass variety. 

Too Frequent Mowing 

If you mow too often or set the mower blades’ height too low, your grass is cut too short, leaving bare patches. Instead of green grass, the lawn may even yellow or brown from heat exposure and stress. Cutting grass too short too often makes it susceptible to disease, increases the number of weeds and other lawn problems; longer grass prevents sunlight from reaching weed seeds.

One of the best lawn care practice tips for a lush, healthy lawn is to wait until the grass is a third taller than the perfect grass height before mowing your lawn. 

Experts advise setting the mower height to cut the grass short at the end of the season to prevent the chance of matting; matting contributes to winter kill damage. Although the last cut of the season might be shorter than usual, the healthiest part of the grass blade is at its tip.

How often do you mow your lawn, and when is the best time?

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