How often and how short should we cut grass?

How often and how short should we cut grass?
How often and how short should we cut grass?
Most of us will just mow our lawns when the grass gets a little too long for our liking and cut our lawn at a height our lawnmowers are typically calibrated at - but there are some guidelines to follow if you want to make the most of your mowing and contribute to your lawns overall quality.

Our UK weather will always greatly affect the rate at which grass grows, but generally, mowing season begins in mid-March when grass starts growing again, and ends in October throughout most of the country when grass becomes dormant and is susceptible to frost.

How often?

Regular lawn mowing in growing season can greatly improve the quality of your lawn just as reducing it in periods of drought can help to protect it. Getting the balance right may seem difficult, but if you follow our rules below you should be able to keep your lawn in pristine condition.

In spring and autumn, you should aim to mow once a week this allows the grass ample time to grow back.

In summer, your grass will grow back faster, so aim to mow twice a week

In winter, mowing isn't usually necessary but if you feel it requires a cut - cut on the highest setting on your mower

We all can appreciate a well maintained lawn, but excessive mowing/cutting can create a nitrogen deficiency and cause grass to yellow and dry out in the sun. To prevent this from occurring, apply a SLOW RELEASE: Spring / Summer fertiliser.

Now you know how often you should be cutting your grass, it's time to consider how tall or short you should keep it.

How short?

Generally, we all like a short and tidy lawn, however the problem with this is that we often cut far too short on the first cut and we also cut so short that the grass in our lawn can't cope with it and begins to suffer. Some grass species can tolerate closer mowing than others, and these are typically fine-leafed grasses such as fescues. Fescues are often found in ornamental / bowling green style lawns, where the recommend mowing height would be 10-20mm. For lawns that are for general use, the recommended mowing height is 20-40mm. If you try to mow shorter than this, you may hack your lawn (cut too short).

Tell-tale signs that your grass has been cut too low are that it can turn yellow / brown at the tips and appears a bit unsightly, however this may also be due to blunt blades.

For your first mow of the season (March onwards) you should put your mower on the highest setting, gradually reducing the height until it is at the recommended height for your lawn.  Moving into autumn, you should increase the height on your mower so that shorter grass blades won't be susceptible to frost / disease.

Mowing for biodiversity

Here at The Grass People, we're big fans of a well-maintained lawn but we're also advocates of making better choices for our biodiversity. Of course, it is entirely up to you how you wish to maintain your lawn but by mowing on a slightly higher height than recommended - 10mm higher, you can increase the invertebrate biodiversity within your lawn greatly.