When should I start mowing in the UK?

When should I start mowing in the UK?
With spring nearly upon us, you’re probably thinking it’s time to get back into the garden and start prepping for what will hopefully be a glorious, sun-filled summer - and you're right! It's long overdue. First on the to-do list? Get the grass cut!
But just keep in mind that while we may be in March that doesn’t mean the weather has pulled itself out of the winter mindset just yet and there are a few things to consider before you plan to mow your lawn.

Time of year

As we approach the last week in March some parts of the UK should already be experiencing temperatures that will allow for the first mow. Make sure that if there is any sign of frost you avoid mowing as this can damage grass blades and increase the chance of diseases taking hold in your lawn. The south and south east of England should hopefully start to see favourable conditions over the next few days and the rest of the UK should follow suit in a week or two. Those in the north of Scotland might have to wait a little longer still. Beginning to mow in early-mid April is a safe bet for most of the UK so aim to start around then if you haven’t already.

Before you start

Before getting stuck in it’s a good idea to make sure your mower is in good condition. A quick service, making sure blades are sharp, is well worth the time and effort as it could prevent lots of hassle down the line. Checking your tools before the busy season starts is also a good idea to avoid any unexpected setbacks or costs throughout summer.

Ideal temperature and conditions

Grass won’t grow high enough to warrant a mow if temperatures are below 8 degrees Celsius and once grass does start to grow the mower should be kept fairly high to avoid any damage to grass at the root level. You should also avoid mowing grass when it’s wet, try to cut on days where grass has had a chance to dry and don’t cut early in the morning if there is a dew on the lawn. Begin by mowing as grass requires it, this shouldn’t be much more than twice in April. Once weather starts to pick up in May this can be pushed up to once a week.

Other points to keep in mind

Mowing the lawn is one of the more straightforward tasks when looking after your lawns health but there are a couple of rules to follow to make sure you’re doing everything right. Avoid over-mowing your lawn, particularly if you’re cutting at a low height. This can encourage shallow rooting and result in weeds, less drought tolerance or even bare patches. On the other hand though, don’t let your lawn get too long as this creates ‘loose’ growth and poor surface structure. If you’re unsure of what height to cut at, the general guideline is never remove more than one-third of the leaf shoots in any one mow. Mowing the lawn is the staple of a great looking garden and research even claims it can reduce stress, so what’s not to love?