How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?
As the seasons change, growth patterns for our lawns change too. Figuring out when to mow your lawn and how often can be a hassle, especially in transitional zones like North Carolina. Give your lawn the best chance to look its best by following our mowing recommendations for warm-season and cool-season grasses.
The Importance of Mowing Your Lawn
Love it or hate it, mowing your lawn is an essential part of lawn maintenance. Regular mowing offers several benefits including:
- Enhanced aesthetics: A well-maintained lawn adds beauty to your home and improves its curb appeal.
- Healthier grass: Mowing stimulates growth, leading to thicker, healthier turf.
- Weed control: Regular mowing prevents weeds from establishing deep roots.
- Pest reduction: Ticks and mosquitos won’t have a place to hide in a trimmed lawn.
- Safety: Mowing reveals tripping hazards and keeps your lawn safe for outdoor activities.
How the Seasons Affect Grass Growth
Warm and cool-season grasses have different growth patterns throughout the year, meaning you’ll need to adjust your mowing schedule based on the seasons. Ideal growing temperatures for warm-season grasses range between 80°F and 95°F, while cool-season grasses prefer temperatures between 60°F and 75°F.
Ideal growing temperatures for warm-season grasses range between 80°F and 95°F. Root and shoot growth begins to develop in mid-to-late spring, with rapid growth happening throughout the summer months before tapering off in mid-to-late fall.
Cool-season grasses prefer temperatures between 60°F and 75°F. You’ll likely see the increased root and shoot growth during the spring and fall months, as the hot summer weather is too intense for cool-season grasses to thrive.
Ideal Mowing Heights for Your Grass
Warm-season grasses should be mowed to a length between 2–2.5 inches. Cool-season grasses can range from 3–4 inches, depending on your grass type. Remember to avoid removing more than ⅓ of the grass blade at a time to prevent scalping.
Mowing Cadence for Spring
In the spring, both warm and cool-season grasses will see root and shoot growth. When temperatures are consistently over 50°F, you’ll want to mow your lawn every 6–7 days.
Mowing Cadence for Summer
Don’t wait longer than a week to mow your warm-season lawn during the summer. It’s best to mow every 4–6 days, with more frequent mowing required when accompanied by heavy rainfall or fertilizer. If summer temperatures in your region are higher than 75°F, your cool-season lawn’s growth will slow down, requiring much less mowing. Once temperatures rise to 90°F or higher, leaving your grass to grow a little longer than normal will reduce the amount of stress on your lawn.
Mowing Cadence for Fall
Mowing your lawn in the fall is similar to mowing in the spring, expect to mow every 6–7 days, decreasing the frequency as winter approaches. Cool-season grasses will continue to grow throughout the late fall, so plan to mow every 8–9 days before temperatures consistently drop below 50°F.
Mowing Cadence for Winter
Growth will be slow for cool-season grasses as temperatures drop. While you don’t want to completely ignore your lawn during the winter, frequent mowing isn’t necessary. Warm-season grasses enter dormancy during the winter months, so mowing should be avoided until the spring.