When Should I Start Mowing My Lawn?

 March 27, 2018

As days get longer and temps warm up, homeowners start looking at their lawn and wondering when they should start cutting it. This is especially true now that long-standing weather patterns are fluctuating; where in seasons past, you may have known you could wait until April to start cutting the grass. But if you’re faced with an unseasonably mild winter, you should pay close attention to what the grass is doing.

What you want to look for is height, not a specific date. You should have cut the grass short at the end of the fall growing season; now, you want to wait to cut it until it is at least 2 inches tall. Cutting it when it’s too short will make your lawn susceptible to disease; waiting until your lawn is at least 2 inches protects the roots. And don’t cut your grass too short in the spring. Never remove more than a third of its length in a single mowing.

With unpredictable spring weather, you may end up with a week of above average temperatures that starts the grass growing, then a period of freezing temps at night again. If grass is long, you should wait until the frost is off the leaves and temperatures have warmed up for the day. You may be better off waiting until the period of freezing temperatures ends, however.

Before you go out to mow for that first time, take the time to check your mower setup. Make sure blades are sharp and that your mower height is adjusted correctly. You should also check that the mower is leveled front to back and side to side; a mower that is not level may scalp some of your lawn and leave other parts too long.

When Should I Fertilize My Lawn?

Spring fertilization is important because it provides the nutrients that your lawn needs as it comes out of dormancy and begins to grow for the season. It’s a good idea to fertilize the lawn between late February and early April, before you start to mow for the season. If you plan on overseeding your lawn, be sure your fertilizer doesn’t include a weed killer, as this will prevent grass seeds from germinating.

How Often Should I Water My Lawn?

Spring rains typically mean you won’t need to water your lawn much in the spring, unless your area is experiencing a drier than average spring. If that’s the case, you may want to wait until the grass starts to droop slightly. Experts suggest that this can help signal to the roots that they should grow deeper to deal with a dry period. Water deeply, about an inch at a time, once a week.

Following these guidelines can help you get your lawn off to a great start this year.