when to mow lawn in spring

When Should I Start Mowing the Lawn in Spring

Homeowners often struggle with bringing their lawns back to full health each spring.  Spring lawn care can really set the tone for your lawn’s growing season. Having a plan of action for early spring is a great way to set your lawn up from year long success. Continue reading for more information on how to best prep your lawn and when to start mowing your lawn in the spring. 

When should I cut my grass for the first time in spring?

Begin by assessing the current state of your lawn. If you are seeing new green grass growth in your lawn, it signals the ground has warmed up enough that mowing no longer poses a threat to dormant turf and fragile root systems. 

Once you feel ready to mow your lawn, you will want to consider a slightly different approach for the first  mow in early spring, compared to the routine maintenance you will be doing later in spring. 

How early is too early to mow my lawn in spring?

While there is no definitive date when it is safe to start cutting your lawn in spring, there are certain conditions that need to be met to ensure the lawn is ready for that first cut. 

In the southeast, you are not very likely to be contending with the effects of ground freeze, but there is a high probability of having a squishy, water-saturated lawn. Pay close attention to weather conditions and carefully assess your lawn. If you lawn is really wet, you will want to hold off on your mowing schedule until the grass has dried out. 

How do I prepare my lawn for spring?

While mowing the lawn is one of the first maintenance tasks that generally comes to mind, there are other necessary steps to prepare your lawn before mowing can occur. 

  • Be sure to give your lawn mower a through check before that first use each spring. Ensure blades are clean and sharp. 
  • Assess the lawn:
    • Clear off any debris, such as leaves and sticks
    • Check for any bare spots or weeds that may need extra attention
    • Look for spring dead spot – tan, circular patches found on infected lawns after winter
  • Test your soil and fertilize if necessary
woman inspecting lawn in spring

How short should grass be cut in spring?

Along with monitoring when to start mowing your lawn, you’ll want to be careful how short that first cut is. The first mow of the season should be more of a trim leaving grass as long as 3 or 3.5 inches. Later on in spring, you can begin cutting your lawn shorter, depending on the type of turf you have. For example, a hearty variety such as Bermudagrass can be cut as low as half an inch, but a cooler climate grass like fescue shouldn’t be cut shorter than 2 inches.

What is the best time of day to cut the grass?

The best time to start mowing is mid-morning, or between the hours of 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. At that time the sun is higher in the sky and grass has dried out a bit from the early morning dew and any irrigation. If morning isn’t a good option for you, then cutting your grass in the late afternoon also helps limit fungal diseases. You should avoid trimming your lawn in the heat of the middle of the day, as this can damage new growth.

When should I avoid cutting grass?

Just as there are better times during the day to mow your lawn, there are also better times of the year. While you’ll be maintaining your lawn with twice-weekly trims during the summer high-growth cycle, once the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the grass will not grow high enough to warrant mowing. You also don’t want to cut your grass too short, so be sure to check the recommended height for your variety so you don’t risk damaging fragile roots.

Get the most out of your lawn

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The key to keeping your lawn looking great is careful, regular maintenance. If you don’t have a lawn yet but feel up for the task this spring, give the Certified Turfgrass Professionals at NG Turf a call at (770) 832-8608. We are always happy to help you choose the best grass variety for your climate and property.

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