Spring is literally just around the corner and maybe you are already wondering “when should I mow my lawn for the first time in spring”?
Well, the basic rule of thumb when cutting your lawn for the first time in spring, is to make sure the grass is preferably dry and to adjust your lawnmower to the highest cutting height to just nip off the tips of the grass (about half an inch), simple.
But its not just spring you need to be concerned about, what about the other seasons, summer, autumn and winter?
Each month through those seasons will need a different approach to get the most out of your lawn.
How Many Times Do You Mow Your Lawn In a Year?
Most average lawns need about 20 to 30 cuts a year, and more formal lawns will need around 35-45 cuts a year.
Starting from spring, lawns are cut at two week intervals, this also includes autumn.
But the most frequent cuts are through the summer months unless there is a drought, then cuts will be held back
What Height Should I Cut My Grass?
To help you get the best from your lawn there are certain height adjustments you need to follow to ensure your lawn will look its best and healthiest through the year.
Below I detail each month with how many times you need to mow, and what height adjustments you need to make to your lawnmower.
First mow of the year, growth will be starting, adjust your lawnmower to the highest height so that it will just nip the tops of the grass (about half an inch).
Make sure the grass is relatively dry.
March may only need one cut due to slow growth, but if it needs another going over later in the month, don’t hesitate, but keep the height adjustment the same as the last cut.
It’s getting warmer (about time!), the rise in temperature through April will cause the grass to start growing consistently.
The frequency of cuts will now change to every two weeks, but still keep the height adjustment the same as March.
You may find that if the temperatures are good, you may start to move onto weekly cuts coming towards the end of the month, but again don’t adjust the cutting height.
May & June
It’s time to adjust the cutting height! whoop!
Drop the cutting height through May to the next notch on your lawnmower.
We will now be on weekly cuts, each week I like to drop the height by one notch until I get to a 1.5 inch cutting height and no less, so I want you to do the same.
But, don’t go any lower than 1.5 inches cutting height, this will just cause too much work, potentially ruin your lawn, dry it out and cause a whole load of other issues you don’t want.
July & August
In these two months you will have to use your due diligence.
If it’s dry and hardly any rain, growth will be slow, so cut at least every two weeks
If it’s hot and dry, raise the cutting height by one notch and cut the same as above.
Now if we are getting the odd rainfall and moisture levels are good (not overly dry soil) drop the height by one notch and mow as frequent as May and June.
Autumn rain will be making its appearance and because September is still a warm month, it will be perfect growing conditions for your lawn.
Mow frequently (every week) and lower your cutting height if you didn’t do it through July and august.
If you have a moss prone lawn don’t lower the cutting height, increase it by one notch.
October maybe your last regular cuts, so it’s a good time not to stress the grass out.
Raise your lawnmower cutting height back to the height you had in March, this will allow the little growth the grass has to grow up and protect itself through the winter months.
Usually the last cut of the year. Don’t adjust the cutting height from October.
I usually then wait until the 3rd week of November before I cut the lawn to allow it to gain some height and strength for the winter.
Cutting in the 3rd and 4th weeks will give the lawn a good tidy ready for the rest of the winter.
Also remove any fallen leaves with your lawnmower (if it’s rotary) or a leaf blower.
Winter lawn mowing
Your neighbours may think your nuts, but you shouldn’t go through the rest of winter with an untidy lawn.
Keeping the height adjustment the same as October and November, mow the lawn only when it starts to look untidy.
Make sure no frost is present or if its due in the next 24 hours, don’t mow it.
Again don’t mow the lawn if it’s too wet, and be careful when turning with your lawnmower because the grass will easily damage at this time of year.
Is It Better To Mow In The Morning Or Evening?
Mid – morning (8 am – 10 am) is the most favoured time to mow your lawn.
This gives your lawn sufficient time to recover and dry out before the cooler evening draws in.
If you don’t give your lawn sufficient time to recover before the evening draws in.
The cooler temperatures and the dew that comes with it, will be the perfect conditions to cause your lawn to develop diseases and fungal infections.
If your working full-time it will be in your favour to arrange your lawn mowing to be done at the weekend so you can keep to the recommended mid morning cut.
You can however, cut your lawn in the late afternoon.
The temperatures are slightly lower than mid-day, and will also give you enough hours for the grass to recover and dry out before the evening.
Should I Water After Mowing?
Yes of course, you can safely water your lawn after a mow.
But be smart about it, like I said try and keep to a mid-morning cut and if you do water the lawn, you will have enough time for the lawn and soil to soak up the water before it gets to mid-day.
Watering your lawn or any other plant at mid-day would just be a waste, the sun will be at its highest and hottest and will evaporate the water very quickly.
(I go further into why it would be a waste to water ANY plant at mid-day and why you should start watering your plants with coffee in another post, check it out here)
If you have to do a late afternoon mow, you should still be OK but don’t over saturate it, there won’t be enough time for the lawn to soak up the water before the evening creeps in.
How often and how long should I water my lawn?
Up to and no less than 2- 3 times a week and as early as possible in the morning.
Watering anymore than this will cause your lawns roots to develop a shallow root system.
A shallow root system will cause your lawn to dry out very fast and will cause your lawns turf to become very weak.
Watering deeply 2-3 times a week will encourage your lawn to develop a deep root system, becoming stronger and most importantly drought resistant.
The rule of thumb for healthy watering of your lawn is 1 inch of water.
Now I can hear you asking “how do I know my lawn has had a inch of water???”
Easy, firstly if you haven’t invested in a sprinkler, you definitely need one. Amazon have a very popular sprinkler that I always recommend to my customers, The spear and Jackson Oscillating Sprinkler.
You also need an empty flat bottomed container, I would suggest an opened tin of tuna (emptied mind you).
Place the empty tin of tuna in the path of the sprinkler, and then time how long it takes to fill it up.
Tin’s of tuna are about an inch deep, so it makes this test really easy to do.
My results have been around 30 minutes to fill the tin.
My water pressure will be different to you, so you may get a different result.
Just stick to the time it took to fill the tin whenever you water your garden, and that way you know you have watered the lawn sufficiently, easy!
Did This Post Help?
Hopefully I’ve answered your question “When should I mow my lawn for the first time in spring?
Download the lawn mowing timetable, print it out and put it on your fridge or notice board so you can refer back to it each month to make sure you keep your lawn looking tip top!
Each and every week I put my heart and soul into providing you with great content to help with any DIY jobs around the home.
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