When to Stop Mowing Your Lawn Before Winter
When the stores switch from pencils to pumpkins, it’s time to begin planning for your winter lawn care needs. Your lawn may face some challenges during the winter months, but we’re here to help as you prepare for the season ahead.
When does grass stop growing?
Us lawn lovers are big fans of photosynthesis. Grass receives its energy from the sun, carbon dioxide from the air, and water from the soil to facilitate consistent growth. As we approach the cooler weather of the winter months, grass enters dormancy in an effort to protect itself from the extreme temperatures ahead.
Grass begins to slow down its growth rate once the daytime temperatures consistently stay below 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on where you are located, this temperature might hit earlier or later in the year.
Should you cut your grass before winter?
100%, you certainly should cut your grass before winter. But like any good hair trim, you should not cut short all at once. Best practice teaches us that you should progressively lower your grass height, instead of giving it one big chop. Cutting your grass short before winter helps to prevent diseases, attract less debris, and lower the potential of having snow mold in the North.
What grass height should you mow your lawn before winter?
Regularly mowing your lawn is one of the most essential aspects to keeping your grass healthy. The recommended mowing lengths vary based on the grass species that you have in your lawn. However, on average, your grass height for winter should be around 2 inches depending on grass type. Due to the cold winter temperatures, grass that is too short might go into shock and grass that is kept too long can be at greater risk of developing snow mold.
When is it too late in the season or too cold to mow grass?
As you bring your winter coats to the front of your closet and the temperatures begin to drop, you should be checking your local weather for the anticipated first frost. Once you know the anticipated first frost, you can plan to mow the grass a few times before that date. This is the best time to mow the lawn before winter. You should slowly mow the grass by reducing the blade height a little each time until the grass is about 2 inches. It's imperative to get in that last mow of the season, before you pack your mower away for the winter.
Cutting grass before a freeze: Can you mow after frost?
Have you heard that it’s best to avoid walking on frozen grass? The same rule applies for mowing after a frost. A frost causes the moisture inside the grass blades to freeze, so any activity on the lawn after a frost can break the grass blade and damage the lawn.
If you must mow your lawn after a frost, the best practices are to ensure that your lawn does not have a lot of moisture from snow or ice and make sure to not mow the lawn when the temperatures are below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Can you damage your lawn by cutting it too late in the season?
The various grass species show signs of damage differently. During the winter, consistent nights of frost can lead to visible damage on a lawn. Since frost freezes the grass blades, it is not ideal to mow grass when it is cold.
If you really want to mow your lawn, be sure to mow your lawn on a warmer day when the sun is hot enough to melt the frost, that the lawn is dry, and that you only cut ⅓ inches of grass.
You don’t have to brace for the cold on your own, reach out to TruGreen today to start preparing for winter. To learn more about how TruGreen can help prepare your lawn for the upcoming season, give us a call at 866.688.6722 or visit our services page.