How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn? (6 Factors to Consider)

“How often should you mow your lawn?” is perhaps the most common question we get here at American Landscapes. And in this article, we’re going to answer that question.

But there’s more to it than a simple response (isn’t there always?). Don’t worry, we’ll keep it simple by describing the 6 environmental conditions that affect your mowing schedule.

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How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?

The overall aesthetic appeal of your home starts from the outdoors; specifically, your lawn. It’s the first thing that people see and notice and can play a tremendous role in boosting your home’s market value and curb appeal. Homeowners must do their part to maintain their lawns.

The most basic lawn maintenance effort is mowing, but while it sounds easy, there are proper and improper ways to do it. Factors such as the frequency of your lawn mowing efforts, how long or short you cut your grass, etc. are all important to ensure the best results. 

When and how often you should conduct mowing depends on a variety of factors. We lay them all down below to help you identify the best practices for your lawn. 

1. Sunlight

Sunlight is one of the most important variables in the formula of optimal plant growth. Greeneries that get high amounts of sunlight during the day tend to grow more rapidly than those that don’t. The same goes for the grass on your lawn. 

Some parts of your lawn may be shaded by fences, trees, or the structure of your house. In these areas, the grass grows at a much slower pace because of the lack of direct sunlight exposure. These shaded areas should be mowed less than the spots that get a lot of sun.  

sunny lawn - how often should I mow my lawn
A lawn that gets lots of sunlight, like this one, should be mowed more often than shaded grass areas.

2. Grass Type

There is actually no rule set in stone regarding how tall your grass should be before it can be cut. This is because different grass types have different height ranges and hence require different mowing schedules. 

For example, grass with short root systems is best kept short to achieve a clean golf course look. They require more frequent mowing and watering. On the other hand, tall-growing grass where wildflowers can grow in abundance can be allowed to thrive up to 4 inches tall before they need to be mowed. 

Find out what type of grass you have to determine their ideal heights and mowing frequencies. 

3. Grass Height

While cutting your grass as short as possible seems like the best way to maintain it and reduce the frequency of your maintenance efforts, this can do more harm than good. Grass needs to be grown at the proper height before it can be mowed. Cutting it too short can damage the root system and prevent the plant from being able to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. 

In the same way, grass that is allowed to grow too high makes your lawn more susceptible to weeds, pests, and diseases. To help you determine the best height to mow your grass, here are some common grass types used for residential lawns, along with the recommended height before mowing:

new grass - how often should I mow my grass
While these are the recommended heights to allow your grass to grow before you should mow them, keep in mind that the rules are different for new grass. New grass is more vulnerable and needs to be grown at least 3 inches high before it can be mowed. 

4. One-Third Rule

Another important thing to take note of when mowing your grass is the one-third rule. Under this best practice, you should be mowing only ⅓ the height of your grass at a time and not going overboard and cutting to the recommended height at once. 

This prevents shock to the grass and keeps it in optimal health. If your grass is severely overgrown, mow in weekly intervals, chopping off only ⅓ per session. 

one-third rule - how often should you mow your lawn

5. Growth Rate

Some grass types grow faster than others. But there are also other factors that contribute to grass growth. Watering and fertilizing your lawn frequently will help the grass grow faster, which means you will have to mow them more often. Areas that are prone to a lot of rain also produce faster-growing grass. 

In general, you only need to water your lawn once weekly during the growing season. If your grass has a slow growth rate, watering once every 2 weeks is enough. 

6. Time of Year and Climate

The climate is a big contributor to grass growth as well, so the frequency of your lawn mowing efforts would depend on the climate in the place you live. Areas with a hotter climate need to mow more frequently than colder areas because grass grows faster in hot weather.

However, this would also depend on the type of grass you have on your lawn. Warm-season grass thrives in hot weather and can be mowed when they reach 2 inches in height. On the other hand, cool-season grass grows faster in cold weather and can grow up to 3 inches tall before they need to be mowed.

Need More Help?

Need professional help understanding how often should you mow your lawn? Or just getting your lawn mowed on a proper schedule? Just contact American Landscapes here for a free, no-obligation estimate. Or call us at (513) 947-8727.

You can also learn more about our lawn care treatments, and outdoor lighting services by reading our blog. In addition to fertilizer and weed control, we also provide mosquito control, lawn aeration, lawn seeding, and much more.