Mow the lawn this March

The warm and wet months of spring encourage rapid grass growth, leaving most lawns in dire need of a cut to get them looking a little less shabby, and a lot more chic. Find out when, why, and at what length to mow the lawn this month, with helpful tips from Essex turf grower, Paynes Turf.

It’s time to mow the lawn! Paynes Turf

Care must be taken on the first cut of the year not to cut too much off the top of the grass, however this can be very tempting given its unkempt appearance. Nevertheless, always remember the number one rule of grass cutting: NEVER cut more than a third off the top of the grass at any one time. Why? Root growth will be impaired which could cause shallow rooting; all of the resources (nutrients) in the grass blades will go to the tips of the grass to help it to recover from the ‘shock’ of the cut. This means that root growth will subsequently be slow and weak – not good news for the start of the growing season as the lawn could be left susceptible to weeds (which are also at the start of their growing season).

Cutting a lawn very short on a regular basis could leave the grass open to lawn diseases, which will result in a dry, patchy lawn, drought, and even the appearance of moss.

What’s the correct height to mow?

If your lawn mower has a height cutting setting, set it to the highest marker for the first cut of the year; this will be enough to tidy up the unevenness of the grass.

Leave it a few days (or up to a week), set the cutter height to one marker below the previous cut, and mow the lawn. Lower the cutting height on subsequent cuts until you reach the desired length.

What is the desired length?

This all depends upon the type of seed mixture that your grass is grown from. Most lawns will have been laid with turf that has a seed mixture suitable for general use and should be mowed up to a height of 40mm in the spring and autumn, and at around 25mm in the summer. Keeping the grass at a good length in the summer will prevent the grass from drying out during hot, dry periods.

When to mow?

Mowing is entirely dependent on the weather and the time of year:

  • Mow once every 7-10 days in spring and autumn
  • Mow once every 1-2 weeks in the summer
  • In winter, mowing should not be necessary, but if the weather is mild and the grass is growing, mow the lawn on the highest setting
  • NEVER mow the grass when it’s wet or frosty