Mowing is an essential part of lawn care, and knowing how often to mow is crucial for maintaining a healthy lawn. As a landscaping and lawn care company in Wichita, KS, we get a lot of questions from homeowners about choosing the right mowing frequency. We recommend starting with the one-third rule and then adjusting your mowing schedule from there.
Follow The One-Third Rule
Above all, use your grass’s growth rate to determine how often to mow. A general rule of thumb for mowing is to never remove more than one-third of the grass blade’s height at a time. This is known as the “one-third rule.” Grass that’s cut too short can stress the plant and hinder its ability to photosynthesize and produce energy.
Adjust Mowing Frequency According to the Season
Your mowing schedule should adjust according to the weather and time of year.
Mowing Frequency During the Growing Season
During the growing season, typically from spring to fall, how often you mow your lawn depends on grass type, weather, and your watering schedule. As a general guideline, mowing once a week should be enough for most lawns. However, during peak growing season, such as in the early spring, you may need to mow more frequently, even twice a week.
Mowing Frequency During the Off-Season
Grass grows slower as temperatures cool down, so you can mow less frequently. During the off-season, generally late fall through winter, you may be able to switch from weekly mowing to mowing once every two weeks. Once the temperatures get down around freezing, you won’t have to mow at all. Remember, it’s important to follow the one-third rule, even during the off-season.
Other Factors Affecting Mowing Frequency
Several factors can influence how often you need to mow your lawn:
- Grass Type: Cool-season grasses, such as fescue and ryegrass, generally require less frequent mowing than warm-season grasses, such as Bermuda and Zoysia.
- Weather Conditions: Hot, dry weather can slow down grass growth, reducing the need for frequent mowing. Conversely, cool, moist weather can promote rapid growth, requiring more frequent mowing.
- Watering Practices: Watering regularly encourages healthy growth, so you may need to mow more frequently. We’ve created a guide to help you know how much to water your lawn in the Wichita area.
Should You Mow the Lawn After it Rains?
It’s best to avoid mowing wet grass, so if you need to mow after a rainstorm, wait for the lawn to dry out. This goes for mowing after your sprinklers have run, too. You’ll know it’s okay to cut the grass if your shoes stay dry while you walk across your yard.
Mowing too soon after it rains can clog your lawn mower with wet grass clippings, leave wheel ruts in your yard, and even spread lawn disease. Not to mention the danger of slipping on wet grass and the inconvenience of grass stains on clothes and shoes.
Special Considerations for Mowing During a Drought
According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, Sedgwick County, Kansas, has been in extreme or exceptional drought since mid-2022. That means lawns in the Wichita area are under abnormal stress, especially during hotter months. To keep your lawn healthy and conserve water, it’s best to let the grass grow a little longer before mowing.
Cutting grass too short during drought conditions will allow the soil to heat up and dry out quickly, but longer grass helps retain moisture. Grass grows slower when it’s drought-stressed, so you can help your lawn by raising your mower height and mowing less frequently.
Additional Tips for Healthy Mowing
- Mow early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid stress on the grass during hot, midday temperatures.
- Keep your mower blades sharp to prevent tearing the blades of grass, which makes it susceptible to disease.
- Heavy foot traffic from people and pets can stress the lawn, so it’s even more important not to cut the lawn too short or mow too frequently.
By following these guidelines and adapting to your lawn’s specific needs, you can ensure that your lawn remains healthy, vibrant, and looking its best throughout the year.
Tired of Mowing Your Lawn Yourself? Leave it to the Experts
If you live in the Wichita, Kansas, area, leave cutting the lawn to the pros at Elite Landscape Solutions. Our residential lawn mowing service includes everything from trimming and edging to cleanup. You can enjoy a beautiful lawn without the work!