You Should NEVER Cut Your Grass in These Circumstances


Mowing the lawn is one of the tasks you would usually leave for the weekends. But have you ever considered when you should and should not mow your lawn? Probably not. However, improper mowing can lead to several issues.

Never cut the grass when the grass is too wet or too dry and when its length is below 3.5 inches. It is also best to not cut it upon seeing that it is newly seeded or when the new sod is installed. Under the circumstance when your mower blades are dull, don’t cut them.

Mowing your lawn can have a wide range of benefits – right from helping the grass grow more densely to blocking out weeds. So, here are all the answers to your questions that might revolve around your mind regarding mowing your lawn.  

What Temperature Should You Never Cut the Grass?

Mowing is not advised when the grass is frozen or when the temperatures are below 4 degrees Celsius. This is because, at this temperature, your grass will almost stop growing. So, mowing your grass in such conditions can prove to be dangerous for your lawn.

Can I Cut Grass When It’s Wet?

No. The best time to cut your grass is when it is dry but not too dry. Since moisture can weigh the grass down, making it difficult for the mower to give a straight cut, while this can give your grass a ‘chewed’ look, mowing on a soggy lawn can also cause clippings to clump together.

This can further make your lawn look a lot messier. So, during the rainy season, it is better to wait for the grass to dry up before you haul out the mower.

Why Should You Never Cut Grass in May?

May is the window to the summer season. This is when the once-dormant grass starts to spring up, and mowing the lawn can disrupt the growth of the grass. Moreover, saying no to mowing gives pollinators such as bees a little more time to undertake their work.

While your lawn is left unmown, more flowers grow, resulting in pollinators collecting a lot more nectar. So, delaying mowing until June can help the plants create enough nectar for around ten times more bees and other pollinators.

Mowing less often can help the pollen count in your lawn rise to a significant level.

This is the reason why the charity’s citizen science experiment asked gardeners not to mow their lawn in May. The results of the experiment were undeniable! Other than a tenfold increase in the amount of nectar, the change in the mowing regime also increased the growth of germander, daisies, speedwell, and creeping buttercup.

So, any gardener who wishes to convert their lawns into a meadow for diverse blooms should keep their mowers in the shed for some time.

Does Cutting Grass Attract Nature to My Garden?

No. Nature thrives on irregularity. And while mowing your lawn is important, doing it too frequently can disturb the wildlife in your garden. Moreover, the plants already present in your garden would also have a better chance to grow and bloom.

Since several invertebrates hibernate or spend some time of their life cycle in tussocky grass, hollow stems, dead leaves, and seed heads, retaining some of these elements can provide shelter to them.

Is It Good Practice to Cut Grass in Winter?

As mentioned earlier, one should not mow their lawns when temperatures are below 4 degrees Celsius. So, it majorly depends on how harsh the winters are in your area. If the grass is frozen, there is bound to be heavy moisture as well. This is not a good condition for mowing.

However, the lawn is dry, and the temperatures are above 4 degrees Celsius. You can proceed but with caution. Also, be sure that you only cut one-third of the grass’s length.

How High Should Grass Be Cut?

There is always an ideal height of grass that should be maintained. And doing so will leave you with a healthy turf that can easily prevent weeds, drought, and disease.

Cutting the grass too short can weaken the root system and make the lawn more susceptible to drought, weed invasion, and heat damage. And letting it grow too long can create a great habitat for insects and critters. So, it is crucial to maintain the optimum height of your grass.

The rule of thumb here is to only cut about the top one-third of the grass blade.

And since the optimal height of the grass is usually around 2.5 inches, the best time to mow your lawn would be when your grass is around 3.5 inches high.

When Should I Start Mowing and Cut the Grass?

The best time to haul out the mower is when the grass has started to grow actively. This does not mean that you should begin at the very first sight of green grass. And since mowing grass in winter is not a good idea, you should wait for the temperatures to rise again. Once you start seeing the first few signs of spring, it would be a good time to start mowing your lawn.

We also have an article on exactly what happens when you try to back out on the chore: cutting the grass and mowing your lawn, just if you are curious about the rather pesky after effects.

What Maintenance Does A Lawn Mower Need to cut the grass?

Since you have not used your mower throughout the winter, you should probably get it serviced or repaired if required. Moreover, keeping your mower in excellent working condition can play a vital role in maintaining the health of your lawn.

So, be sure that you clean your mower, sharpen and balance the blades, clean or replace the air filter, and change the fluids to ensure that your mower is in excellent condition.

How Often Should I Mow My Lawn and let it cut the grass?

The ‘one-third’ rule applies here as well. The frequency of mowing does not matter as much as the length of the grass does. Letting the grass grow will help the roots grow deeper. Moreover, tall grass will fend off weeds and offer shade to the soil, ensuring that the roots do not dry up fast.

This will allow them to absorb more moisture and nutrients from the soil. Thus, the grass will grow thicker and will make your lawn look a lot healthier.

Mowing the lawn, I felt like I was battling the earth rather than working it; each week it sent forth a green army and each week I beat it back with my infernal machine. Unlike every other plant in my garden, the grasses were anonymous, massified, deprived of any change or development whatsoever, not to mention any semblance of self-determination. I ruled a totalitarian landscape.

Michael Pollan,

So, as suggested earlier, you can mow your grass when it gets around 3.5 inches high and only cut off the top one-third to keep it at an optimal length. This mowing schedule will help you keep your yard looking fuller, healthier, and more beautiful.  

What Is the Best Mowing Pattern to cut the grass?

The best mowing pattern would depend on how much time you want to spend on mowing and how you want your lawn to look. And since each mowing pattern can take a different amount of time and can even give a different look to your lawn, finding your best mowing pattern would need some practice. Some of the most common mowing patterns are:

Stripes is one of the most common mowing patters to cut the grass

Stripes are one of the most straightforward, common, and also the most efficient mowing patterns of all times. This is a great pattern for rectangular lawns. However, a few tips can help you mow your lawn in a much better way. All you need to do is to make sure that as you turn, you lift the mower.

This would avoid mowing the same area twice, which may damage the grass. Also, to get a straight line, you should start mowing parallel to the edge of a sidewalk or driveway.

To cut grass in larger lawns, look into doing the Concentric Circles pattern 

Mowing your lawn in concentric circles is also quite efficient. This is a great pattern for larger lawns. This is because, with each circle passing, the area remaining becomes lesser and lesser. Moreover, it also reduces or even removes any turns and angles, making it a lot easier and quicker.

However, there is one drawback to this pattern – it leaves the mower right in the middle of the lawn. So, moving the mower across freshly-mown grass might leave a trail.

The Double Spiral is another pattern to consider when you cut the grass

This pattern is quite similar to concentric circles but with one distinct advantage. While mowing your lawn in a double spiral pattern, you would not be stuck in the middle of the lawn. And since walking down a freshly-mown lawn is not suggested, it is better to try the double spiral pattern.

While everything else remains the same, you need to skip a lane for a double spiral and leave the mower’s width every time you go forward. This will help you go back in the opposite direction and ensure that you do not end up in the middle of the lawn. You can use chalk to mark up the lanes for the first couple of times to get it perfect.

Why Should I Mow and cut the grass in my lawn regularly?

Regularly mowing your lawn can have a wide range of benefits. Firstly, it will give a fresh and tidy look to your turf and grass while also improving its health. Also, mowing grass is like pinching a plant to stimulate growth. So, trimming the grass will help the roots and give your garden a much fuller and lush look.

Regularly mowing would ensure that each part of your lawn receives the same amount of sunlight, nutrients, and moisture which would help grow.

Trimming your grass regularly can also help the lawn recover quickly from pests, diseases, and damage done by harsh weather. Moreover, extremely tall grass would offer a great hiding place for pests and rodents. So, regularly mowing the lawn can prevent infestations as well.

What Are Some Things I Should Do While Mowing the Lawn and cut the Grass?

There quite a few things that should be kept in mind while mowing your lawn. First of all, the best time in the day to mow is mid-morning. This is when the dew would have dried up, and the temperature would not be so high. This would ensure that the grass is not too dry and not too wet while you mow the lawn. Also, you do not need to bag the clippings.

You can leave them on the grass, and it will act as a natural fertilizer. The remaining blades will be able to absorb the nutrients from the clippings.

These nutrients can be composted and broken down into useful fertilizers. I have an article on organic fertilizers that covers this and can help you further

Other than this, you should always wear sturdy, non-slip boots that will protect your feet from the mower as well as the clippings and debris thrown by the mower. Also, wear eye and ear protection and apply some sunscreen while mowing.

FAQ’s on cutting your grass

Conclusion on why You should never Cut your Grass in these Circumstances

Cutting the grass maybe something that you have looked into while staring at your lawn, but it is best to consider things such as the grass state, length, temperature, as well as the machine, or in this case, the lawn mower’s capability to cut the grass well. We may always push for a cleaner lawn for the present being, only to miss out on pretty and diverse blooms because of hastily mowing the lawn.

They say that the grass is always greener on the other side. Maybe they have cracked the code of mowing and cutting the grass! And with this information, we hope you will also be blessed with a healthy and beautiful lawn.

If you liked this, be sure to keep up to date with our posts on gardening by signing up to the form below.

Tony O'Neill

I am Tony O'Neill, A full-time firefighter, and professional gardener. I have spent most of my life gardening. From the age of 7 until the present day at 46. My goal is to use my love and knowledge of gardening to support you and to simplify the gardening process so you are more productive

Recent Posts