When it is time to take out those winter coats, make sure you’ve trimmed your lawn. Grass grows steadily, but once winter sets in, the plant goes dormant. Therefore, you need to know when to stop mowing lawn in fall when its growth rate is low.
Even though temperatures drop in autumn, the grass is still actively growing. The plant is pretty resilient, and it would take extreme conditions such as a frost to stop it. So, cutting the grass is critical for its future health. Then, when spring comes around, your mowed yard will quickly spring back to life.
When Should You Stop Mowing Your Lawn?
Ideally, the autumn months are the best time to stop cutting grass. The air becomes colder, and the conditions generally deteriorate such that most plants go into dormancy. When September arrives, it’s a lot easier to tell when you should wrap up mowing your lawn.
1. When Your Grass Stops Growing
Usually, you’ll need to cut the grass once the blades become too long. However, low air temperatures are unfavorable for plant growth, and your lawn replenishes rather slowly.
Once you notice extended intervals between subsequent cuts, you know that the grass isn’t growing fast enough. But it would be best if you kept trimming until it is sufficiently short before winter.
But even if the grass doesn’t grow under snowy conditions, you shouldn’t expose the plant to frigid conditions. The frost will likely damage the entire plant causing it to die off.
2. Once You Start To Notice Frost On The Soil
Frost is a good indicator of freezing temperatures slowly penetrating the soil. You can ignore the first frost and still get several mows in before hanging your equipment.
Once your area experiences a couple more frosts, then you can stop mowing because the grass will have turned dormant.
3. Once You Attain The Ideal Grass Height For Winter
As you head into winter, you don’t want your grass to be extremely short, not too long. Short grass is likely to freeze over and die. On the other hand, longer grass blades are excellent breeding grounds for mold. They also risk killing your lawn.
Usually, your grass should be at least two inches tall. This height isn’t too short for winter shock to set in. The grass blades are also small enough to prevent fungal infections from the snow.
Important Precursors — When To Stop Mowing
If the weather becomes too hard to predict, you can watch for natural indicators to know when to stop mowing lawns in the fall.
- Falling Leaves
Falling leaves are a standout characteristic of autumn. Have you ever wondered why it is called fall? Watch the trees because they give the strongest signal of the impending winter cold.
As trees shed more leaves, the air becomes colder, and the growth rate of most plants drops. So once a prominent tree loses half of its leaves, your lawn will grow significantly slower. But don’t put off maintaining your property just yet; get rid of the dropping leaves.
- Soil Temperature
Soil temperature plays a crucial role in grass growth. When it is warm and toasty, grass grows prolifically. But during winter, once conditions hit minus 55 degrees Fahrenheit, some grasses stop growing. Cool-season varieties go dormant at minus 45 degrees.
Frost is an excellent indicator of soil temperatures. Grasses will not stop growing after one frost. You are better off preparing for winter after noticing it by squeezing a couple of cuts before snowfall.
Once your lawn experiences several touches of frost, the soil temperature should have dropped so much that the grass goes dormant.
Why Must You Cut Grass In The Fall?
You might wonder why it is recommended to cut grass in the autumn. If the lawn isn’t growing that fast, why not save some gas instead? But as long as the grass is more than two inches tall, it needs trimming.
- Prevent Diseases
Long grass breeds diseases such as snow mold, which endanger the life of your beautiful yard. And you won’t know that sickness has afflicted your grass until it’s too late in spring.
Also, longer grass blades freeze quite easily. After freezing, they can snap, break apart and leave bits of the plant exposed to bacteria and fungi. Short grass is not susceptible to freezing.
- Deter Pests And Intruders
Long grass offers excellent shelter for a variety of home intruders. Voles eat grass shoots and roots. Also, since they are a favorite meal for cats and owls, the grass gives excellent shelter. They’ll hastily make a winter meal out of your lawn.
On the other hand, short grass has a little cover. You’ll quickly notice the vermin because the grass height won’t hide the voles who are busy chewing on the blades.
- Spur Growth In Spring
Cut grass grows more rapidly, and once you start mowing, you’ll need to keep up with the growth. However, dormancy slows things down, but once the air becomes a bit warmer, the blades spring to life once more.
How To Protect Your Lawn During Winter
Your lawn will be under freezing conditions throughout the winter. There is a high chance that it is going to be under snow most of the time. Frigid conditions can destroy the grass. However, you can protect it and ensure excellent growth next spring.
- Gradually Shorten The Grass Before Winter
The ideal grass height is around 2 inches. Don’t cut your grass down to this height. However, spread those cuts over time while allowing the plants to acclimatize to their new size. Once you notice the first frost, try to cut as much as you can before conditions deteriorate.
- Avoid Mowing Frozen Grass
Do not cut frozen grass. Lawnmower blades will agitate the solid leaves, and they will shatter. Usually, frigid air will freeze all the moisture inside a plant. It then becomes brittle and easily splits. Again, you risk breaking the plant apart.
Nevertheless, only mow when it’s warm enough for the frost to melt. Then, you can wait for the sun to show before heading onto your field.
Final Thoughts On Winter Lawn Mowing
Any homeowner with a sizable yard should maintain a pristine lawn. However, it gets harder to cut grass if it isn’t growing at all. Also, when the winter sets in, most grass species go dormant, so you’re better off not cutting them.
If the blades are too long, your grass risks contracting a disease that can kill the entire field. Also, the rate of growth during spring will be lackluster.
As a result, the best time to finish up lawn maintenance is in autumn. You should remove gas from your lawn mower and also check your lawn mower hour meter for scheduled maintenance.. You should know when to stop mowing lawns in the fall to get the best balance between disease prevention and exceptional growth after the cold.