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When Should You Stop Mowing Your Lawn in the Fall?

Big Blog Of Gardening logo: MainLogo Big Blog Of Gardening 9/16/2022 Big Blog Of Gardening

Late September, Halloween or Thanksgiving? When is the right date to stop mowing your lawn?

As days become shorter in autumn, your grass will grow slower, so your weekly routine might move to every 10 days or even 14 days. © Provided by Big Blog Of Gardening As days become shorter in autumn, your grass will grow slower, so your weekly routine might move to every 10 days or even 14 days.

To cut or not to cut the lawn after October 1? Do you leave it shaggy and tall going into winter or give it a buzz cut? Many articles have been written on the subject and we’re sure many neighbors have argued about it.

According to Iowa State University, the right time to stop mowing your lawn in the fall is when it stops growing and goes into dormancy. This varies according to where you live. In areas where cool-season grasses are planted (summers are short and warm and winters are cold), your lawn stops growing when daytime temperatures are regularly below 50 Fahrenheit (10 Celsius), usually sometime in late October or November. In warmer areas of the U.S. dormancy may not occur until January.

Length matters.

The height of your cut matters a great deal, especially when going into winter. At all times, including the last fall cut, you should only mow your lawn when it’s reached 4″ (10 cm) so it can be mown to 3″ (7.6 cm). Three inches of height allows the blades of grass to maximize photosynthesis and establish strong, deep, healthy roots to choke out weeds and manage water. Cutting the lawn shorter than 3″ causes the grass to use up nutrients faster as it funnels its energy into top growth to regain that height as quickly as possible. When the grass is working that hard to replenish top growth, it’s using less for root growth which is necessary for strong, drought-resistant plants. A three-inch height also helps the grass to remain upright and is the perfect height to shade the soil from the sun and suppress weed growth.

Naturally, as days become shorter, your grass will grow slower, so your weekly routine might move to every 10 days or even 14 days in the fall. Maybe even to 3 weeks by the time you do your final cut as winter looms.

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Early fall is also the perfect season for other lawn care:

  • Aerate your lawn. Aeration is removing plugs of soil from the turf, creating pores that carry water and nutrients to the grass roots and through the soil.
  • Remove thatch if the layer is deeper than 1/2″. Thatch is the buildup of old grass roots and rhizomes below the green vegetation but above the soil line.
  • Reseed bare spots in the lawn. The warmer soil temps from mid-September to early October help the seed germinate faster than in spring. There is also less competition from weeds.).
  • Mulch autumn leaves with your mower to prevent them from matting on the lawn and blocking light and water which impedes growth. Mulching the leaves also feeds your lawn.

Send your lawn into the winter as healthy as possible to avoid winter damage from snow, ice, frost, diseases, and rodents!

The post When Should You Stop Mowing Your Lawn in the Fall? appeared first on Big Blog Of Gardening.

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Todd Heft

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