Should You Cut Grass Short Before Winter? - Backyard Boss
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Should You Cut Grass Short Before Winter?

There are many things you need to keep in mind when preparing your yard before winter hits. Tend to your rose bushes, mulch your perennials, and clean up any debris in your garden. However, never forget to prepare your lawn! Most people know they should rake leaves and protect plants from frost, but what about the grass? Should you cut it short before winter?

It’s one question that comes up a lot this time of year. Below, you’ll find the answer and some winter care tips for your prized lawn. Keep reading to learn more!

Should You Mow Before Winter?

a young woman wearing overalls and noise blockers is operating a lawnmover on grass in late autumn
Image credits: grandbrothers via Shutterstock

The answer is a resounding yes!

During the growing season, you should always keep your grass between 3 and 3.5 inches. But when the time for your last cutting of the year comes, make sure you cut it down to around 2 inches.

It helps protect new growth and minimizes pests like grubs, mice, and voles. These critters feed on the lawn and build nests within the tall grass. So, don’t forget to give your lawn a nice haircut before the winter rolls in!

Pre-Winter Lawn Care Tips

Careful With Your Watering Habits

Sprinkler watering grass lawn in garden
Image credits: komkrit Preechachanwate via Shutterstock

It’s important to assess and amend any watering techniques during the fall. Since temperatures begin to cool down, you don’t need to water your yard as much as you would during spring or summer. Too much water can damage your grass. So be sure that you only give your lawn the amount of water it needs.

If you have an automated sprinkler, water your lawn twice a week at around four am. Each zone should be watered for about 20 minutes.

If you live in an area that experiences frequent snowfall, you may need to stop watering by the end of September or October. This is when your lawn enters a state of dormancy.

However, if you live in a more humid climate that sees sun year-round, you can continue watering your lawn once or twice a week for about 20 minutes per zone.

Proper Mowing

Young man starting the petrol lawnmower for cutting his fresh grass after winter season
Image credits: Simon Kadula via Shutterstock

Mow your lawn down to 2 inches for your last mow. However, note that dull blades can cause some types of lawn diseases that you will want to avoid. To prevent these issues, always keep your mower blade sharp.

To do this, sharpen your blade at least twice every year. Once this has been done, reattach the blades to your mower and get back to cutting!


Spreading Lawn Fertilizer By Hand In Autumn To Maintain Healthy Grass.
Image credits: Dean Clarke via Shutterstock

Give your lawn (especially cool-season grasses) thorough fertilizing late in the fall or early winter to replace nutrients lost from the soil during the hot summer months. Fertilizer will remain in the soil and feed your lawn’s roots through the winter. When spring rolls around, your lawn will be full of healthy, lush grass.

There are four types of fertilizer for your lawn: compounds, liquid, time release, and organic. You can also opt for homemade options.

Compounds are a simple and quick way to fertilize your lawn. These granular formulas can be applied directly onto the grass, making this method a good choice if you want results fast.

Liquid fertilizer is another popular choice for those who prefer an easy application process. Spray the liquid on your lawn or garden and let it seep into the soil. While this method has its advantages, keep in mind that it tends to evaporate quickly, so you might need to reapply it more often than other types of fertilizer. Also, be careful since too much can burn your lawn.

Unlike a liquid, time-release formulas are designed to seep into the ground over time rather than instantly. It means that you won’t need to reapply as often, and your lawn will always look healthy.

Organic fertilizer is a great option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to keep your lawn green and lush. These products don’t contain chemicals or other potentially harmful ingredients, but they sometimes take longer to show results than conventional alternatives.

Pro Tip: Aerate and overseed your lawn before fertilizing! It will help the fertilizer to get deeper into the ground and loosen up any compacted soil.

Clean Up

Unhealthy lawn
Image credits: youngvet via Canva

One of the most important things to do when preparing your lawn for winter is to clear any objects that are left on it. Logs, toys, and outdoor furniture like patio chairs or tables, should be removed prior to mowing.

Leaving these items on your lawn over the long cold winter months can also create large dead spots where they have been sitting due to their weight.

Mow With Pride!

Now that you know the answer to whether or not you should mow your lawn short for the winter, it’s time to get started on your winter lawn care!

Be sure to share this article with your friends and family so they can prepare their lawns too. Do you have any tips or tricks for winter lawn care? Leave a comment below!