How Long After Planting Grass Seed Can I Mow?
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How Long After Planting Grass Seed Can You Mow?

If you are a lawn owner, you should always care about its health. There are numerous factors to keep in mind if you want it to thrive green and strong, and one of them is planting grass seeds. 

Even though this activity seems not complicated at first glance, you have to be careful if you don’t want to overseed your lawn at some point, especially if you have children or pets. But when exactly will that seed grow? And more importantly, how long after planting do you have to wait before mowing your lawn?

We will answer all of these questions for you! 

How Long Does it Take Seeded Grass to Grow?

Grass seeds
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Depending on the type of seed you have spread, it may take anywhere from 5 to 30 days until you begin to see anything happening. You need to consider many factors during this process, including the age of the grass seed

So don’t feel you are a failure if your space is still a barren brown after a few weeks, especially if you’ve properly prepared the soil and fed your nascent lawn with fertilizer. According to The Garden Counselor, moisture, warmth, oxygen, and light are crucial details for seed germination success.

How To Water Your Lawn For the Best Grass?

Watering the lawn
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Moisture is the number one factor to consider when wondering how soon your seeds will burst to life and how long you will need to wait until you can add a lush carpet of new grass into your lawn care schedule. Watering new grass seeds is crucial to the germination, growth of the seedlings, and root creation during the entire life of your lawn. Proper moisture maintenance from the beginning will develop your new growth into the lawn you always wanted.

Seeds and seedlings need to be kept moist (not drowned) to keep from drying out. According to Scott’s Lawn Library, the top 1 inch of soil should be kept moist at all times (a twice-daily watering should do it), and the area watered daily after sprouting until you have mowed at least once. Seed hulls need water to soften to germinate, and new growth doesn’t have the roots to survive any type of dry spell. A general rule to remember is: if it dries out, it dies out.

Once your seedlings have the proper roots to survive, watering properly will help to ensure a long, healthy lawn life. Healthy, deep, water-seeking roots mean strong plants for optimal growth- and root depth is directly related to grass height.

See Also: How Long Should You Water Your Lawn? and How To Avoid Overwatering Your Lawn

What is Optimum Grass Height for a Healthy Lawn?

Green Grass Lawn
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Don’t get too excited and begin to prep your lawn mower once you see new growth! Water isn’t the only thing to consider when growing your lawn from seed. A lawn’s height is directly related to its root system, so you need to keep your grass at the right height to keep those roots deep and healthy.

A lawn kept right around 3 inches following the ⅓ rule is the perfect height to ensure healthy new growth before cutting again, as well as the added benefit of crowding out unwanted weeds. Since roots anchor your seedlings into place, if you mow too early you can rip your new growth right out of the ground, negating all the weeks of watering and anxious waiting for the green to appear.

For new grass, you want to be sure the grass has reached at least 3 ½ inches in height, if not more, before cutting for the first time. This should take about 8 weeks, so be patient! When you can cut for the first time, you will want to make sure you follow good cutting techniques and mow high.

What are Proper Mowing Techniques?

Gardener driving a riding lawn mower in a garden
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Once you have managed to grow a great-looking lawn, you want to keep it looking that way. Following the hints below to keep it looking healthy for years to come:

  • The number one rule to remember when mowing is to keep a sharp blade! Keep in mind that you should get your blade sharpened after every 20 hours of work. Most hardware stores can do this for you for a minimal fee, and it’s definitely worth the effort since a dull blade can rip even healthy lawns up by the roots and decimate new growth completely.
  • Move slowly and turn gently to avoid ripping up new seedlings when mowing in new areas of growth. Their roots are still growing and will not have anchored the grass stems to the soil as strongly as matured plants.
  • Try to mow only when the lawn is dry and not following a rainstorm or watering session. Wet grass can become torn and tangled, leading to being pulled up by the roots- something you don’t want to happen.
  • Mow high to not disrupt the root system and follow the ⅓ rule to encourage a thick, lush lawn. It will ensure a healthy life and look to your grassy areas. The perk of these rules often becomes that you don’t have to mow as often as well.
  • Try to leave your grass clippings as long as they aren’t clumping. They will return nutrients to the soil and help retain moisture without adding too much to the thatch. However, if seeding weeds were present, your best option is to bag your clippings and dispose of them within a compost or far enough away from your lawn to avoid re-seeding the weeds.

Ready to Mow?!

If you’ve seeded a bare patch or overseeded an existing lawn, you have had some questions concerning what step comes next. Keep in mind that patience with the growth of the new seedlings, and their maturation, is crucial to overall lawn care and health before you prep that lawn mower.

  • Be sure to become familiar with the particular type of seed you have spread.
  • Familiarize yourself with watering techniques to help keep the top 1 inch of soil moist during germination and early growth.
  • Don’t prep that lawn mower until the new grass is at least 3 ½ inches tall! This will most likely take at least 8 weeks or more after germination!
  • Apply the ⅓ rule and cut high to encourage deep roots, a technique that is not only great for new growth but existing lawns as well.

I hope this was a helpful article, and if you have any further tips to share or questions, please comment below!