As spring comes around, many homeowners face the unenviable task of getting their lawns back into shape after the damage done by winter. Lawn care feels overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to! Knowing when it’s the right time to mow your lawn and the best way to go about doing it turns a chore into a productive project. What’s more, you’ll have beautiful results before summer arrives.
Here is exactly when you should start mowing your lawn for maximum effectiveness and long-term care.
When to Mow
Before you mow, make sure the conditions are right. After all, you don’t want to damage your lawn and undo all the hard work you put into it.
When is the best time to mow? It really depends on where you live because local weather patterns have a major impact. Generally, it will be around March, but you’ll want the soil temperature to be above 43 degrees Fahrenheit or your grass to be at least 2 inches tall, then it should be safe to begin mowing.
However, avoid mowing snow-covered, frosted, or wet grass. Mowing in these conditions causes damage to your lawn and compacts the soil underneath, making it harder for air and water to penetrate.
If possible, wait until later on in the day when the sun has warmed up the soil and dried out your lawn. This reduces the compaction of the soil and gives you a nice evenly cut finish. If temperatures are still low but all signs point to a nice day, wait for the grass to defrost before attempting to mow.
Finally, if conditions are still not ideal and you don’t feel comfortable mowing until another day, then it is best to postpone your plans. That way, you’ll be safe knowing that your lawn remains healthy.
It is difficult to tell if the soil temperature is ready, so invest in a digital thermometer or contact your local extension office for help. This simple step goes a long way toward ensuring that your lawn looks its best.
How to Properly Mow and Care for Your Lawn After Winter
To keep your lawn healthy and looking its best, properly mow and care for your lawn after winter. With a few simple steps and some care, you can make sure that your yard looks great come springtime. Here are some tips on how to properly mow your lawn after winter.
The key is to take just a small amount of the top off each time. In fact, less than 1/3 of the total height of your grass is best. Doing so helps avoid stressing out the grass, resulting in superficial roots that leave your lawn vulnerable to disease, weeds, moss, drought, and bare patches.
As you continue mowing over the subsequent weeks, gradually begin taking more off.
When temperatures heat up, the grass may wilt slightly. This is a sign that it’s time to water. Rather than giving your lawn frequent, shallow sprinklings, provide roughly an inch of water each week. This deep watering encourages grass roots to dig deeper into the soil, which allows them to better withstand dry spells when temperatures rise.
Aerating is a great way to give your grass a health boost and set it up for success in the upcoming growing season. To get the most out of aeration, aim to do this between March and June. This is typically when an optimal window lies and helps ensure that you’re getting the best possible results with your aerating efforts.
You should also consider how often to aerate your lawn. Aerate once every one to three years. However, if your lawn gets a lot of traffic, aerate twice a year in order to best take care of your grass.
After aerating, it’s time to over-seed and fertilize your turf. Doing so reduces runoff and generally improves the overall health of your lawn.
If you want your lawn to look lush and healthy for the upcoming growing season, nourish it with fertilizer after winter. Fertilizing in early spring (February to April) is key to boosting root health and giving your grass the energy it needs. To get the most out of your fertilizer, use one that has a balanced mix of essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
Late spring is also a great time to fertilize, as this is when grass growth really takes off. By feeding it another dose of fertilizer during this period (May to June), you’ll help keep your lawn looking great all summer long.
Once you have aerated, you’re ready for the next step — over-seeding! Focus on those parts of the lawn which are bare or thinner and spread this new grass seed over the soil. If you’re using a lawn spreader, adjust it for the correct amount of seed coverage. Once seeded, rake lightly to ensure that the seeds have made contact with the soil.
Ready, Set, Mow!
Now that you have the information on when to start mowing your lawn after winter, it’s time to get out and give your yard some much-needed TLC. Starting early in the season ensures a healthy and vibrant lawn all season long. Plus, nothing beats that feeling of freshly cut grass. So don’t delay! Head outside today and get started on sprucing up your yard for the better months ahead!
If you have suggestions or feedback based on your own experiences with preparing for spring, leave a comment below. Also, share this article with your family and friends so everyone gets their lawns looking their best.