Mowing New Grass, this is how you do it


Mowing is one of the most frequently done lawn care jobs. Regular mowing helps you keep your lawn robust and healthy. Mowing regularly also improves the beauty of your lawn. If the grass is not mowed for quite a time, it may grow at different heights and give a rough look to your lawn. Moreover, your lawn may become an ideal habitat for various insects and critters.  So, it is important to mow your lawn regularly right from the start.

Mowing New Grass, this is how you do it:

Mowing newly grown grass requires a bit of extra care. When new grass has grown up to 3 or 4 inches, it is ready to be cut. It must be allowed to grow beyond the recommended height so that its roots easily get established in the soil. When you start mowing for the first time, do not cut more than one-third of the grass height. This can be followed later with regular mowing to bring to cut it to your preferred height. Ensure that your blades are as sharp as possible.

This article will provide you the knowledge about mowing your new grass efficiently without damaging your turf. Besides, it will also discuss the techniques that you can adapt before mowing you’re new grass for the first time and maintain it.

Important things to know before mowing new grass

When should you mow the grass after you have seeded it? The answer is that there is no set number of days. It would be best if you let nature tell you when it’s time for a cut and pay attention to the appearance of your grass. If you have got no rain at all and no germination, you have nothing to mow. Before mowing your new grass, you should always consider the germination of grass, its height, and whether it looks like it’s time to mow it or not.

Rain

Always monitor the rain you got in your area. You can use small rain gauges for that purpose. This tells you about the irrigation that your grass has received after it is seeded. The ideal rainfall for healthy growth is around an inch per week.

Physical Appearance

It is also important to consider the grass’s physical appearance and note whether it is thick and dense enough to handle mowing. If it is not healthy enough to bear mowing, don’t mow it. Mowing will rip off your new grass rather than cut it. You may consider renovating your existing lawn to overcome the bare patches. You may mow the grown grass while avoiding the seeded patches. And once the seeding grows, you can cut them to the same height as the more mature grass.

If you have added new grass on your existing lawn and the old grass is now five to six inches tall, then you have to mow that because when already grown grass gets tall, it will start to shade out the seedlings, and they will not receive the necessary sunlight which will affect their growth.

The right time to mow new grass

Mowing at the right time encourages more growth. Different types of grass have different growth rates. Seeded lawns may take up to 2 months before they are ready to be mowed. Stolons and plugs may take 3 to 6 weeks to establish. Sod can be mowed after 2 to 3 weeks. For example, if you are growing Perennial rye, you should mow it for the first time after 15 to 16 days if you have normal rainfall in your area.

Similarly, this time may increase for tall fescue to about 20 days. Grass-like Kentucky bluegrass may take even longer because it hardly starts to germinate for 3 to 4 weeks. The physical appearance of your grass will guide you the best about whether it requires mowing or not. You can be selective in mowing the areas that need mowing and leaving others alone if you think they don’t require mowing at this stage.

Observing the height

One way to determine if it is time to start mowing is to observe your grass’s height. A grass grown up to 3 or 4 inches is ready to be mowed. New grass must be allowed to grow beyond the recommended height so that its roots easily get established in the soil. Once they grow up to a reasonable height, no more than one-third of the grass should be cut. After that, regular mowing should be performed to bring it down to your preferred height.

Cutting Sharp and Clean

Another consideration when doing the first mow is to make sure your blades are as sharp as possible. Make sure that your turf is not torn or ripped due to dull blades. Cutting low will pave the way for invading weeds and heat stress to the newly seeded lawn. Mow in different directions to keep the grass upright. Cutting in one direction will make the blades lay down in that direction. You must make sure that you get the cleanest cut and are not shredding anything or having difficulty cutting through it. Sharp blades are a must.

Mowing a freshly turfed lawn

A newly turfed lawn will probably need the next cut after 8-10 days in summer and spring. Always make sure to sharpen the blades of the mower before this mow. Blunt blades may cause damage to the leaves by leaving an open wound on them, which could allow diseases to take hold. A simple rule before cutting the new turf lawn is to determine if you tug on the grass and the turf is not lifting, then it’s all good to mow your lawn for the first time.

Also, remember that a grass-grown slightly longer has a lot more durability and the ability to withstand weather stress like drought and frost. So, let your turf grass grow just above the recommended height, and then give it its first cut. Grass plants on the turf face a lot of stress once they are harvested, rolled up, and re-laid, so you need to be gentle with them for few weeks. Set the mower on the highest settings and just reduce the grass height by no more than 20%.

Mowing a newly seeded lawn

Seeded grass is different from turfgrass in the sense that the seedlings of seeded grass are young and more vulnerable and need to be nurtured if they are going to grow into a lush lawn. So, extra care is required while mowing a seeded lawn. Grass in a seeded lawn should be given more time to grow and establish its roots in the soil before its first cut.

At the time of the first mow, the grass should be at least 3 inches high. This encourages your lawn to grow healthy, thick, and dense.

Young plants grow fast and establish roots, so they need to be nourished well otherwise, they become weak. The requirement of sunlight and water for new grass is much more than already grown grass. Plants make their food through their leaves. Never cut more than 20% of the blades in the first cut so that there is a good area of leaf left for the plants to make their food and carry on the growing process.

How to mow new grass

As the new grass is not established yet in the soil, you must use a much lighter and gentle mower for the first couple of times. The new grass root system has not been developed enough, so you should go over everything carelessly. It is preferable to use a manual reel mower or a push mower for the initial mows. This way, you can easily pick it up around the corners and don’t have to take major turns on the turf. Otherwise, it may cause damage to the grass. You should also avoid using a striper kit or roller for the first couple of mows, as it may also cause damage to the new grass when it rolls over it.

Following are several things that you should keep in your mind before mowing your new grass:

  • Dry: Make sure that the grass is completely dry before mowing to avoid pulling anything out of your new lawn.
  • Often and limited amount: Always mow the new grass carefully with small cuts, but more often. Don’t try to mow at once and try to get the burden off your shoulders as it may cause serious damage to your lawn.
  • Higher than recommended height: Let your grass grow about one and a half of the recommended height before mowing.
  • Use only part of the blade: For the first mow, let the grass grow to the upper recommended height or even a little higher to give it time for establishing, and be sure that you cut only with one-third of the blade.
  • Recommended height: After a few days of the first mow, cut again to achieve the recommended height.
  • Regular cut: Mow regularly afterward as it will help your grass grow healthy.

Mowing the new grass too short

Mowing too much initially makes your lawn more vulnerable to weather stress, weeds, and diseases. Cutting the grass too short also inhibits root growth. When new grass is mowed too short, the leaves’ surface area is reduced, which is where the grass collects the energy from the air and sun. It relies on roots to grow, which weakens them, and they are less able to endure rain and drought. Shallow roots require more water and make it difficult for the grass to maintaining moisture.

A grass mowed too low has less leaf available for photosynthesis which, as a result, damages the grass. Short grass exposes the turf to direct heat which causes it to dry quickly, especially in summers. Therefore, extra care is needed for short grass by watering it frequently to protect it from drought. Moreover, grass cut too short struggles to fight the intruders and succumb to the disease, weeds, and pests.

Not mowing new grass for an extended time

If new grass is not mowed for an extended period, it will grow at different heights, giving your new lawn a shaggy look. New grass is watered a lot initially, and if it is allowed to grow tall, it may trap moisture in the lower areas, making the lawn prone to fungus and other diseases. The blades of long grass are unable to hold themselves up, which also adds to the ugliness of the lawn. The long grass may also drop on the surrounding grass blocking their sunlight and inhibiting their growth.

This may cause yellow or brown patches on your turf to appear if not correctly mowed. Not mowing for a long time may cause the grass to go to seeds where its blades look more like weeds than grass. Don’t let the grass grow tall, and then cut it back hard. That’s too stressful for the plants, and you will eventually end up with a patchy, brown lawn.

Watering new grass 

New grass requires more frequent watering to keep it away from drying. Watering twice a day for a week is good for new grass, as it is in the initial growth stage. Once the grass is germinated, you can start to adjust your watering schedule. Set longer watering periods once your grass has started growing.

You should also keep track of the rainfall that your lawn receives. After a week of growing new grass, you can water 2-3 times. After 3-6 weeks, you only have to water the grass once a week. Watering the grass before noon is advisable as the lawn will easily dry off before evening.

Final Word

Mowing new grass is not difficult as one may think, but it does require some extra care. As mowing the grass puts extra stress on it, you should always let the new grass grow a little longer than the recommended height to fully establish the roots in the soil before mowing it for the first time. Whether you are growing a newly seeded lawn or a turf lawn, be gentle with your new grass and give it some time to grow in the beginning. So that your grass nourishes well and adds to the beauty of your lawn. 

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