When to cut grass after winter: The exact date you should start mowing

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Cutting the grass is essential to achieve a luscious green lawn in summer, but doing it at the wrong time could be detrimental to its growth. The cold winter weather and slow-growing grass mean there is no need to cut it until the frosty weather has passed, but is now the right time? This is exactly when to cut your lawn after winter – and how to do it.

When to cut the grass after winter

Mowing your lawn is an essential part of garden maintenance and is usually required between March and October.

While this seven-month period is the busiest time for growing grass blades, the exact date you should begin cutting can vary based on the weather.

Late frosts, extreme weather conditions and regional temperatures can all have an effect on your post-winter mowing date, but there is one key day you should mark in your calendar.

According to the Woodland Trust, March 18 is the best time to begin cutting your grass.

The Woodland Trust said: “Records from our citizen science project, Nature’s Calendar, over the last few years, illustrate how the weather influences our grass cutting habits.

“The Beast from the East in early 2018 brought widespread snow and low temperatures, delaying the average first lawn cut to six days after the benchmark year (2001).

“In contrast, a mild start to 2019 and 2020 resulted in early grass growth, with the average date being 21 and 18 days earlier than the benchmark year respectively.”

Why is the first mowing date important?

Grass begins growing when soil temperatures peak above 6C.

With current temperatures reaching highs of around 10C across the UK, an even earlier mowing date could be on the cards for warmer southern regions.

While mowing is usually not required during winter, increasing temperatures have seen some grass growing all year round, with an estimated seven percent of Brits continuing to mow throughout the season.

In fact, the Met Office has estimated that the growing season has increased by at least one month compared to the period between 1960-1990.

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How to cut your lawn after winter

The timing of your first cutting isn’t the only thing to think about this spring, but also the way you do it.

Cut on a high setting

Keeping a high cut is the best way to protect your lawn after a harsh winter, so keep your mower on a tall setting.

Cutting too close will stress the grass and cause shallow roots which could ruin your lawn.

Aim to cut less than one-third of the height of the grass during your first spring cutting – you can always remove progressively more later in the season.

Cut late in the day

A late afternoon mow is the perfect time to begin cutting, so aim for a mid-to-late March mow on a warm day.

It is crucial to do it towards the end of the day to make sure any frost has thawed and dew has evaporated from the grass.

Cut dry grass

If the ground is too wet, you could damage both the grass and soil while cutting the moist blades.

Instead, choose a dry sunny day when the grass is completely dry to make a clean cut and establish healthy roots.

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