If you are a new homeowner and have never had to take care of your own lawn, you might wonder when it is the right time to start cutting your grass and when to stop. The answer to this question is not as straightforward as it may seem. The timing of mowing your lawn depends on the type of grass, the time of year, and the climate. For example, you may want to start cutting earlier in southern climates than in northern climates because it can take longer for grass to grow during those seasons.
In the Edmonton area, the grass usually starts growing in Spring. At the beginning of May, it will get long enough you can start cutting your grass. There is no strict rule, however, if your grass is longer than a couple of inches, you can cut it. You need to make sure that you leave at least a couple of inches of your grass and avoid scalping your lawn, if the grass is too short it will be susceptible to pests as well as weeds. So, with that in mind, it’s usually good to cut your grass at least once a week. However if the hot weather stays for a couple of weeks, the heat stunts the grass growth and you don’t need to worry about cutting it.
Looking at the length of the grass is the only sure way to know when to cut it. 2-3 inches long is a good rule of thumb for your lawn grass. Never cut your grass below 2 inches. When you cut your grass, it also stops the growth of the roots and you need long and healthy roots to ensure that the grass is strong and heat resistant, so avoid cutting too short or too often to give roots a good chance to develop.
This brings us to the next question - when do you stop cutting your grass in Alberta? While there is no fixed answer to this question, it usually gets cold in Alberta in October and so the grass stops growing. So, you may cut your grass after the fall cleanup, but you don’t always know if it is the last time until you can confirm the grass has stopped. So, be ready to cut it again if the weather stays warm till the end of October approximately.
Keep in mind that the first snowfall that usually melts the next day will not stop the grass growth, so don’t put your lawnmower away until the temperatures drop down consistently. Cutting the grass before the winter is important because the long grass is susceptible to snow mould which isn’t good for grass and it will cause problems for people with allergies in the spring when the snow melts. But cutting it too short before winter causes the root system to weaken, so stick to the same standard of 2-3 inches long before cutting your grass for winter.
If you are still unsure when to start and stop cutting lawn grass, ask professionals to help you with proper lawn winterizing. Overall, regular lawn maintenance that includes fertilizing, aerating, dethatching, weed control and lawn edging will keep your lawn healthy and looking great.