When can I Start Mowing my New Grass?

When can I Start Mowing my New Grass?

So, you’re ready to make your new grass into a new lawn by giving it its first cut. Great, at least you’ve got this far!

NB For over seeded mature lawns rather than new lawns please scroll down to "Mowing a Newly Over Seeded Lawn"

Are you Good to Mow your New Lawn?

Consider the first cut when:

  • The new seedlings or turf is 5-8cm tall
  • The weather and grass are dry
  • The mower is running well and the box is on
  • The mower blade is sharp and clean
  • Ideally you want a rotary mower not a cylinder mower for this

Mowing Young Grass from Seed

Chances are your seedlings are only 2 – 4 weeks old so are young and tender with thin shallow roots. In addition, the roots will not have consolidated the soil surface fully if this is a new lawn so the ground may be a little soft.

Go slowly with the mowing pace, gentle with the turns and perhaps emptying the box more often than you would normally to keep the weight down. 

Mowing Young Grass from Turf

Ideally you should obey the rules above but there is one additional check. You need to ensure the turf has rooted and stabilised. Do this by grabbing a handful of grass and gently pulling it upwards to see if it will come away from the soil. If it does, tread it back down, leave the lawn for a few more days and test again. Once you can tug without the turf lifting you are good to mow. 

How High to Mow the Grass

The last and perhaps the most important bit is to only take as much off as the highest setting on the mower will cut. This will be different from mower to mower and if you just end up clipping the top off then that’s ideal because the next cut will certainly take more off.

Golden Rule: Try not to take more than one fifth of the leaf off on the first few cuts.

Did you Feed your Grass Seedlings?

If you didn’t apply fertiliser at the seeding or turfing stage then use a starter fertiliser after the first cut. This will keep your lawn growing and thickening faster therefore bringing it into use sooner. You can use a seasonal fertiliser after 3 months.

Mowing a Newly Over Seeded Lawn

This is very different from mowing a new lawn. Your existing grass, even if heavily scarified, will have well established roots and will start regenerating and growing well before your seedlings germinate. By the time your seedlings are 5-8cm tall your established grass may be 10-15cm which shades your seedlings and also becomes difficult to mow.

So, for over seeded lawns make sure you have a reasonably close mown lawn at the time of seeding then mow as per a normal routine on a high setting for the first 3 months. Fertilise once the seedlings have germinated.

Mowing for a Great Lawn

What you do with the mower from here on in will be one of the factors that determines how nice a lawn you have. Consider how many bad looking lawns you see. They all started life as seed or turf with no weeds or moss. After a couple of years they can look terrible and a good part of this deterioration is down to the mowing regime.

So, learn how to mow – it’s free:

Mowing the Lawn 

How to Improve your Lawns Looks