When to Mow New Grass Seed
When newly planted grass seed initially starts to sprout, it will appear sparse. However, this is a sign that you have successfully prepared your own soil, planted the grass seed, and enabled it to germinate. In a matter of weeks, this exciting accomplishment will produce a tangle of healthy, lush grass blades. Although it might be tempting, you must avoid cutting your young grass until is firmly established itself in the soil. Most types of grass seed have a maturation period of 30 to 60 days. If your seedlings are cut too soon, it can cause widespread death.
Timing Is Everything
In most instances, a minimum four week waiting period must pass (after the seeds have germinated) before you can begin thinking about mowing. Using a mower to cut grass produces quite a lot of compaction, which is why young grass must be provided with an adequate amount of time to gain age and strength. Moreover, young grass is still attempting to develop a strong root system. If a mower is used too soon, its blades and wheels will pull the seedlings out of the ground, as opposed to cutting them. Because the mower simultaneously compacts the soil, it makes it even more difficult for the young grass to put down roots.
Height Does Matter
The height of new grass is an excellent method for determining whether or not the seedlings are ready for mowing. Grass that covers your lawn and has grown to a height of between 3 and 4 inches will more than likely be ready for mowing. For most types of seed, it will take eight weeks to reach an ideal height of 3.5 inches.
Proper Mowing Techniques
For young grass, it is critical to maintain a moist environment for it to grow; however, before mowing your grass for the first time, it is imperative first to allow it to dry for 48 hours. This means halting all irrigation. When the blades of grass are allowed to dry, it creates the ideal conditions for your mower to make clean cuts as it is guided across your lawn. When grass leaves are wet, it causes them to become torn and tangled during the mowing process.
If your new grass is mowed incorrectly, it is entirely possible for widespread dieback to occur. Your mower’s blades should be freshly sharpened, and it is absolutely crucial to ensure that you do not cut your grass blades lower than 2.5 to 3 inches in height. Cutting new grass below the 2.5-inch mark can damage the grass’s infrastructure and weaken its immune system, which makes it susceptible to pests and pathogens.
Ideally, your mowing patterns should be varied. If you cut in a single direction each time you mow, the mower’s blades will push the blades of grass and cause them to become compacted into the soil. Each pass across your lawn should be in a different direction.
If you already have an established lawn and have seeded only bare patches, your mature grass may be mowed while you avoid the newly seeded areas. As the new grass starts to grow, take care to ensure that you follow the height and timing observances discussed here, so that you can incorporate their mowing into your standard mowing patterns. Doing so will, over time, eradicate any indications of prior patching.