How long to leave grass seed before cutting your lawn

How long to leave grass seed before cutting

The question of how long to leave grass seed before cutting for the first time is more about grass length than growing time. Having said that, a newly planted grass seed lawn will take about two months for the blades to reach the ideal length for cutting, which is between six and seven centimetres long.

When you do mow, set your blade height so that you’re only taking off the tips of the grass. Ideally, you want to cut the blades down to five centimetres, and keep them at this length for at least six months.

Knowing how long to leave grass seed before cutting can mean the difference between a lush, resilient sward that you and your family can enjoy for many years and a weedy lawn with bare patches.

Mowing too early or vigorously can tear seeds from the soil leading to dieback in some areas. The mower will also compact the soil, making it harder for the roots to get the nourishment they need.

Meanwhile, hardier weeds will thrive due to the lack of competition, with the finer grasses (e.g., fescues and bent grasses) most severely affected. The parts of your lawn that do survive will be comprised mainly of tougher grasses, like rye, impacting the quality of the surface.

However, grass does require cutting to stimulate new leaf growth. If you leave the grass to get too long before its first chop, it won’t thicken up as nicely. This will also provide more room for weeds to grow, and these will compete with your new lawn for light and food. So make sure you give your grass its virgin mow before the blades reach ten centimetres in length.

What about turf lawns?

Turf lawns will establish themselves much more quickly than lawns grown from seed. It is often possible to mow new turf as soon as two weeks after laying, although it is better to leave it a month.

A useful tip is to apply the turf ‘tug test’ before mowing for the first time. If the turf lifts when you pull it, it isn’t quite ready to be cut. Leave it a few days before trying again.

More tips for looking after your new grass lawn

When you mow your grass for the first time, it is best not to pull it around too much. Mow in straight rows, up and down, lifting the mower between rows rather than twisting it.

Safely clean and sharpen your mower before use. You want to cut the blades cleanly, rather than tear them, as this will help them to recover quickly and avoid disease.

Once your new lawn has had its first mow, it can be tempting for the family to lay out the picnic blanket and get out the football. This is unwise because the roots of your lawn will not yet be fully established, and compacting the soil will only make it more difficult for the roots to get the nutrients they need.

You should wait at least six months before exposing your lawn to normal foot traffic. If you can be patient, wait for nine months to be absolutely confident your lawn can cope with the demand.

Turf lawns will bed themselves in more quickly, but you should still wait for between three and six months before using it properly.

Kneebone can help your lawn thrive

While the information above will start you off on the right footing with your new lawn, regular mowing and maintenance is important to keep your grass in tip top condition.

Kneebone Trees offer a variety of maintenance services including grounds clearance, hedge trimming and, of course, grass cutting.

Contact Us Today

For more advice on how long to leave grass seed before cutting, or to book a one-off or regular mow, contact Kneebone today.

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