The autumn season is an important time of year for your grass, as it struggles to make the most use of the fast-reducing sunlight hours by creating more leaves in preparation for winter. However, this late flush in growth can make the lawn untidy so it should still be mown regularly.
Autumn lawn mowing is important
When considering autumn lawn mowing, it is very important for your grass to raise the height of your mower as winter approaches. You should aim to leave at least 2.0-2.5 inches of grass remaining after cutting. This is vitally important at this time of year for two reasons.
Firstly, grass does not like to be cut. It does tolerate mowing but the mowing process puts the grass under a great deal of stress. A “short back and sides” is definitely not what it needs in the autumn!
Secondly, the reduction in the height of grass leaf reduces the rate of photosynthesis (the process that converts carbon dioxide into food using sunlight) within the grass plant. This in turn reduces the supply of carbohydrates to the roots, essential for growth and root development. As we approach winter, the number of hours of sunshine grass is exposed to reduces, increasing the need for a longer leaf for it to make itself food for the winter!
Mow your lawn long
Put very simply the higher you cut the grass, the stronger and deeper the roots … and the stronger and deeper the grass roots are, the healthier your lawn becomes! Do not mow your lawn short.
One final point that I should make is that if you have been unable to cut your grass due to a holiday or due to the wet weather and it has become too long, be careful to not remove more than one third of the leaf length in any one cut. As doing this will stress the grass and can stop root growth for up to three weeks.
Cutting too severely may cause unsightly “bleached” areas on your lawn. This happens because the base of the grass plants have been unable to reach sunlight, so lose their colour. So, cutting down into this part of the plant will give your lawn a yellow appearance which may not recover for several weeks.
For more tips about general lawn care in the autumn, check out my 7 tips for autumn lawn care.
If you would like a free lawn survey a quotation for your lawn, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.