Growing a new lawn is an exciting task for any homeowner or gardener. The critical thing to know is when to cut the new grass to promote health and longevity. Cutting too soon may damage the tender blades, and cutting too late will inhibit proper root development. This complete guide will walk you through each detail of mowing new grass, from when it’s the best time to cut it to techniques that make maintaining an entire vibrant lawn more accessible than ever. When to Cut New Grass?

Understanding New Grass Growth

When to Cut New Grass: A Complete Guide

New grass has several growth periods, each requiring specific care to promote good growth. The first stage is germination when the seeds start sprouting. The next is early growth when blades begin to form. Grass is particularly vulnerable in these stages and needs close attention to water, soil conditions, and nutrient availability.

Germination Stages

Grass seeds ordinarily sprout within 7 to 21 days, depending on the type of grass and the prevailing conditions. The soil should be moist but not waterlogged to allow sprouting.

Early Growth Phases

Deciding at what point to make the first cut is a big decision. Newly grown grass may become stressed if it is cut too soon. Usually, new grass should have grown to approximately 3-4 inches before the first mowing. The grass grows good roots at this height, and the blades are sturdy enough to withstand being cut.

Optimal Height for First Cut

Thus, it’s essential to get the first mowing at a height that does not stress the young grass. Generally, new grass should grow to approximately 3 to 4 inches (ca. 10 cm) (ca. 10 cm) before its initial cutting. This allows the grass to set into a robust root system while the blades become hardy enough to cut.

Recommended Grass Height

Most grass types do best when cut to about one-third of their total height. For example, if the new grass is 4″ tall, try to get it down to about 3″ after cutting. This way, it will not suffer from shock and will be encouraged to improve.

Signs Grass is Ready to Cut

Some other signs that your fresh new grass is ready for its first cut, besides being at that optimal height, are that it is even green and dense to the touch when gently pulled. Do not cut if the grass is not growing thick, looks weak, or if the lawn itself is too wet.

Preparing for the First Mow

The key is preparation, which comprises preparing the right equipment, sharpening mower blades, and preparing the lawn itself.

Equipment Needed

By ensuring the blade is sharp, the mower will be of high quality and the cut clean. Dull blades could tear grass, resulting in poor growth and inviting disease.

Sharpen the Blade

Sharpen mower blades with a clean, sharp edge before the first mowing. This minimizes damage to the grass. Try to sharpen the blades at least once a month during the mowing months.

Lawn Preparation

Clean out any debris on your lawn, like sticks and stones; these may hinder your mower and damage your grass. Dry ground is also considered for cleaning cuts; there will be no clumps and uneven patches.

When to Mow Fresh Grass

The first mowing is usually based on the season, soil temperature, and weather conditions.

Seasonal Considerations

Timing on mowing a new lawn is variable, and some better seasons might be during cooler temperatures in spring and fall. Summer heats can be stressful on new grass, so proper timing is even more paramount during this season.

Soil Temperature

Avoid mowing new grass until the soil temperature has remained stable above 55°F. Lower soil temperatures can slow root development and overall growth.

Weather Conditions

Ideally, you want to have a dry day for the first mowing. Wet grass can tend to clump, causing an uneven cut, and it promotes fungal growth.

Mowing New Grass

This way, with the proper manner of mowing on the lawn, healthy growth could also occur, thus achieving a beautiful lawn.

Mowing Patterns

Change the pattern with every mowing to avoid soil compaction due to repetitive driving, which favors tall growth. You should also change directions to prevent ruts and bare patches.

Blade Settings

Raise the mower blades to their upper levels for an initial few cuts to ensure that you do not cut too much length at once. Reduce this progressive blade height as the grass matures.

Frequency of Mowing

Mow new grasses more regularly, but a bit of the top should be cut off. This will ensure constant and dense growth without worrying about bringing stress to the grass.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoiding common oversights can make a massive difference to your lawn’s health and outward appearance.

Cutting Too Short

Cutting new grass too short stresses plants weakens their root systems, and makes them more susceptible to weeds and diseases. Always follow the one-third rule to keep your grass healthy and neat.

Mowing Wet Grass

Mowing wet grass will cause irregular cutting and clumping and can cause fungal issues. Always wait for your grass to dry before you mow for the best results.

Ignoring Lawn Health

Monitor your lawn regularly for potential pests, diseases, or nutrient deficiencies. Look into these problems to prevent them from progressing and achieve healthy, thick grass.

After the Mow

Proper after-mowing care is essential in keeping a healthy lawn.


Water lightly after the first mow to help the grass recover and allow the root system to deepen. Do not water too much, which can cause soil waterlogging and lead to root rot.


Use a balanced fertilizer that might provide essential nutrients to support vigorous growth. Use slow-release formulas for optimal and continuous nutrient supply.

Pest Control

Monitor your lawn for pests characterized by discolored patches or an abnormal increase in bird activity. The ability to limit severe damages done to the turf and maintain healthy, growing turf is increased when these pest problems are dealt with early enough.

Long-Term Lawn Care

It will only be kept healthy if it is maintained constantly.

Regular Mowing Schedule

Set a regular mowing schedule to match your grass type’s growing speed. This will keep the lawn at the ideal height without it becoming too long.

Seasonal Adjustments

These variations could be in the number of mowings, which can be more in the spring when the growth rate differential changes and less in the hot summer months when the growth differential narrows.

Soil Health

Healthy soil is the basis for a healthy lawn. Test the soil regularly and incorporate organic matter, like compost, to improve soil structure and increase nutrient content.

Benefits of Proper Mowing

There are so many advantages to properly mowing your lawn.

Healthier Grass

Proper mowing practices produce vigorous, healthy grass with deep roots that overcome stressors such as drought and disease.

Enhanced Appearance

A good lawn looks beautiful and can improve the overall look of your home by a significant degree.

Weed Control

Regular mowing helps control weeds by preventing their seeding and proliferating. A close, dense sward also effectively prevents the establishment of weeds.


When is the best time of day to mow new grass?

The best time to mow new grass is in the late morning or early afternoon, once the dew has dried before the day’s heat sets in.

How often should I mow new grass?

New grass should be mowed more frequently, but only a tiny amount should be removed each time. Aim to mow every 5-7 days during the growing season.

Can I use a reel mower on new grass?

Yes, a reel mower can be used on new grass. Ensure the blades are sharp and set higher to avoid damaging the young grass.

What type of fertilizer is best for new grass?

A balanced, slow-release fertilizer is ideal for new grass, providing a steady supply of essential nutrients without overwhelming the young plants.

How can I prevent weeds in new grass?

Proper mowing, watering, and fertilization practices help promote dense, healthy grass that can outcompete weeds. Additionally, consider using a pre-emergent herbicide in early spring.

Is it okay to walk on new grass?

Avoid walking on new grass as much as possible, especially during the early growth stages, to prevent soil compaction and damage to the delicate blades.


Knowing when to cut new grass is paramount to gaining a healthy, lush lawn. Use knowledge of growth stages and proper preparation, combined with the right mowing tactics, to ensure new grass thrives. Don’t forget to omit common mistakes and post-mow care to keep a beautiful look all year round.

Victoria Peterson

I am a passionate gardener who wants to help you create and maintain your dream yard. I know that it can be daunting to take on a project like this, but I am here to help. I have been gardening for years and have learned a lot along the way. I want to share my knowledge with you and help you create the perfect yard for your home.

Write A Comment