How Often to Mow Lawn

How Often to Mow Lawn in Spring, Summer, Fall?

Mowing your lawn regularly is an important part of maintaining a healthy lawn. Regular mowing can help your lawn look clean, beautiful, and healthy. While it is important to mow your lawn regularly, there is such a thing as mowing your lawn too often.

Mowing your lawn regularly is not necessarily a problem but keeping your lawn too short is a problem. When thinking about keeping a healthy lawn, it is important to look at the length of your grass and decided if it needs mowing.

Trust and Accuracy Information

This article was last updated on by Lawn Chick Owner Sarah Jameson
Article content reviewed for accuracy by Horticulturist Arthur Davidson, A.S.

How Do You Know if Your Lawn’s Grass is Too Short?

Overmowing your lawn is a thing to look out for. If your lawn is starting to look yellow and dried out, you are probably mowing your lawn too short (often referred to as “scalping it”).

One great rule to follow when determining how long you should keep your lawn and how often to mow your lawn is the “one-third rule.” Experts recommend that you cut one-third of the length of your lawn each time you mow it.

According to Louis Berg Stack, an Ornamental Horticulture Specialist at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, “removing more than one-third of the height causes stress, depletes stored carbohydrates, and may result in thinning.”

This rule of thumb allows homeowners to “determine their mowing frequency according to grass growth rate, rather than the calendar,” according to Stack.

But there are important seasonal considerations that are worth exploring, and that’s why we’ve decided to dig in with this article and provide information to those wondering how often to mow lawn areas in spring, summer, or fall.

So, let’s find out how often you should mow your lawn in every season (click to jump to the corresponding season):

Mowing Frequency Guidance by Grass Type

Every type of grass grows differently – both in terms of its general growth rate and habit, and also how rapidly it grows in different seasons.

This chart provides general guidance on how often to mow different grass types throughout the year:

Grass TypeRecommended Mowing Frequency
Kentucky BluegrassSpring: Twice Weekly
Summer: Once Weekly
Fall: Twice Weekly
Perennial RyegrassSpring: Once Weekly
Summer: Once Every 1-2 Weeks
Fall: Once Weekly
Tall FescueSpring: Once Weekly
Summer: Once Every 2 Weeks
Fall: Once Every 1-2 Weeks
Fine FescueSpring: Once Weekly
Summer: Once Every 1-2 Weeks
Fall: Once Every 1-2 Weeks
Bermuda GrassSpring: Once Weekly
Summer: Once Weekly
Fall: Once Every 2 Weeks
St. AugustineSpring: Once Weekly
Summer: Once Weekly
Fall: Once Every 2 Weeks
ZoysiaSpring: Once Weekly
Summer: Once 10-14 Days
Fall: Once Every 2 Weeks (or more)
CentipedeSpring: Once Weekly
Summer: Once Weekly (less often in dry weather)
Fall: Once Every 2 Weeks

Remember, that the above information is general guidance only.

Your local climate and weather conditions, the specific cultivar of grass you’re growing, your fertilization schedule, and your personal aesthetic preferences can all offer you direction and guidance on the best mowing schedule for your lawn.

How Often to Mow Lawn in Spring

Springtime! The birds are chirping, the sun is shining, and it’s pretty much the first time of the year that you break out your lawn mower and get the grass ready for barbecue season.

How Often to Mow Lawn in Spring

My advice? Don’t get too eager.

It is important to not run to the lawnmower at the first sign of spring.

Before you start up your mower that has been sitting for your first trim of the season … take time to assess your lawn. This is important. If you have a healthy lawn in the spring, it is more likely that your lawn will stay healthy for the balance of the year.

Considerations for Spring Mowing Frequency

Here are some things to consider before starting a springtime mowing schedule for your lawn:

  • How tall is the grass? Make sure your grass is at least two inches long before mowing. After checking the initial length, follow the aforementioned “one-third rule” and set your mower’s height appropriately.
  • Have your fertilized recently? Make sure that your fertilizer is fully absorbed before mowing your lawn.
  • Are you overseeding your lawn? If you are overseeding this spring, plan on waiting until late Spring to mow. Mowing too soon can either rip young seedlings out of the ground, or smother them if you’re using a mulching mower.
  • What is your weather like? If your lawn is thawing from a harsh winter, keep the lawn longer. A longer lawn will have a greater chance of staying healthy.

After the initial mow, you should plan on mowing your lawn every three to five days to keep a clean and healthy lawn.

You may need to adjust this schedule depending upon where you’re located, what type of grasses you have in your lawn, and how much rainfall you’re getting.

Generally you’ll be getting a lot of rain in the spring, which makes mowing more frequently normal.

The Impact of Spring Weather Conditions on Mowing Frequency

It is the arrival of warmer weather, as well as frequent rain, that causes your grass to grow so quickly during this season. On pleasant, sunny spring days, you’ll find it quite easy to mow as often as needed.

Here are the spring weather conditions that affect your mowing schedule. 

Warm Weather 

The warm weather that arrives in the spring makes grass grow quickly. Your grass will come out of dormancy and get back into active growth. 

As grass sprouts up so fast in this time of year, you will usually need to keep up a frequent mowing schedule. 


The frequent rainfall of spring encourages grass to grow optimally. When rain falls onto the soil, it soaks down deeply and gets down to the roots more effectively than when you do mechanical watering. As spring brings a lot of rain, you can expect that factor to make you have to mow more frequently. 

However, rain can also hold you back from mowing if the rainfall happens when you want to mow. Of course, you cannot mow when it’s raining. 

Also, you shouldn’t mow your grass when it’s still wet. Cutting wet grass can lead to a damaged lawn and a clogged up mower. 

You have to wait until it dries. If there has been an especially heavy rainfall, this could take a long time and you might have to wait for another day. 

Addressing a Common Concern in Spring

I hear a lot from homeowners who have heard that they shouldn’t mow a wet lawn, and get concerned that because of heavy spring rains they aren’t able to mow as frequently as they would like to.

According to UMass Amherst’s Extension Turf Program experts, you have some flexibility. They say that “the lawn should not be allowed to grow excessively high merely because the grass is wet. Mowing a wet lawn (assuming no disease is active) will not damage it.”

They add that wet clippings may need to be removed due to clumping if you mow a wet lawn, and also caution that while mowing wet grass may not cause much damage to your lawn, “mowing should not be done when the soil is very wet to minimize the potential for soil compaction.”

How Often to Mow Lawn in Summer

Summer brings warmer weather, out of school kids, and thriving lawns.

How Often to Mow Lawn in Summer

After a cold winter, things are flowering, and everything is looking up. Because of the warmer weather, your grass will grow faster than in the colder months, and in early summer it might even grow faster than it did during the spring.

This means that you will have to mow your lawn more often during summer, at least early on. The question is, how often do you need to mow your lawn in summertime?

Keep in mind as you read, all lawns are different. Just because your neighbor might mow his or her lawn every two weeks and his lawn looks great, doesn’t mean that you should do the same.

Summer Mowing Frequency Tips & Guidance

As I detailed in the spring section, the amount your grass grows depends heavily on your lawn care routine.

  • How tall was your grass initially?
  • Are you planning on fertilizing your grass this season?
  • Are you going to overseed?
  • Will it be hotter or colder?
  • Do you have an irrigation system or are you relying on mother nature to supply the water for your grass?

Like in Spring, it is important to follow the “one-third rule” when mowing your lawn … so the length you want to keep your lawn will determine how frequently you need to mow it.

However, experts recommend that you keep your grass longer in the summer than you would in the springtime.

According to Sam Bower and Jonah Reyes at the University of Minnesota Extension, in the midwest you should “increase the mowing height by an inch during mid-summer to improve the lawn’s ability to tolerate stress caused by heat and drying winds.”

Longer grass helps to sustain your lawn during periods of drought, which can happen during the summer months. 

The average amount of time that it takes for your grass to grow about one inch in the Summer is between three and five days. So if you’re mowing to just under 3 inches I recommend that during the summer months you cut your lawn every four days so that the average length will stay right around the ideal length.

This will ensure that your lawn will stay healthy and hydrated during the hottest months of the year.

How Summer Weather Can Impact and Guide Your Mowing Frequency

The hot weather of summer stops your grass from growing, as its roots get too hot to grow. Once it reaches over a certain temperature, your lawn will go into summer dormancy and can turn brown. 

The heat and potential dry or even drought conditions of summer are hard on your lawn. You won’t have to mow as much as you do in the spring, but you still have to take care of your lawn and give it plenty of water. 


Also, summer heat will affect your mowing schedule in other ways. Avoid mowing during the midday heat, as that could damage the grass and even your mower. 

Instead, mow in the morning (after the morning dew has dried) or the evening, when it’s cooler. 

Dry Weather and Drought 

During dry summer weather (when there is very little rain), you should just mow once a week. 

You should try to avoid mowing your lawn during a drought. During these kinds of conditions, your grass is extremely fragile and easily damaged. 

If you ever do need to mow during a drought, you should use a higher than average height setting. 

How Often to Mow Lawns in Fall & Winter

Unlike in the Summer, grass will not grow as quickly in the fall or winter months (even in regions where you don’t get snowfall).

How Often to Mow Lawn in Fall and Winter Months

Even if you don’t get snowfall during the winter, it may seem like your lawn has stopped growing altogether in the cooler months.

The truth is, when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, mowing your lawn every week becomes a thing of the past.

Especially in cooler climates, you might not need to mow your lawn at all.

Mowing Frequency When Weather Turns Cold in Fall

Here are some things to consider when thinking about mowing your lawn in the autumn or winter months:

  • Try to avoid mowing your lawn when it is wet. Maybe it has just rained, or the ice is melting on your grass. Whatever the case, try to avoid mowing your wet lawn. Mowing a wet lawn leads to uneven mowing because of an unsettled base under the grass. The cooler temperatures can also cause issues with mold or mildew growth.
  • Don’t cut your grass on the one hot day of the Winter. Just because it is hot for one day, does not mean you should rush out and mow your dormant lawn. I recommend a short mow for your lawn at the end of the season, but once that’s done, leave your lawn alone to ensure it will be able to handle the cold to come.
  • Proceed with caution is you do mow your lawn at this time of the year.

The amount you should mow your lawn in the Winter differs greatly from the recommendations I’ve made for mowing frequency in the Spring or Summer.

For the most part, if you live in a climate that experiences colder winters, you do not have to worry about mowing your lawn at all. The best thing you can do once it stops growing is to wait until spring.

The Impact of Cold Weather on Mowing Frequency

The cooler weather of fall and cold weather of winter also have effects on your mowing schedule. 

Dead Leaves Falling 

Of course, you will have to take the dead leaves on your lawn into consideration when deciding on a mowing schedule. You will need to collect and remove them before you cut your lawn. 

Alternatively, if you have a mulching mower that has the capability, you can use your mower to mulch the leaves, adding nutrients to your lawn. 

Cold Temperatures 

Never try to mow when the temperatures have fallen below freezing. You could damage your mower and it won’t be necessary anyway, as the grass won’t grow at those temperatures. 

Snow and Ice 

Snow and ice mean that you cannot use your lawn mower. You won’t need to do so anyway, as your grass won’t be growing at that time. 

My Mowing Frequency Advice: Always Use Your Eyes & Judgment

Lawn care differs greatly person to person and lawn to lawn.

It depends greatly on where you live, and the temperature and rainfall you receive.

It also depends on what you do to care for your lawn. If you’re tossing down a nitrogen fertilizer every few weeks and you water it every day you’re going to have to mow more often.

Just remember to never cut more than one third of the blades of your lawn’s grass and you’ll maintain a happy, healthy, beautiful lawn.

You know how your lawn looks when healthy better than anyone else. Trust your eyes and use your best judgment, and your lawn will be healthy all year long.

At Lawn Chick, I am committed to publishing accurate, useful, and trustworthy resources for my readers. As part of this commitment, I’ve invited subject matter experts to review our articles for accuracy. I invite you to read our editorial policy and publishing standards which outlines in detail how every article on this site is sourced, edited, fact-checked, and vetted.



Sarah Jameson’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When - Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

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