When can I cut my grass after seeding?

When planting a new lawn, timing is one of the most critical elements of both seeding and aftercare. Once you've passed the hurdles of soil preparation, sowing the lawn seed and ensuring even and continuous watering, make sure you mow the grass at the appropriate times to enhance lawn establishment. The last thing you want to do is jeopardise your lawn project when you're so close to the finish line.

Grass height

Generally, allow the newly seeded grass to grow to the maximum growing height recommended for its species. This can vary widely depending on the species. For example, let tall grasses grow to 10 cm (4 inches) before trimming and allow shorter varieties to grow to 5 cm (2 inches). It may take two months or more before your seeded grass reaches the appropriate heights for the first mowing.

Weather conditions

Your newly seeded lawn reacts more sensitively to environmental factors, especially when it undergoes the stress of its first mowing. Avoid giving your lawn its first trim until the top layer of soil has dried out from rain or watering. Otherwise, the pressure of the lawnmower's weight will compact the underlying moist dirt and crush the developing roots.

Mower settings

When giving the grass its first cut, set your mower blades to a height that's slightly higher -- 6.5 mm (1/4 inch) -- than the maximum mowing height for its species. For example, a first mowing should reduce the grass to just above the recommended height. This helps minimise the stress of that first trim. If you've let your newly seeded grass grow exceptionally tall, keep in mind that grass should never have more than a third of its total length removed in a single cutting.

Second mow

Wait three or four days, then give the new grass its follow-up mowing. At this time, lower your mower blades and bring the grass down to its actual recommended mowing height. After this second mowing, start a regular mowing schedule that allows the grass to reach its maximum growing height before being cut down to its recommended mowing height.

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About the Author

Joshua Duvauchelle is a certified personal trainer and health journalist, relationships expert and gardening specialist. His articles and advice have appeared in dozens of magazines, including exercise workouts in Shape, relationship guides for Alive and lifestyle tips for Lifehacker. In his spare time, he enjoys yoga and urban patio gardening.