Whether a new lawn is established by planting grass seed or laying sod, you must take care to allow the grass to become established before mowing. For newly planted sod, this period may take two or three weeks, while newly seeded lawns sometimes are not ready to mow until two months have passed. Try following some helpful tips for mowing a new lawn to get your lawn off to a good start.
When to Mow
Mow the new grass when the tallest setting on your lawnmower does not cut off more than one-third of the grass blade. The amount of grass to cut off the first time a new lawn is mowed is just enough to give the grass an even appearance, so remove no more than one-third of the height of the grass. The newly planted grass uses the green top growth for energy to create a deep extensive root system. If you cut the grass too short, a shallow root system will develop.
After the first cut, mow again in one week. This time take off another third of the grass blade to bring the grass down to the desired height. Know the optimal height to cut the type of grass you are growing so you don't take off more than is recommended. For example, St. Augustine grass is cut at a height of 1 to 2 inches whereas you can cut Tall Fescue as high as 3 inches or as low as 1 1/2 inches.
New turf is kept moist so newly planted grass is not stressed from lack of water. However, moist soil is often soft, and footprints and heavy mowers can leave footprints, tire marks or low spots in the ground as you mow. Therefore, ensure the soil is firm enough for mowing even if you must withhold water for a few days. You can reapply the necessary water after you mow the newly planted lawn.