When to Mow New Grass: New Lawn Mowing

Establishing a lawn is no easy task – there are several factors that come into play like checking the quality of the soil, planting the right type of grass seeds, and applying fertilizer and weed-control products if necessary. 

But the work doesn’t stop there! After the grass seeds germinate and grow healthy grass blades, a bigger question comes to mind – when to mow new grass? 

When the grass is growing green and lush out of control, many novice and avid gardeners set the sprinklers and sit back and relax thinking their job is done. 

However, mowing is a highly important lawn care task that must be performed regularly for continued healthy grass growth. 

The exact time to start mowing new grass depends on several factors including whether the grass was planted from seed or sod.

Read on to avoid the guesswork about the right time to mow new grass and proper mowing techniques, which I have highlighted in this comprehensive guide. 

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When to Mow New Grass for the First Time 

The time to mow new grass varies greatly between seeds and sod. Grass seeds take longer to establish their roots than sod, therefore seeded lawns will require their first cut much later 

When to Mow New Sod?

Sod is perhaps the easiest way to establish a new lawn. Even though sod provides you with a beautiful lawn instantly, it isn’t fully established and can’t be mowed yet. 

You should be able to mow sod roughly two weeks after installation but wait not so fast – there are two important things to keep in mind before cutting a sodded lawn. 

  1. Stop watering a day before mowing sod to give it a chance to firm up.
  2. Set your mower to its highest setting to reduce the risk of stressing out the sod grass and for healthy growth. Here are a few more key maintenance tips for a newly sodded lawn.
When to Mow New Grass

When to Mow a Newly Seeded Lawn?

It’s best to wait between 2 and 3 months before mowing new grass with an electric mower or any other type of mower. 

However, the answer to this question can be a bit tricky given that not all types of grass grow at the same rate. But regardless of the grass type, you should keep tabs on your seedlings to avoid damaging them by cutting the grass blades too soon. 

  • Seedlings are delicate and do not have strong leaf blades at this stage that can withstand compaction and cutting action from a mower.
  • Adding to this, new grass seedlings are still trying to establish their roots in the soil so mowing too soon will simply pull the grass sprouts out of the soil instead of cutting them. 
  • But that’s not the only problem with mowing too soon, mowers especially riding lawnmowers are heavy and will continually compact the soil, leading to poor rot spread as the seedlings struggle to establish in the ground. 

A great way to determine if the new blades of grass are ready for their first cut is through grass height. When the blades of grass become 3 – 4 inches in height, they are ready for their first cut. 

Make sure you cut only one-third of the grass height each time you mow and use slow turns to prevent the mower wheels from accidentally pinching the turf and pulling the grass away from the soil. The cutting height varies between cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses. Refer to these tips for maintaining a new lawn after seeding.

Grass TypeHeight to Mow AtHow High to Cut
Bermuda Grass3-4”2-2 ½”
St. Augustine Grass3-4”2-2 ½”
Centipede Grass3-4”2-2 ½”
Zoysia Grass3-4”2-2 ½”
Perennial Ryegrass4-6”3-4”
Bermuda Grass3-4”2-2 ½”
St. Augustine Grass3-4”2-2 ½”
Centipede Grass3-4”2-2 ½”
Zoysia Grass3-4”2-2 ½”

When should a new lawn get its first cut?

Can I Mow after Overseeding My Lawn?

If you’re overseeding bare spots in an established lawn, you’ll have to be a little careful with your mower. Remember, the new grass and established grass are growing at different heights, so you’ll either have to cut high or low in certain places.

Either way, you’ll have to cut more than one-third of the grass each time and maintain a grass height between 2 and 3 inches depending on the type of grass. Typically, you should wait 3 – 4 weeks after overseeding before the first mow. 

Can I Mow after Overseeding My Lawn?

How Often Should You Cut New Grass?

Mowing your grass once a week during the growing season is enough for healthy grass growth. If you’re like my neighbor, pulling out his mower to cut the grass twice a week, please stop!

Grass grows slowly in early spring and hence will need cut less often, rough every fortnight. After the weather warms up, switch the mowing schedule to weekly. 

To recap:

  • A light cut to begin within the spring, usually in late March or early April
  • Mow at least once every two weeks in April and May to achieve a healthy, well-maintained lawn
  • Increase your mowing schedule to as often as every two to three days during the peak growing season of the summer but make sure you don’t cut the grass too short, or too quickly
  • Since grass growth is less vigorous during the fall months, you’ll only need to mow your lawn every 10 – 14 days or more. Avoid cutting the grass too short during the fall as the grass is highly unlikely to rebound with the same vitality it displayed in the spring and summer
  • Mow your grass every 4 – 6 weeks in the winter on a high setting to keep your lawn looking trimmed and tidy
New Lawn Mowing

Preparing for Mowing

The first and most important thing to do to prepare for mowing is to sharpen your mower blades.

  • Dull mower blades won’t deliver clean and crisp cuts but instead will lead to grass with torn edges. 
  • Sharp mower blades contrarily will provide clean, straight cuts and actually improve the overall health of your lawn. It’s good practice to inspect your mower blades at the beginning of the mowing season and periodically throughout the season. 

Take a closer look at the mower blades for nicks, dents, and bends, and inspect your lawn for signs of dull mower blade damage. Next, remove any dirt and debris from your lawn that can damage your lawnmower and/or its blade. 

How to Mow Your Lawn for the First Time

Mowing your lawn for the first time is a no-brainer – you power up the mower and run it all across your lawn! Not quite!

Before even starting your mower, you should have a mowing schedule in place and make sure that your mower blades are sharpened and the mower is in good working order.

Next, check the weather to ensure that no rainfall is in the forecast. You can cut grass when it’s wet but wet grass can clog your lawnmower, causing it to choke and spit out chunks of wet grass that could kill your lawn if left unraked. 

If you’ve left your lawn to grow out of control over the winter months, you still need to follow the one-third rule but complete the task in stages over the next couple of weeks. 

After mowing your lawn, refrain from watering your lawn immediately but hose down your lawn whenever it needs moisture. 

How to Mow Your Lawn for the First Time

When Can You Walk On Your New Grass?

Even though you can walk on your new grass gently with smooth-soled shoes at any time, it is recommended that you minimize how often you use the lawn. 

However, you may need to walk on your lawn when watering, collecting grass clippings, and fertilizing plants on your turf.

The best way to determine when you can use your lawn depends on the condition of the grass. If the grass is established, which should be in about 3 weeks, you should be able to walk on your lawn without damaging your grass. 

Planning Your Lawn Care Regime

Planning is key to establishing a new and healthy lawn. I’ve discussed the importance of regular mowing and the recommended mowing heights for different grass types. 

Fertilization is another lawn care practice that must be performed regularly. The amount of fertilizer to add and when to apply fertilizer depends on the type of grass. 

The first fertilizer application for a cool-season turf or warm-season turf is at roughly 4 – 6 weeks after the seeds germinate. Once your lawn is 4 – 6 weeks old, it generally needs a good dose of nitrogen fertilizer, as it is the most important nutrient for healthy grass.

Next on the list is a weed-killer application, which should be after the newly sprouted grass has been mowed at least three times. Applying any sooner after germination will weaken or kill young seedlings. 

Planning Your Lawn Care Regime

Troubleshooting New Lawns 

There may be several issues that can arise when trying to establish a new lawn, most notably:

Toadstools in New Lawns

If you see toadstool in your new lawn, there’s no need to break a sweat yet as they are part and parcel of the growing process. The presence of toadstools is a good sign that your lawn is natural and the soil is healthy. 

Some toadstools are poisonous, but the ones seen in lawns are mostly totally harmless. Poisonous toadstools include destroying angel and fool’s funnel. Toadstools won’t cause any damage to your lawn and are temporary so they will be soon gone. 

Lawn diseases in New Lawns

If your new grass is wilting or your lawn has yellow or brown patches of grass, lawn diseases may be the cause of the issue. 

Myriad different types of lawn diseases can affect your new lawn including summer patch, fairy ring, powdery mildew, and brown patch. 

Symptoms for lawn disease can occur in the spring, summer, and fall and should be fixed before they prove detrimental to your lawn’s health. 

Weeds in New Lawns

Just like diseases, weeds can crop up in your newly established lawn. If you see weeds on your newly sown lawn, do not act hastily and apply a weed killer. 

Although this can be a quick solution, it may not be worth the hassle for long-term grass health. Plus, these types of weeds are largely shallow-rooting and should come out with the first or second mow. 

If the weeds grow past the second mow, you can consider using a selective herbicide to spot-spray your weeds.

Additional Considerations 

Apart from knowing the right time to mow new grass, other important lawn care tasks contribute to an overall healthy turf. Lawn care professionals say that new lawns should be aerated once a year as they have a less mature root system but make sure that the seeds have reached maturity. 


Q. Does Cutting New Grass Help It Grow?

A. Cutting new grass by removing the tips of the leaves encourages grass to grow new blades, resulting in a denser, more attractive sward. 

Q. What Happens if You Wait Too Long to Cut New Grass?

A. Several things can happen if you wait too long to cut new grass including an overgrown lawn that’s more susceptible to lawn pests, diseases, and weeds.

Q. Should I Cut New Grass Before Winter?

A. You should definitely cut your new grass plants before winter but not short all at once. Generally, you should mow your lawn after it has become dormant but before the first frost. 

Q. When Should You Not Cut Grass?

A. You shouldn’t cut newly planted grass under certain conditions such as when the grass is too wet or too dry. Other conditions include when your lawn is stressed such as during a dry spell or drought. 

Q. Should I Bag or Mulch after the New Grass is Cut?

A. I mulch my clippings most of the time after a new grass cut but bag the clippings to prevent disease and weeds from spreading. 

Final Thoughts 

The best time to mow new grass after planting grass seed with a lawn mower is when the roots are well established. For sodded lawns, you can mow 2 – 3 weeks after planting and up to two months for seeded lawns. 

After mowing your new lush lawn, follow up with other lawn care practices such as spreading fertilizer and watering your turf at the right times to keep your lawn healthy. 

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