Does cutting grass make it grow faster?




Does cutting grass make it grow faster

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Does cutting grass make it grow faster?

Will cutting grass make it grow?

Sometimes it feels that way. 

You notice that your lawn has grown, so you rush out and mow it, only to realize in a week that it seems to have grown again, So you mow it again. The next time you notice the lawn, it needs lawn mowing again. You could be forgiven for starting to conclude that the more often you mow the lawn, the faster it seems to grow. Could this be true?

In short, Yes. Grass depends on photosynthesis to grow, relying on the leaf area catching the sunlight. When you cut the grass blade, you reduce the available leaf area so the plant will maximize its efforts to produce as much volume as possible in the shortest time to compensate for the loss. This results in the grass putting extra effort into producing runners and new growth. This does not necessarily mean growing higher. If the grass is being cut regularly, it is more likely to grow outward, resulting in a thicker lawn.

I’m now going to tell you how you should cut your lawn to get a healthy, thick green lawn that will make the neighbors green with envy.

Most problems encountered with a lawn can be put down to improper mowing. 

Lawns are made up of hundreds of grass plants. As long as their crowns are undamaged and they have enough food and water they will grow. Many people do not realize that a grass plant grows by the same rules governing any plant or tree.

If left uninterrupted, it will grow towards the nearest light sauce, which is invariably the sun. Just like a plant can get stalky when left to its own devices, your lawn can do the same.

Another characteristic that your lawn shares with all the other plants and trees in the garden is that none of them like to cut back by any more than a third at any given time.  You can work back the height of plants and trees over time, but not all at once. Your lawn feels the same way.  

Every time you mow your lawn you will cause stress. This is not a good thing, but it is unavoidable. The secret to a good lawn is to cut a little off each time and mow often. This will leave the maximum leaf area for photosynthesis and reduce stress on the lawn.

Healthy Grass

Benefits of cutting grass regularly

There are plenty of benefits to be had when you regularly mow your lawn. Not only does your place look better in general, but it also has some significant benefits for the lawn. 

As we always say at lawnmowing101, When you regularly keep your lawn cut, it will grow thicker and healthier. This will reduce the number of weeds or diseases by improving airflow and reducing the places where they can take root. 

If you use a lawn mower to mulch the grass, the clippings will feed the lawn and encourage the grass to grow. 

Proper lawn care techniques for optimal grass growth

Two main factors make for a good-looking lawn: how often and how high a lawn is cut.

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Frequency and timing of lawn mowing

What is the ideal cycle to mow a lawn? That depends on the season. It is the peak growing season. You should mow your lawn every 5 to 7 days, depending on the type of grass you have. You can move to a 2-4 week cut when it slows down. 

Do not mow your lawn on an ad hoc basis. This will make it harder for the grass to compete with the weeds, and they will become more common in your lawn. Another issue is that when you let it grow too long, it will be hard to bag and leave excessive grass clippings on the lawn. This could smother the lawn and inhibit healthy growth.

Freashly cut lush lawn
A high cut on a new lawn.

What height should I cut my lawn? 

Another thing that you shouldn’t overlook is your cut height. This will also affect your lawn’s growth, so getting this right the first time is better. 

I have seen many people cut their lawn short but this is not good for the lawn. Use a higher setting on your mower if possible. A good height to cut a lawn is around three inches. 

This will give it plenty of leaf area to capture the sun or rain and the height will provide shade to the roots. This is also going to be the ideal height to retain any moisture that is around. 

You will end up with a great-looking lawn that is much more drought-tolerant than its shorter cousins. 

how to make grass thicker and fuller

In the growing season, for the best results, I would suggest mowing your lawn on the five-day cycle with a mower on the mulch setting and taking off a small amount every time. This way, the grass clippings will feed that lawn. 

The mulch will go back into the lawn. Lawn clippings are full of nitrogen and this fertilizes a lawn. A paper from the University of Maryland discusses how much fertilizer is needed for a domestic lawn. You will notice that nitrogen features heavily, so why not fertilize your lawn regularly and for free every time you mow it?   

This is going to be a lot less stressful for the lawn. But doesn’t mulch in areas where the children play or your dog runs around. The one problem with this method is that the mulched grass can be brought inside by people or animals, which could be very stressful for you.

Does grass grow faster when it is cut short?

Yes, it will, but not for the reasons you would want. It is growing faster to compensate for the damage that has been done. It is trying to grow any kind of mass ASAP because it is not getting enough food or water. 

Sometimes in Spring, customers ask me, “Can you cut the lawn a bit shorter so it doesn’t grow so fast?”. This is wrong in so many ways that I inwardly sigh. I then explained that if your lawn grows two inches in a week, it will not make any difference how high I cut the lawn. It will still grow the same. In fact, if I cut it too low it may grow higher. 

I would rather not mow a lawn than “scalp it”( cutting way too low). If I am asked to do this I will respectfully decline the job. I have a reputation to keep and I don’t want any of the neighbors to see me scalping a lawn. They might think I don’t know how to mow a lawn properly.

A scalped lawn
It’s a bad cut. The kind of job with discourage whit our lawnmowing101 training.

What damage could scalping a lawn possibly do? 

I am glad I asked that question.

These are a few good reasons NOT to mow your lawn too short. 

  • It will instantly reduce the amount of food and water available to the plant, and this is stored in the leaves.
  • It will force the grass to focus on growing leaves, not roots, leading to a shallow, unhealthy root system.  
  • The grass will die off more easily in a drought with weaker roots. 
  • A short lawn encourages weeds. 
  • Cutting too low increases the risk of damaging the crown of the grass plant, causing die-off. 

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Here are a few things to remember for a nicer finish.

Always pay attention to the cut you are getting. If the grass looks more torn than cut, it may be time to sharpen or replace the blade. I get about 25-30 hours out of a blade, so a yearly sharpening should be sufficient for most domestic lawns. 

Change directions every time you mow the lawn. This will keep your grass growing well and it will reduce the odds of getting lawnmower ruts. 

A man with a bag of grass grow fertilizer.

The role of fertilizers and nutrients in grass growth.

Giving your lawn fertilizer is basically feeding your lawn. A good fertilization routine can turn an average lawn into a green, healthy lawn. Grass roots require certain nutrients to encourage root growth. The favorite nutrients that grass requires include nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K), often referred to as NPK. 

Nitrogen: is responsible for the lush, green look of the grass and growth. Phosphorus: Helps the roots grow strong. Potassium: helps with stress tolerance and disease resistance. 

This is not everything the lawn needs, and this is not all they do, but they are the most important nutrients for a healthy lawn. 

Choosing the right fertilizer for your lawn

The first thing you need to do when looking at fertilizers is to do a soil test. This will let you know where your lawn currently sits with its existing nutrient levels and PH balance. You can then choose a fertilizer that addresses any deficiencies. 

Fertilizers come in a few different forms and you want to choose the best one for your situation. 

Granular Fertilizers are usually used on larger areas, and the nutrient availability lasts longer. 

Liquid fertilizers are better for quick fixes and spot treatments, and you will see faster results. 

Slow-release fertilizers release nutrients gradually over time, reducing the risk of nutrient leaching and minimizing the need for frequent applications. 

Lastly, I would suggest that if you really want a great-looking lawn, you give it a regular dose of Weed and feed spray. You can attach this to your hose and dose your lawn in less time than it takes to mow it. I have attached a link to Amazon to give you an idea but I am sure you could source this locally if you wanted. 


Conclusion: Does cutting grass make it grow faster?

In conclusion, it is confirmed that the notion that cutting grass causes it to grow faster has some truth to it. There is a catch. Since grass relies on photosynthesis for its growth, mowing increases efforts to compensate for the lost leaf area, resulting in volume rather than just height.

However, taking care of your lawn is essential for grass growth and maintenance. It’s important to emphasize the significance of consistent mowing according to a schedule while also paying attention to the cutting height. This helps reduce stress on the lawn and encourages dense growth.

Additionally, we should highlight the role of fertilizers and nutrients in supporting grass growth, emphasizing the importance of soil testing and selecting the fertilizer formulation for maintaining a healthy lawn. 

So it’s nice to know that the lawn growing faster when you mowed wasn’t your imagination but just look at it as a small price to keep your little corner of the world looking great. 

Frequently Asked Questions. 

Why is a lawn growing at different rates? 

What is the best way to mow a lawn?

When do you cut a new lawn?

Do lawn mower blades need sharpening?

How often should you change your blades?

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