How Short to Cut Grass Before Winter – A Comprehensive Guide

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With the season of winter quickly approaching, it’s essential to prepare your lawn for the upcoming cold months. Proper lawn care requires more than just watering and mowing during the summer season. Amongst other things, knowing how short to cut grass before winter is crucial.

In this blog post, we will detail everything you need to know about cutting your grass before winter. Read on to learn more!

Why is it important to cut your grass before winter?

Winter weather conditions can be detrimental to your lawn, and cutting your grass before the onset of frosty temperatures can help your lawn stay healthier. Long grass, as a result of skipping the final cut, creates an opportunity for snow and moisture to accumulate and lead to snow mold growth. Additionally, rodents can burrow in overgrown grass and create extensive damage in your yard.

Therefore, cutting your grass to an optimal length before the cold sets in can eliminate these risks and ultimately reduce the amount of maintenance required to revive your lawn in the spring.

How short should my grass be before winter?

The ideal height of your grass for winter varies depending on your lawn’s grass type. To be safe and achieve maximum protection, it’s recommended that you set the cutting blade to 1 ½ inches for warm-season grasses and 2 ½ inches for cool-season grasses.

Cutting to these lengths will ensure that your lawn has enough leaf density and growth to withstand possible winter damage while preventing the growth of snow mold in long grass. Please note that these recommended lengths are subject to the discretion of your lawn care and mowing schedule.

Subheadings: Tips and tricks

1. Adjust Your Lawn Mower Blade:

Before the final cut, you should ensure that your lawnmower blade height is correctly adjusted for your grass type. The high-temperature summers may have forced you to increase the cutting blade level, so make sure you adjust the blade back to your grass’s appropriate level.

2. Don’t Cut Too Short:

When mowing your lawn, never cut your grass too short. Scalping your lawn can leave your grass vulnerable to winter damage due to a lack of protection against the cold. Therefore, adjust the height on your lawnmower, making every necessary pass that produces clippings to get the appropriate length.

3. Remove Lawn Debris:

Ensure that you remove any debris such as leaves, small branches, and other trimmings before mowing your lawn. The debris can interfere with the cutting blade, which leads to unmanicured grass, and the damaged grass is not ideal for winter protection.

4. Don’t Buy into the “1/3 Rule”:

As a rule, you should not cut your grass at all once it grows above 1/3 of the length. However, for the final autumn cut, you should disregard this rule and cut longer grass at the appropriate recommended height.

Concluding thoughts on how short to cut grass before winter

Knowing the ideal height to cut your grass before winter can be the difference between a healthy lawn and a lawn plagued with winter damage. Always remember to adjust your lawnmower to your grass type and don’t over-cut the grass, ensuring that the grass has some protection during the winter.

Although winter will soon be upon us, consistent lawn management and preparation before the onset of cold weather guarantee a healthier lawn. The tips above will help ensure that your lawn is healthy and ready to grow in the spring.

FAQs about how short to cut grass before winter

1. When’s the best time to make the final cut?

It’s best to make the final cut a few weeks before the first expected frost to ensure the grass easier acclimatizes to winter conditions.

2. What if I wait until after the last fall leaf pickup?

You should ensure that you mow the grass before the frost hits, whether or not you have completed leaf pickup.

3. What’s the recommended cutting height for the final cut?

For warm-season grasses, it is recommended to cut grass to a length of about 1 ½ inches, and for cool-season grasses, cut grass to approximately 2 ½ inches for the final cut before winter.

4. Can’t I cut my grass shorter to postpone future cuts?

It’s essential to avoid cutting your lawn too short, and while it may prolong future cuts, it can lead to bigger issues like damage to the lawn.


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