How to recognize when you can stop mowing



Each weekend in spring, summer and fall, millions of homeowners fire up their mowers and cut the grass in their yards. A few hours spent mowing the lawn can be a great time to get some sun and some exercise in the great outdoors.

As fall gradually transitions to winter, homeowners may wonder when to stop mowing their lawns. Each lawn is different, and when to stop mowing may depend on a host of factors, including local climate and the type of turf. In addition to climate and turf, homeowners can keep an eye on these conditions to determine when the time is right to put their mowers away for the winter.

• Frost: Warm-season grasses typically go dormant after
a couple of significant frosts. Homeowners can jot down
each frost during fall. Frosts are most noticeable in the
early morning hours, so be sure to check lawn conditions
each morning as the weather begins to grow cold. Frost
may be noticeable without even going outside, but homeowners may need to go outside to check on chilly mornings or on days when the previous night was especially
cold. If you must go outside, stay off the grass to protect
it. Two or three frosts might be enough to make warmseason grasses go dormant for the winter. Cool-season
grasses may keep growing and require moving even after
a few frosts, so it’s imperative that homeowners determine which type of grass is in their yards.
• Soil temperature: If it’s hard to determine if frosts have
occurred, homeowners can try checking the temperature
of their soil to decide if they need to keep mowing. The
lawn care experts at Pennington recommend homeowners continue mowing warm-season grasses so long as
they keep growing. Lawns may not grow as quickly in
fall as they do in spring or summer, and growth may not
be as visible to the naked eye during this time of year as
it is in other times. Homeowners can routinely check soil

temperature to determine if their grasses have stopped
growing. Warm-season grasses tend to stop growing
once the soil temperature is consistently at 55 F or below,
while cool-season grasses tend to stop when temperatures are 45 degrees or lower.

Falling leaves have long been a barometer used by homeowners to determine if they need to keep mowing their lawns. That’s not necessarily a reliable metric, as grass can still keep growing even if leaves have been falling for weeks. In addition, using a mulching mower when leaves begin falling is a great way to provide the lawn with nutrients it can use throughout the winter. Some trees shed their leaves more quickly than others, but it’s a good rule of thumb that lawns will need to keep being mowed if trees are still retaining more than half their leaves.

A host of factors can help homeowners determine when it’s safe to put their mowers away for the winter.

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