If you’re like many others this fall, the warm temperatures has led to later-than-normal turf growth in your yard. This means, of course, that some are mowing their lawns two, or even three times more than on a normal year.
This is fine, of course, but there comes a time when you will be mowing the grass for a last time before freeze, and to that fact we’ll share an important note about the final mowing before winter weather sets in.
The height at which you cut the grass prior to absolute dormancy is an important consideration. And here’s why.
If you cut the grass too short you risk winter freeze burn over the winter months. This can permanently damage exposed plants, particularly in dry and extremely cold conditions.
On the other hand, if you cut your grass too long – say four inches or more – those plants can actually lay over and mat to the ground with a cover of snow. And left in this condition for extended periods you run the risk of a disease called “snow mold” – or “pink mold” as it’s sometimes called. The accompanying photo (above) shows the effects of snow mold, come spring.
The solution, of course, is to leave your winter length at about three inches. This, ideally, will provide enough of an insulating blanket for the plant, while not suffocating it in the event of an unusual amount of snow cover, or snow cover for an extended time. And just as important, at this height not only will your lawn look tidy throughout winter, but your plants will spring into a healthy growing season next year.
It’s also important to understand that just because we’ve had frost it doesn’t mean that grass plants aren’t still growing. And as long as they’re growing it’s important to mow to avoid a pre-winter mold or fungus.
Bottom line – it’s important to mow right up until dormancy; and, it’s important to mow at the right height to insure plant health and a healthy start come spring. No more than three inches…and you’ll be in great shape! If you have other questions about how to put your lawn to bed for the winter…feel free to call us at Ever-Green!