The last grass cutting of this season is important as it prepares the grass to get its allotted span. While the dormant period is typically thought of as sunlight, some grasses become dormant in the summer. Proper lawn care and cutting guarantees that your grass is in the best possible condition to get off to a good start during the following growing season.
Determining when to cut your grass for the last time is dependent in part on the growth cycle of the particular sort of grass on your lawn. Warm-season grasses like bermudagrass (Cynodon spp.) And buffalograss (Buchloe dactyloides) grow during the spring or summer but enter a dormant period in late fall; the final cut of this season must occur before this dormant period, around late October. Cold-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis) and hard fescue (Festuca longifolia) input shorter dormant intervals in the winter and summer, leading to closing cuts both in late May and November or December.
When cutting your grass, place the height of your mower so that it cuts no longer than one-third of this entire height of the grass. Cutting over this can have a negative effect on the growth of the grass and may stunt root growth in fresh grass also. When preparing for the last cut of the season, achieve a lower overall height via more frequent mowings and slight reductions in grass height using each cut until it is approximately two inches tall. This not only allows room for growth after the dormant period ends, but also reduces the opportunity for fungi or bacterial growth to damage your lawn.
Additional Pre-Dormancy Care
Cutting your grass is not the one thing which you should do to get your lawn ready for dormancy. Apply a slow-release 10-10-10 fertilizer a few weeks before your final cut; while the grass won’t use all the fertilizer now, it is going to stay in the soil around the roots to help raise growth when the grass comes from dormancy. Remove leaves, twigs, toys and other debris in the grass to prevent damage to the grass while it is dormant. Aerating your lawn to split up thatch will even encourage growth after the dormancy period is over.
Once your grass starts coming from its dormancy, the function that you put into preparing it for winter will begin to pay off. It’s important not to cut the grass too soon after signs of new growth are present because this can stunt root growth and damage the grass. Enable the grass to grow until it begins to appear ragged, then cut it to decrease its height by one-third. Increase the blades with each successive cutting until the grass once again reaches its usual height.