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Very long newly grown grass - can I mow in November?

Hi - Ive just moved into my new home (it's November now) and during summer the previous owners laid new turf grass. According to the neighbours they mowed it once. Its a good dark green, but its about 20cm long and laying flat. Is it ok to mow this time of year? I dont want it to 'thatch' itself over winter but neither do I want to kill it by cutting it. All suggestions welcome! Thanks


  • ViewAheadViewAhead Posts: 447
    Welcome! 🙂

    Does your mower have a number of settings and where abouts are you in the country?  If you are somewhere likely to experience frosts soon, it might be better to leave it.  If you are in a mild area, a cut would probably be fine now, but I would put the mower on the highest setting to leave the grass as much top growth as possible.  

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,120
    At that length a rough cut with a strimmer first might work, unless you have a fairly heavy-duty rotary mower with a high cutting height setting.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Hi there, thanks for this. How high? Would 60 - 70mm be ok? How long does new grass need to be over winter? Thanks again.
  • GardenerSuzeGardenerSuze Posts: 5,306
    Someone told me only recently remove a maximum of a third when you cut. If that still leaving a lawn too long wait four or five days and cut again. This second cut may not apply to you if the grass is slowing down it's growth.
    I have cut a mature lawn in December before but normally by that time of year it is too wet and more harm than good can be done.
    Looking forward to my new garden with clay soil here in South Notts.

    Gardening is so exciting I wet my plants. 
  • RubytooRubytoo Posts: 1,482
    If you really have the urge to tidy it now I would just "tip" it now, high as you can go.
    Then if the weather stays fine and the temperature does not drop to freezing, tip it a little lower in a week on a good day.

    If you cut it shorter it will be yellow or very pale, and if wet you will damage and tear it.

    At 20cm I would go over it on a dry day. If you can gently swish over it with a big plastic wide rake gently to raise it a bit.

    But if it does not bother you you could leave it now.
    But when spring comes then again do a tip cut then lower after a few days or a week.
    Never cut it low straight away in one go .
  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,120
    edited 21 November
    I don't know whether a new lawn would be left any longer than an established one, but my gut feeling is 2 or 3 inches would be OK. Maybe on the higher end of that. 
    The difficulty at this time of year can be waiting for the grass and ground to be dry enough for you to walk on without making it into a muddy mess, particularly if you live somewhere with heavy soil or a high rainfall (or both). I think a new lawn would be more prone to that, particularly if it was from seed, because the roots will be less knitted together.
    The usual advice is not to cut off more than about a third of the height in one go, leave it at least a few days to recover and then go a bit lower if you like. If it's really flattened, it'll probably look quite uneven after the first cut. Lightly sweeping or raking just the blades of the grass (not letting the rake dig into the roots) can help to lift the blades a bit, but don't overdo it.

    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • Im in Cambridgeshire, and we're about to go into frost temperatures, so I'm going to leave it until a mild spell/week. I have a nice new mower with up to 60mm cutting height. Meanwhile Ill give it the occasional gentle lift by raking with my also new grass rake. The grass its still quite soft and tender so I think frost on fresh cut is more of a risk at this stage than thatching... as far as I can see anyway. Hope that sounds reasonable!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,989
    Sounds a good plan to me. Of course you’re aware that it’s a good idea to keep off frosted grass 😊 👍 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • JennyJJennyJ Posts: 10,120
    I always thought the not cutting when it's frosty was more about not walking on the grass when it's frosty! I occasionally walk on mine, just round to the compost bin, when it's frosty and one time there was a neat track of yellowed footprints after a couple of days!  It grew out soon enough and was more amusing than unsightly, but it showed what the effect can be.
    Doncaster, South Yorkshire. Soil type: sandy, well-drained
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,989
    Of course you wouldn’t mow when it’s actually frosty because of the damage caused when going into the grass … but mowing when frost is forecast during the next few days is also a bad idea because frost causes the newly cut edges of the grass to brown and look awful. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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