When to do my last mow of the season?

jrodriguez90November 5, 2010

I'm looking for advice about when to do my last mow for the season. I did my last fertilization on Oct 15th. I'm in northern Virginia, near DC. Also does anyone have thoughts about cutting height for the last mow? I've heard annecdotally to mow low for the final cut, but often the conventional wisdom isn't right.

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There is no set date. Cool season grasses will stop growing when soil temps fall below a certain temperature. This time of year your grass should be growing less and less as winter nears. Right now I am mowing every two weeks, and I suspect in 2 or 3 weeks topgrowth will be done, you are probably 2 or 3 weeks behind me being in VA. The general recommendation is to mow shorter for your last mow, but not so short as to scalp the lawn, 1.5 -2 inches. This will lower your chances of snow mold and other early season diseases.

    Bookmark   November 5, 2010 at 9:29PM
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The height of the last mowing does seem to warrant a shorter cut which has its merits and others feel it isn't necessary. So please yourself.
My schedule of when to put the mower to bed is determined by the amount of leaves that I am forced to wait for. I did put my mower to bed just last week when I figured I've picked up 90% of the leaves that has fallen and the rest will probably blow away with the winds.
Some trees on the street still have 90% of their canopy--real hangers-on. If the owners don't get to raking when the temperatures drop in earnest, they might have lawn problems in the spring.

As far as my lawn, I gave its last mowing a month ago and any growing it does will probably die back anyway and so I'm not concerned about what it might do.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2010 at 11:41AM
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I believe there is no set date for the last mowing of the seasons. It is more dependent on weather conditions than any thing else. I live in central Indiana. Because of the lack of rain my last mowing of the season was about 13 weeks ago. We received very little rain during August and most of September, and the grass did not grow.

About a month ago I went over the yard with the mower, just to level it off so it was easy to blow the leaves.

So in my opinion, does the grass height indicate that it needs mowing?

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 10:24AM
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Billl(z7 nc)

I keep mulch mowing until all the leaves are gone.

Re height: In northern climates, the recommendation is to mow shorter. That minimized the pocket of air that can get trapped beneath the snow and cuts down on snow mold problems. In Virginia, you aren't going to see much/any benefit from that.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2010 at 3:40PM
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Thanks everyone for the responses. As seemed to be suggested, I'll let the grass tell me when its time to put the mower to bed for the season. I usually mow at 3", so maybe for the last mow once its stopped growing, I'll go down to 2.5 or so.

Bill - in most years you would be completely right about not worrying about snow mold too much over here, but given last year it is something to keep in the back of your mind. Of course I can guarantee that it won't be a problem this year because I bought snow insurance! (I went in with some neighbors on a snow-blower)

    Bookmark   November 9, 2010 at 2:02PM
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dmoore66(6 NorthWest NJ)

I do my last mowing Thanksgiving weekend and cut at 2". All leaves are down by then!

    Bookmark   November 10, 2010 at 11:00AM
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