Winter is coming! Can we cope with mowing the lawn? So you decide

We’ve hit the 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s in the past two weeks. I’ve packed the garden furniture. I’m starting to look at my Christmas decorations. Can we mow the lawn yet?

It’s one of those things. I don’t HATE it … but I really don’t want it. Add the leaf rake … I’m over it.

According to the experts at HGTV, a number of factors play a role: soil temperature, frost and falling leaves.

Soil temperature

Experts say that when the cool weather sets in and your floor temperature reaches 45 degrees, the “cool season” for gardening will come. Your grass will rest when the weather hits 55 degrees consistently (feels like we’re pretty much there, right?). But before you grab your thermometer and stick it in the ground, there is a handy online tool that can tell you what your floor temperature is right now. GreenCast can show you the average soil temperature in your community.


For me, the ground temperature in my neighborhood in western Wayne County is 46 degrees. The 7-day average is 45.7 degrees. YES INDEED! I met it. My grass is done growing.

Falling leaves

If that soil temperature is a little too scientific and you’re more into a visual cue – look no further than falling leaves.

According to HGTV, grass growth should normally slow down when trees have lost half of their leaves. We’re pretty much there too, aren’t we?

The frost

If you want to feel it too, step aside. Do you see your breath HGTV experts say a few severe frosts will send your weed dormant. And, a pro tip: never mow your grass when the frost is on it.

According to Peppers Home and Garden, mowing frosty grass can cause serious damage. It can destroy blades of grass and even hit the roots. Most lawn care professionals will tell you to stay away from your frozen lawn. Simply walking on it can damage or kill it. Oops. Guilty.


Lawn length

So if you check off the list of reasons why you might not want to mow the lawn anymore, you might still be like me … It’s been a couple of weeks and it’s a bit too long. So should you mow one last time anyway? Maybe, maybe not. Lush Lawn and Davey suggest cutting grass to a length of about 2 to 2 1/2 inches. According to HGTV, if your weed is too long it can be more prone to diseases like snow mold (huh ?!), which can kill your weed. In case you’re wondering, snow mold is a cold-weather fungus that primarily affects cool-season grasses found after the spring snowmelts.

While we’re skipping winter here and talking about melting snow, another great benefit of shorter grass is that it turns green faster in the spring.

If you’re looking for the right lengths for each season, Davey has put together a solid guide. Check it out here.


Decision made

So, unfortunately, I think I still have a mower left because I made mine a little too long. But if you’ve recently cut your lawn and it’s a good length (2 to 2 1/2 inches), you can be done! Now get the shovels and / or snow blowers out. We’ll be using that soon enough.

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