To mow or not to mow

Fall has arrived which means the lawn mowing season is (finally) coming to an end. The question I have is what is better for a lawn - to mow one last time and leave the grass short through the winter or not to mow and leave longer blades for the grass to get started with next spring??
TIA for any advice.
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You want to continue mowing through winter (as weather permits) anytime the lawn grows more than a third higher than your normal mowing height. Letting the lawn grow long during the fall and winter months will allow the grass blades to bend over on themselves, which can promote fungal problems and patches of dieout. In colder climates, cool season grasses put on a burst of new growth in the fall - specially if you do fall fertilizing - and will continue to grow, albeit slowly, throughout the winter months and the last mowing is generally targeted towards the end of October/beginning of November. In my climate, it is not unusual to need to mow the lawn once or twice in December and January, so don't put away that mower yet!
pam - gardengal
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If I mowed any later then very early November here in northern CT they'd be taking me away to the funny farm lol... We'll start back up mi April or so. Then again I mow only as needed anyways, I'm not the strict once a week mower type person... The front gets mowd usually 3 times to the back once or maybe two times :o) I keep mine longer mostly to encourage the birds to come in for natural insect control :o) Colleen Zone 5 CT
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Pam - gardengal wrote:

One more thing to consider, winter and early spring are often very rainy. Mowing in the rain isn't a good idea for many reasons, but if it doesn't stop raining anytime you're able to mow for any period of time, the lawn is going to get away from you. You may not be able to mow it back to ideal height without cutting off more than 1/3 the blade, and you may not be able to space two mowings to bring it back, either. This would even be more of a problem if you left the lawn close to it's maximum desirable height to begin with.
During the summer, longer grass helps shade the roots, lowering watering needs, and lessening the ability of annual weed seeds to germinate. Those aren't objectives in the winter. But as Pam noted, fungal problems are. Of course this doesn't mean you should scalp the lawn for the winter, but you'll want to keep it trimmer. And anytime the weather allows, mow.
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-> Fall has arrived which means the lawn mowing season is (finally) coming to -> an end. The question I have is what is better for a lawn - to mow one last -> time and leave the grass short through the winter or not to mow and leave -> longer blades for the grass to get started with next spring?? -> -> TIA for any advice. I was told by an "expert" (landscaper) to mow short so that the grass can go dormant in the winter. (Apparently this makes for a healthier lawn.) If the grass is too high I guess it doesn't go dormant.
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8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
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Suzie-Q wrote:

Cool season grasses may go dormant in the summer if not watered. They continue to grow in cold weather, generally with slower growth as it gets colder. Don't mistake slow growth for dormancy.
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Warren H.

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On Sat, 25 Sep 2004 06:49:44 -0400, "snafu"

Keep your lawn mowed. Remove the leaves and add them to the compost pile. Test your soil and add lime if needed. Aerate if your soil is compacted. Overseed. Use a slow release fertilizer. Fall is the busiest season for lawn care, and you will see results next spring for the work done now.
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Recommended mowing heights for the four species of turfgrasses are 2.5-3 inches for Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass and fine fescue, and 2.5-4 inches for tall fescue. In areas with prolonged periods of snow cover where snow mold is a problem, the last mowing of the season should be 20-30% lower than normal to discourage fungal diseases in winter.
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OK, the consensus seems to be keep mowing until the grass growth slows to a stop. Even mow shorter than usual the last time. Thanks to all for the advice, but around here I'll probably mow one day and be running the snow blower the next ;-)

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Hurry up and mow already.
Do it before another hurricane comes or worse yet you suffer the wrath of your spouse!!!

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