Dear Crabby, How Often Should I Cut the Grass?

Dear Crabby, How Often Should I Cut the Grass?

Sincerely, Mo Yardly


Dear Mo,

My gut cut instinct is to do it as little as possible – why waste gas and time when you don’t have to. You should spend your time and your gas money for something more enjoyable – unless you enjoy mowing the lawn. However, perhaps your question warrants a deeper look into the science of grass cutting.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

The experts tell us that you should cut once per week – I’m sure these “experts” are the same folks that run landscaping businesses, who charge an arm & a leg each time they visit. But if you’re a clumsy person and you don’t want to lose an arm or a leg, then maybe you should hire it done! These same experts suggest watering your lawn and fertilizing it too – really – just to get it to grow more! And need to be cut more! Stop the madness!

I never water the grass, ever! Why bother, unless you care about how your lawn looks next to your neighbors? I’m old, and so’s my grass. We’ve been through a lot together – floods, droughts, and grandkids – we’ve survived. Even after the North American Drought of 1988 – the worst since the “Dust Bowl” – the lawn turned green again once it rained. Less watering means less cutting, and it will always come back.

In the spring, I find here in Michigan that mowing once per week is the normal, but right now – in the midst of summer – I haven’t cut the grass since June and I probably won’t until August. It’s just not growing right now.

Those experts tell us to cut one third off the grass blade and to cut it down to 2-3 inches in height. For example, when the grass reaches 4 1/2 inches, chop it down to 3 inches – that’s one third. To tell you the truth, I’ve never measured. The mower is set to one height – I’ve never changed it – so it is what it is. I may be cutting off two thirds (or more) and the grass lives on. I suppose I’m “stressing” the grass and its roots by waiting too long and cutting off too much. But the lawn doesn’t worry about my stress level and I give it the same respect.

So, Mo, I guess the answer depends on what you want out of your lawn. If you have the need to keep up with the Joneses, then water, fertilize, cut, and repeat … often. However, if your grandchildren ride their bikes across your lawn, you like to save money and time, and you don’t really care what your neighbors think, then do as I do and only cut the grass when absolutely necessary, or when the HOA sends you a little note.

Now get back to enjoying summer!

Dear Crabby.

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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Jenny Van Dusen says

    Forget the gas mower, dear Crabby. Get an electric mower – quiet, clean and green. I highly recommend them.

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