Garden experts reveal the exact time you should mow your lawn after winter

Wondering when to cut your grass after winter? We’ve got you covered

A garden with a tidy lawn and flowerbeds, wooden deck, raised bed edging, and plank path, and grey fence and sun loungers
(Image credit: Future PLC / Colin Poole)

Knowing when to mow the lawn after winter can have a huge impact on your garden. Choose the right time, and you’ll have a luscious lawn for the rest of the year. Choose the wrong time, however, and your lawn will suffer as a result. 

Yes, if you're ready to take your best lawnmower for a spin, you’re not alone. Cutting the grass can be a great way to revive your lawn after winter and tidy up your garden before the summer months, and many green-fingered gardeners can’t wait to get outside and give their lawn a haircut. But this isn’t a garden task you can do on a whim. 

To help you understand when to mow your lawn after winter, we’ve asked lawn care experts for their professional opinion. With this in tow, you’ll finally know when add this task to your to-do list. 

Green lawn with white paving slabs

(Image credit: Future PLC / Colin Poole)

When to cut your grass after winter

‘As a rule of thumb, we recommend waiting until temperatures are consistently above 8 degrees before you think about mowing your lawn,' say the experts at The Grass People. So, if you’re looking to bring your lawn ideas to life, you should keep an eye on the weather forecast. 

In fact, just as there’s an exact time to cut grass for the final time before winter, there’s also an exact time after winter. But this will depend on where you live, and the weather where you are. 

'The south of England should hopefully start to see favourable conditions at the beginning of March, whereas those in the north of Scotland might have to wait quite a bit longer,' add the pros from The Grass People.

However, it’s generally agreed that the best way to tell whether or not it's a good idea to mow the lawn after winter is to check the ground regularly for signs of frost. You should try and do this early on in the morning when it's most likely to show frost from the night. 

Long garden with hedges, pathways and garden room

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

'It’s best to wait until frosts have passed as these can damage grass blades and increase disease,' explains Leigh Barnes from Jacksons Fencing.

Not only that, but the grass will be in a state of dormancy when temperatures are below 8 degrees, anyway. This means that you shouldn’t see any signs of growth. So, if your grass has started looking longer than it was before, this is a sign that the temperature has increased enough for the grass to be cut again. 

This will also work in your favour, as most experts would agree that you should wait until your grass is around 7cm long before cutting for the first time. 

This will ensure that your grass is strong and sturdy enough to deal with the stress of being cut and ultimately improve the health of your lawn as the year progresses. 

But just because you can cut your grass for the first time after winter in March doesn’t mean that you necessarily should. In fact, this is where the question of whether you should cut wet grass comes into play. 

Garden with grass and planted border, decking and bunting

(Image credit: Future PLC/James French)

‘It really depends on how wet the grass and ground is. Lightly damp grass is fine, but waterlogged grass and ground is obviously a big no because this could damage your lawn and your lawn mower, as well as make the soil more compacted, which actually has an effect on how the grass will continue to grow and how water will sit on top of the grass,' explains Steve Chilton, garden expert from LeisureBench.

‘If your grass stands up straight (not flattened by any rain/moisture) and is a normal colour (not too dark as this indicates wet grass), then your grass is probably dry enough to cut. A bit of dew in the morning is okay. However, I always recommend mowing your lawn in the afternoon, as this should have dried out by then.’

Even if the weather is favourable, you still need to be careful when mowing the lawn after winter for the first time. If you cut too much too soon, you may stress out your grass and ultimately harm it in the process. Thankfully, Steve has some advice for this first haircut of the year. 

‘I would also recommend mowing your lawn at the very highest setting for the first cut of the year,' Steve adds. 'This ensures that you don't take too much off the top and don't cause damage to the grass. If you cut it too short, and the weather's too cold, then you could really damage your lawn.’

In fact, that’s why gardening guru Monty Don chooses to wait until June to mow his lawn for the first time after winter. 


What month is best to cut grass after winter?

The general consensus for when to cut your grass after winter is to wait until at least March. Some experts recommend waiting until April if you can, as by this point, the frost is unlikely to return. 

The best month to start cutting your grass again will depend on your location, so keep monitoring any growth as this is a good indicator of when to reach for the lawn mower. 

'It's generally best to wait until the grass has started to grow again before mowing', says Sean Lade, director of Easy Garden Irrigation. 'This usually happens in March, although the exact timing can vary depending on your location and the weather conditions.'

How do I recover my lawn after winter?

There are several ways to give your lawn some TLC in winter. Gardening experts would suggest that you start by inspecting your lawn and looking for any abnormalities or problem areas. Then, rake your lawn to clear it of any debris, such as branches or leaves.

When you’ve done that, you should aerate your lawn, scarify your lawn, and then remove weeds. You can then focus your attention on overseeding your grass and fertilising the whole thing (or any problem areas that need some more care and attention). 

When the timing allows, you should then mow your lawn for the first time after winter. 

How do I know if my grass is dry enough to cut?

The easiest way to tell if your grass is dry enough to cut is to walk over it with open-toed shoes. If your feet stay dry, it’s perfectly ok to cut. If your feet are wet, you might want to consider your options.

If you don’t want to test out this theory, you could do a visual check of your grass instead. If you can see that the blades of grass are standing up straight and are not flattened by rain, you should be good to go. Of course, if you can visibly see moisture and spots of rain on your grass, it should also deemed too wet to cut. 

However, you can cut wet grass if you feel as though you have no choice and your grass is in desperate need of a haircut. But most experts would advise against it, as it can damage both your grass and your lawnmower in the process. 

Knowing when to mow the lawn after winter is more important than you probably thought. 

Katie Sims

Katie Sims has been writing for Ideal Homes since spring 2022. She qualified from her Master’s in Media and Journalism in 2021 and has been writing freelance since. She has worked on Ideal Home’s ecommerce team where she researched the best home products on the market, and on the news team, researching the latest trends for feature pieces.