The growing season of 2020 is near its end. It’s time to wrap up mowing your lawn until next spring.
Yet, you still have plenty to do in your yard before the final freeze.
When Does Grass Cutting Season End?
The last cut of the year occurs when your grass stops growing, and 90% of leaves are off the trees. Even if your grass stops growing, you still need the mulching part of your mower to chop the leaves.
You don’t want leaves blanketing your grass lawn due to fungal diseases. Plus, you don’t want to scalp your yard during the last mow, but gradually take a third off the top during your final three mows.
Homeowners with cool season lawns do their final mows in October and November. Homeowners with warm season lawns finish up mowing into late December, depending on their area.
While you may hear that it’s an excellent idea to scalp your lawn—don’t do it. Your lawn grass should be developing deep root systems during the fall instead of using energy to regrow the turf on top.
Since warm season grasses stop growing when it gets too cold, you won’t need to cut your grass below 2” unless you’re planting perennial ryegrass for winter color.
How to Winterize Your Lawn Equipment
You may think that you’re done for the year after your last mow. But don’t put that mower into the shed and forget about it. Instead, spend an hour or so winterizing your mower, so it starts up for you next spring.
Always follow the manufacturer’s direction for overwintering your lawn mower. Here are common questions associated with lawn mower winterization:
- Should I run my lawn mower until it’s out of gas?
Instead of letting your mower run in your driveway until it’s out of gas, you should siphon the gas into a snowblower or drain it out. Once the gas tank is empty, you’ll need to turn on your mower to get rid of any excess fuel.
- Can I leave the oil in my lawn mower over winter?
You should change the oil in your mower before you put it away for the winter. Drain old oil and recycle it at a local transfer station or an auto parts store near you.
Before you put fresh oil back into the mower, replace or clean the filters. Then, add fresh oil to your mower.
- Should I replace the spark plugs?
You can remove the spark plugs while cleaning up the mower deck and other parts of your mower. Spray oil into the cylinder to lubricate the inner parts of the mower.
After you’re finished working on your mower, put the spark plugs back into it. Otherwise, you risk the mower turning on while you’re working on it. You don’t want to lose any fingers during the winterization process.
- Should I clean under the mower deck?
Yes. Put your mower on its side, prop it up, and remove the spark plugs. Use a putty knife to remove all caked-on grass and leaf clippings. It’s a good idea to spray the clean mower deck with WD-40 to keep the wires and blades lubricated over the winter.
- Should I sharpen my mower blades?
Yes. The best time to sharpen your mower blades is right now—at the end of the growing season. Hardware stores or your local dealer will provide sharpening blade services. Get it done now to avoid the spring crowd.
After you get your mower blades sharpened, return them to the mower, so everything is ready for your first spring cutting.
If you have an electric mower, you should remove your battery and store it in a cool, dry place.
Finally, cover your mower with a tarp and consider putting down mice traps near the engine so you don’t have mice gnawing on the engine wires over the winter.
Ideally, you want to store your lawn mower in the garage or a shed. You don’t want snow and ice piling on it that will lead to rust and other damage.
Don’t Forget to Clean Your Brinly Lawn Care and Garden Attachments
Blog.Davey.com, “When Grass Stops Growing, It’s the Last Mow of the Season.”
HGTV.com, “Winter’s Coming: When to Stop Mowing Your Lawn.”
PopularMechanics.com, “How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower before You Stow It Away.”