Mowing the lawn can seem like a boring chore, and it rolls around each week far too quickly. You might have found yourself thinking, what if I just don’t cut it? What’s the worst that could happen?
We’ve all been there. Does the grass really need cutting every week?
In this article, we will consider what would happen if you decided to stop cutting the grass.
Unfortunately, if you stop cutting the grass, it will continue to grow and become unruly and packed with weeds. It will likely become patchy and overcome with thatch as the top layer of soil is not being disturbed. This long grass provides the perfect environment for insects and animals you might not be used to having in your garden, such as ticks, mosquitos, and even rats and snakes.
Most people would rather mow their lawn than deal with the wild grasses that grow if you do not mow the lawn. Also, depending on your neighborhood, you might find that your neighbors are not happy about your decision to stop mowing the lawn and might complain to you or file a formal complaint locally.
Suppose they receive multiple complaints or the problem continues. In that case, local authorities might talk to you about your intentions behind not mowing the lawn if it is inconsistent with the rest of the neighborhood. You may receive fines or eviction at worst as a result of not mowing your lawn.
This, of course, is the extreme version of what could happen. If it is a private lawn on the back of your property, others are less likely to care about the appearance of the grass, and the main consequences you will face are a wild, patchy lawn with lots of wildlife living in it.
What Happens If You Don’t Mow Your Lawn?
Weeds and Wild Grasses
The first thing you’ll probably notice if you skip the weekly mow is that the grass will become longer and thicker. The stems of the grass will grow woody, and it might lose that bright green appearance that freshly cut grass seems to maintain. This is because nutrients are used by the grass but are not replaced, which creates the perfect conditions for weeds to grow.
Therefore, as your grass goes longer without a cut, weeds will begin to grow within the grass and start to take over the lawn.
You may have noticed that, during the summer, when your grass is growing quickest, it does not grow evenly. If you stop mowing your lawn, the same thing will occur. Different parts of the grass will grow at different rates, and the uneven grass and lack of nutrients in the soil might cause patches of brown or discoloring in your lawn, too.
If the grass does not get cut and the soil runs low in nutrients, the grass will stop growing properly in these areas and will stop looking as healthy as it did when it was cut regularly.
If you have not heard of it before, thatch is a matted top layer made up of dead grass, roots, and debris on your grass. It prevents healthy grass from growing by blocking sunlight and water from getting to the soil and essentially choking all of the healthy grass.
Thatch is really common, and not mowing your lawn regularly enough might be a reason for thatch to build up.
Your lawnmower helps to eradicate any dead material that might be on your grass, helping the healthy grass plants to have sufficient space to grow. However, if you’re not mowing the lawn, a top layer of build-up could stop your grass from being able to grow properly.
You should aim to dethatch your lawn at least once a year, and if you have not cut your grass in a long time, this is an important step in the process of returning your grass to the healthy lawn it was previously.
If you stop mowing your grass, you might find that you have more insects and small animals in your garden than previously. The long grass provides a homely environment to ticks, mosquitoes, perhaps field mice. If you live in a rural area, you might be attracting snakes into your yard, as they love to live in long grasses. This might be some motivation to cut the grass!
Even if snakes do choose to reside in your garden, they are unlikely to be venomous. However, it is not worth taking this risk if there are venomous snakes in your area, as these could cause serious harm to you, your children, or pets should you disturb their home.
If you live in an area where everyone’s lawns are uniform, your neighbors will probably be surprised to see that you’ve stopped cutting your grass. It will become an eyesore in your neighborhood, and some people in the community might choose to complain.
Though to some extent it is up to you how you decide to keep your garden, cutting the grass is seen as polite.
How Long Can You Let Grass Grow?
Most gardeners recommend cutting your grass about once a week to prevent it from growing long and unmanageable. However, this does depend on the season and how fast your grass is growing. Don’t feel like you need to cut your grass weekly if it’s still looking pretty neat from its last trim.
When cutting your grass, you should aim to only cut about a third of the height of the grass. Therefore, if you have let your grass grow longer than usual, do not try to cut it back to short, neat grass immediately. Take the top layer off and work your way back to a regular length.
If you try to cut it all at once, you risk damaging your lawnmower or getting an uneven cut. If the soil is damp, you could risk pulling up your grass plants, which would cause your garden to look quite messy and result in you having to invest in some grass seed or new turf.