Maintaining a soft and lush lawn all year round is a desire that doesn’t have to be out of reach.

However, it is something that requires patience, effort, and time.

To lay the groundwork for it, it all begins in spring. To be specific, with the first cut lawn.

After the cold season, the grass slowly comes out of the dormancy phase. With the first lawn cut, you can encourage the lawn to thicken it up and achieve your objective.

But how do you do it without making any mistakes? 

We will tell you when to cut grass for the first time in spring, as well as the preparation and aftercare.

So, spare us a few minutes to read this article!

Purpose Behind First Cut Lawn

An answer post explaining the purpose behind first cut lawn

The spring season in Canada comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. As it starts with harsh cold winds and ends with a pleasant breeze, you may see a lot of clippings and dead grass. 

In case, if you left your grass untouched and now it has grown too long, you may face some negative outcomes.

The lawn would probably have an unruly appearance, increased thatch, dead grass, pleading you to rake and clean it up.

It is crucial to remove the dead grass tips left by winter from healthy plants during the first cut lawn of the spring, as your lawn gets the clean-up it requires.

Your plants’ roots receive a signal to develop and rejuvenate from the first cut of spring. In actuality, it encourages robust, healthy plant development.

Preparing First Cut Lawn 

Before you go ahead with the first cut lawn, here are the things you need to do:

1. Choose an Area 

For the first cut lawn, you need to select the area that you want to be manicured. You can leave the rest of the regions.

This will promote natural habitat growth all summer long. For a natural appearance, sow some wildflower seeds there. In this way, you can highlight the area you chose for the first cut lawn in your yard.

2. Clean the Area 

After preparing your lawn mower, it’s time to evaluate the grass for the first cut lawn. Move around and pick up any trash, such as sticks or leaves. 

You can use the excessive leaves and twigs that you collect in this step for mulching later on.

Make sure nothing has been left behind to damage your mower or make the first lawn process tedious.

3. Watch Out For Bare Spots 

As you go around your grass for the first cut lawn, look for any bare spots. You can use grass seeds to fill in these spots.

For at least a week, or until the grass reaches a mowable height, water the freshly seeded areas daily.

If you don’t want to wait for the grass to grow, you can cover the bare spots with sod as well. 

Brown patches of dead grass indicate that you need to use remedies to fix that area.

Remove thatch to stop it from getting thicker than half an inch and to prevent the disease from spreading.

4. Take Measure For Weed Control 

In some regions, when it comes to the first cut lawn, weeds are an issue for homeowners. 

There are many varieties of weed that multiply exponentially, making it almost impossible to handpick them. In such cases, you can use our tips for successful weed control.

5. Fertilize the Lawn 

If you skipped winter lawn care, you need to ensure that the yard is healthy for the first cut lawn process.

Therefore, you need to fertilize your grass in the spring to give it the nutrition it needs after the winter. 

To maximize the health of your lawn, you need to get the right spring fertilizer.

You can schedule two spring fertilization sessions. One session can be in late April, and after 6 to 8 weeks, you can apply for it the second time.

6. Use Pest Control Methods If Needed

After being deprived of sunlight for several months, your lawn may appear a bit neglected. There is a chance of pests finding a home on your lawn. Therefore, you need to look for pest invasions and treat them.

If you begin with the first cut lawn without getting rid of the pests, it may show signs of damage after a few weeks.

7. Look For Wild Animals 

Some animals may have taken up residence in the area you are going to mow during the winter. 

For instance, hedgehogs are frequently spotted in leaf and grass heaps. 

If you do locate a habitat, you can select a different area for the first cut lawn.

8. Cut Correctly

When proceeding with the first cut lawn, always remember the one-third rule: Never trim more than one-third of a grass blade at a time. Overcutting may cause the grass to become stressed.

To get the correct length, you should shorten the grass over several weeks. 

When newly grown grass is cut improperly, it can quickly get harmed and will be clearly weaker than the rest of the lawn. 

To give the grass time to develop, it is advisable to postpone your first mow until it is longer than three inches.

Scalping is the term for cutting the grass too short and too quickly, which can lead to weed infestation and illness.

Don’t be impatient if your lawn has overgrown during the winter months and has taken on a life of its own. 

You can use the one-third rule for several weeks to attain the desired length of grass. 

9. Trim the Edges 

On your first lawn-cutting experience, don’t overlook the edges. Overgrown borders can look unattractive and indicate that time and effort spent on gardening have been ineffective. After mowing, trim the edges straight.

Mowing Tips For the First Cut Lawn

An infographic on mowing tips for first cut lawn

Below are some mowing tips to help you with first cut lawn:

1. Know When to Cut Grass First Time in Spring

It is important to know when to cut grass first time in spring. Cutting the grass short in the spring facilitates the easier absorption of sunlight and water by the roots to create a thick carpet of grass in the summer. 

Allow your grass to spread out as the temperature rises to prevent the soil from getting too hot or dry. 

2. Leave the Wet Grass

While it may seem easy to mow your lawn immediately after watering it, doing so can actually damage the grass.

To avoid clumps of wet grass suffocating your first cut lawn and promoting the establishment of fungal lawn diseases, wait to mow your lawn until the grass has dried.

3. Start with the Long Length 

For the first cut lawn, you need to cut the lengthiest grass. Prioritize cutting the longest grass patches with the cutting blade lifted a little higher than usual. If necessary, proceed to the shorter areas after finishing the longer ones.

Since grass doesn’t like a harsh cut at the beginning of the year, you usually just remove a tiny portion of the top. Only the lawn’s most densely populated regions may be mowed during the initial cut. 

You can lower the blade during the following few cuts, which will cause you to cut the shorter pieces later.

4. Don’t Overwater

It is advisable to refrain from making it a habit to water your grass right away after mowing. 

There is no set time of the month to water your lawn; it should be done anytime it needs moisture. 

However, you can use these techniques to water your first cut lawn:

Watering late in the evening or at night can cause fungus issues due to the grass’s inability to dry out.

The sun is usually at its warmest point around midday, which may cause the water to evaporate quickly or the droplets to serve as a magnifying glass and burn the grass blades. 

The optimal time is early in the morning because of the chilly air and the water’s ability to reach the roots before drying out.

5. Remove the Clippings 

Placing grass clippings on top of a lawn may give the healthy lawn essential nutrients during other months of the year.

However, after you achieve the first cut lawn, take out the clippings to let the grass sunlight.

6. Use a Mower with Sharp Blades 

Get your mower in excellent condition. Many weak, yellowed lawns can be attributed to dull mower blades. A dull blade causes a blade of grass to grow more slowly and turn darker at the top. 

With the clean-cutting action of sharp blades, the grass is kept green and grows quickly enough to survive.


When is the ideal time of day to mow the lawn?

Mid-morning is the ideal time to begin mowing. By then, the grass had somewhat dried up from the early morning dew and any irrigation, and the sun had risen higher in the sky. Moreover, mowing your lawn in the late afternoon helps prevent fungal infections.

When should you cut grass for the first time in spring?

After the grass reaches a height of 3 inches in mid to late March, you should cut it.

When is it not appropriate to mow your lawn?

There are ideal times of year to mow your lawn, just as there are ideal times of day. The grass on your lawn will not grow high enough to require mowing once the temperature falls below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, even if you will be trimming it twice a week throughout the summer high-growth cycle.

Which kind of lawn mower is best for me?

Mowers come in two primary varieties: cylinder and rotary. A cylinder needs to be mowed frequently to get the greatest results because it is better suited for extremely flat lawns and cannot handle long grass.

While a rotary mower can’t cut grass as neatly as a cylinder mower, it’s far more adaptable to most lawns.


This is how you can successfully achieve the first cut lawn.

Before you do it, clean, rake, and fertilize your lawn.

When you process, just make sure you have a healthy lawn with a robust root system. If your lawn is diseased or damaged and you still begin to cut it, you may face bigger issues in the future.

To help you in the process, you can contact professionals with expertise and knowledge in this domain.