Should grass be cut short for winter?

When temperatures drop considerably in the winter, taking care of the lawn is no easy task. During these hard times, the metabolism of the grass decreases, reducing its growth. However, it is crucial to take care well during these cold months to keep them alive and ready for the summer.

When winter comes, several questions arise about how to take care of the lawn during the winter. Among them, there is a frequent one.

Should grass be cut short for winter?

Our advice regarding this point is always to maintain the same cut height, neither lower nor shorter; in this way, we keep the plant without many variations in its structure. We will dive deep into this in the following few paragraphs.

This article will explain how to take care of your lawn in winter and answer the central question: Should we cut the grass short for winter?


Sometimes we believe that the only time of year to take care of lawns and gardens is summer since the vegetation tends to dry out quickly. In the same way, however, it is necessary to take care also in the winter month to keep the vegetation alive and healthy.

The ideal and best practice is to anticipate the winter and prepare the lawn for temperature changes.

We must never forget that as gardeners, we are looking for stability in the plant in terms of its structure and surrounding environment. The fewer sudden changes in cutting, fertilization, and irrigation the plant has, the more favorable its development will be. Sudden changes or exposure to extremes of irrigation and fertilization or infrequency of cutting will only bring problems to your lawn.

Should grass be cut short for winter

Should grass be cut short for winter?

As we mentioned in the previous paragraph, we must seek stability in the plant, and as for the cut in winter, we recommend doing it at the same height as in summer or autumn.

Note that to cut at the same height in winter, we had to put the grass through an adaptation process of at least 3 to 4 cuts of the same size.

We must be careful not to alter the height of the cut in the last 1-2 cuts before the first winter cut. We must practice keeping a cutting height during part of the summer and all of the autumn if we consider maintaining it in winter. In this way, the plant will adapt better to cutting in winter.

In this way, we are trying to say that we must keep the height of the cut without specifying the size of the amount itself. If we talk about the height of the cut and what is better, we recommend cutting at a higher height since it will allow more energy to be stored in the roots during the summer and part of the autumn.

In short, we should try to maintain the same height of cut throughout the life of our lawn. If we want to change it, we should practice this new cutting height at a slightly higher level in autumn so that the plant can adapt to the change before winter.

The disadvantage of long grass during the winter

Tall, uncut grass during these times can become a haven for rodents and small animals seeking to escape the cold.
Also, another problem with leaving the grass too long or of an unusual length is that in some regions, the daylight hours drop considerably. With high humidity, the proliferation of diseases or moss can be a problem.

Why not make it shorter?

Cutting lower than usual has caused a problem because the plant has not developed or accumulated enough energy to survive with less leaf area. That is why we must carry out an adaptation period to reduce the cutting height in winter.

Grass Care During Winter

Moss Control

The appearance of moss on our lawn in winter is very normal due to the greater permanent humidity and low insolation; therefore, it is essential to eradicate the moss so that it does not spread and produce uninhabited lawn areas.


After the summer, the grass needs to replace the nutrients lost due to high temperatures. The best time to use fertilizers is at the beginning of the cold season, providing the lawn with the necessary nutrients it will store and later use to feed and maintain itself. Remember to follow the directions on the product packaging and use the recommended amount. Overuse of fertilizers can burn the grass and cause the desired opposite effect.

Should grass be cut short for winter

Pruning Weeds

We must control the invasive weeds that appear during autumn. If we don’t do treatment, weeds will continue to prosper, while our lawn will be dormant, allowing the invasive weeds to gain ground over our property. If there are not many, hand-prune them and ensure the root is removed from the ground. However, if we have a plague, an herbicide treatment based on: 2,4D – Dicamba – MCPA will do the trick (please follow the manufacturer’s instructions and always use protective gear)


Avoid excessive trailing in areas with high humidity in the winter, especially if the site is not very sandy, since compacting the lawn against the mud could damage the roots and the plant if it does not dry for a long time.
We can reverse this situation with an aerator if we notice that we have walked a lot on a lawn and compacted it. We must do it on dry and low humid days to avoid more compaction when we do the work.

Clean up

Removing fallen leaves in the fall and keeping the clear lawn help prevent grass from rotting. Not aerating the lawn regularly during this time can cause certain areas to die and the grass to grow unevenly when spring arrives.

Should grass be cut short for winter


Since rain or snow will keep the area wet, watering the lawn regularly, as in other times of the year, such as summer, is unnecessary. If it does not rain, it is advisable to water the lawn once a week.

Conclusion – Should grass be cut short for winter?

Should grass be cut short for winter? No, if you have been cutting your grass at the same height for the last 3-4 times, keep the same size for the winter. We want to keep the same structure in the plant.

However, if you consider that your grass will benefit from better energy storage in the winter months, we can cut a few inches taller, but always do it ahead of the winter at least prior 3-4 times before the first cut of the winter. This will help the plant adapt and be ready for the colder month. This last piece of advice is more suitable for those areas where the winter is very extreme, and the conditions are harsher with the grass.

Building up a reserve of energy is a good option. In my case, where the winter is mild, we just cut at the same height all year.

I hope you found this article helpful!

Leave a Comment