How To Cut Tall Grass In 5 Easy Steps

If you’ve been busy or away for a long time and returned to an overgrown lawn that looks more like a tall grass field land, then we think it’s time for a little trim.

The five easy steps in this article will help keep your lawn in tip-top shape. We’ve also added some tips for lawn maintenance, which is definitely worth checking out.

Before you cut…

If your lawn has been neglected for a while, you may need to check for debris before you use any machinery to cut the grass. Wear your protective clothing and check for rocks, large twigs, or branches that can damage your lawn mower.

You also need to sharpen the mower and scythe blades and if you are using a gas-powered lawn mower, tune-up its engine.

What you need to get started:

  • Safety equipment. Before you start cutting grass, you need to wear protective clothing which includes rubber boots, gloves, safety glasses, a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and ear protection.
  • Grass Trimmer or Scythe. Use a scythe if you prefer cutting the grass by hand or a grass trimmer if you prefer electric, battery-operated, or gas-powered tools to cut overgrown grass.
  • Lawnmower. You should have a quality lawn mower that is able to cut or trim the grass evenly.
  • Rake. You will need a rake for gatherering grass clippings, leaves, and any other debris.

Step by Step Guide on How to Cut Extremely long Grass

Step 1: Cut the top layer

Start by cutting only a few centimeters or one-third of the grass with the use of a scythe or a grass trimmer. Doing this will make it much easier for you to get the grass to an ideal height.

Step 2: Recovery

Once you have taken the top layer off, water your lawn and let it recover for a week. This is a good time for you to also take a rest.

Step 3:  Second Cut

After letting the lawn rest for a couple of days, give it another cut by using a trimmer or a scythe, but make sure not to take off too much. Cut one-third every time you trim and let it rest to avoid stressing the grass, which can cause it to turn yellow.

Step 4: Lawn Mower

Lawn mowers struggle with grass that is extremely long, that is why it’s important to follow the first three steps above to make it easier for the lawn mower to do its job. 

Adjust the lawn mower settings to get the grass to the desired height.

Step 5: Cleaning

You can let your lawn rest for another day before gathering the grass clippings using a rake. You can also use these clippings as mulch for later use.

Cutting extremely long grass by hand

The most common tools for cutting grass by hand are scythes, shears, and garden sickles. But how do you use them to cut extremely long grass? Here’s an overview:

Scythe

vidaXL Scythe w/Grinding Stone Steel Patio Outdoor Garden Farm Grass Blade

To use a scythe, you need to stand in a comfortable position and hold the scythe by its handle. Start swinging the blade back and forth to work your way through the grass.

You can also hold the scythe in a way that the cutting edge is parallel to the ground.

A scythe is best used for cutting grass up to two feet in height. If it is uncomfortable for you to use a scythe, try a shear or a sickle.

Grass Shears

To use this tool, hold the handle so that the blades are parallel to the ground. Grip the handle and squeeze the blades close and work your way through the grass.

Sickle

KEYI Steel Grass Sickle,Clearing Sickle,Manganese Steel Blade/Hardwood Handle Hand held Sickle Tool - Multipurpose Gardening Weeding Grass Sickle and Farming Portable Safety Sickle

First, you have to make sure that no one is nearby to avoid any accidents. Next is to hold the sickle with your right or left hand, whichever is comfortable.

Use back-handed strokes gently as though you are playing golf, but in a very gentle manner without bringing the sickle to a full swing.

Can I mow very long grass?

You can use a lawn mower to cut very long grass, but this will depend on the type of mower you have, and doing this will require a lot of effort. If you have a riding lawn mower you can find more tips here.

Before you start, make sure that the grass is not wet because it will make it difficult for the lawn mower and it might not even work properly.

How to cut tall grass with a mower step by step process:

Step 1: Check your equipment

The first step is checking your mower equipment. Adjust the mower to its highest setting and make the first pass. Reducing the grass height using a mower can be a long and slow task. In case the mower struggles and stops, clean the blade area to remove the blockage. 

Step 2: Reduce the top layer of grass

Try small sections on the first trim. Once you have reduced the height to a more manageable size, it’s time to reduce the settings and go for the second pass.

Step 3: Clean the blade

Always remember to clean the blade area during the process, to make the mower work properly.

Let the grass recover by leaving it for a few days.

Step 4: Reset your mower

Adjust your mower to its usual height and go for the third pass. The ideal setting for a lawn should be between two and three inches. Make one last pass to achieve an even finish.

Step 5: Clear the clippings

After letting your lawn rest for another day, use a leaf blower or a broom to clear out grass clipping from the sidewalks.

Lawn Mowing Tips

  • Do not cut more than one-third of the grass length. If you cut the grass too short, it can cause weed growth and the depth of the root system is reduced, which can cause a thin and patchy lawn.
  • Put an overlap marker so that each pass with the lawn mower will slightly overlap the previous one.
  • Cut your lawn at regular intervals depending on the type of grass and its growth rate.
  • Slow down your speed, not the blade speed, if the grass is long or damp.
  • Avoid mowing repeatedly in the same direction because it can slowly pack the soil into ruts. Mow in a different direction every time to avoid rut formation and to help the grass grow upright.
  • For mowing shady areas and slopes, adjust the mower one setting higher than the rest of your lawn.
  • Grass clippings contain 75 to 80 percent water and are full of nutrients, that is why it is best to leave grass clippings on the lawn after mowing because this will decompose back into the topsoil.
  • Inspect your mower annually to make sure the engine is working properly. You also need to keep the blades sharp and clean.

Lawn Care Tips

Remove Weeds, Moss, and Thatch

Remove weeds, moss, and thatch because these can block nutrients from getting to the roots.

Pull out the whole weed, including the roots. If there is a large quantity, you can try spraying a low toxicity herbicide directly to the weeds. The best option is to use an electric dethatcher as it will fly through this.

Remove thatch by using a scarification process. This is the process of raking and removing mulch.

If you have a moss problem, you should first determine what’s causing the growth, so that you’ll know how to remove and prevent them from hindering grass growth.

Improve the drainage of your lawn to prevent it from becoming waterlogged for hours or days. Water build-up can damage the overall health of the lawn.

Aeration

Aeration can help improve water and airflow in the soil to reduce surface buildup. Alternatively, you can change the nature of the soil to get the ideal drainage levels. Do this by using plants that are suitable with the soil type or adjust the solid by using organic materials.

You can also reshape the garden so that it can naturally drive water away.

To allow better air and water penetration to the root part of the grass, you should create small holes in the soil at certain depths and intervals. This process is called aeration, and you can do this by using a garden fork or tools and machines that are specifically designed for this process.

Over-seeding

Rejuvenate tired and worn-out lawns by over-seeding. This process is done by covering the entire area with large amounts of seed mixed with fertilizer.

Feed and fertilize

Choose a suitable grass feed and fertilizer depending on the existing soil you have on your lawn and the weather in your location. Follow the recommended instructions and guidelines for application. Alongside feeding, you also need to water your lawn at the beginning of the day in cooler temperatures.

The amount and frequency of the water will also depend on the weather conditions and the type of soil. To improve the quality of the soil in your lawn, you should create a top dressing depending on the type of soil. Determining what type of soil you have in your lawn will help you get the right materials and consistency when creating the top dressing.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happens if you let the grass grow too long?

Letting the grass grow too long will make your lawn less appealing. The grass may also seed and cause its blades to look more like weeds. Waiting too long between mowing will make it difficult to stay within the ideal guidelines and may cause the mower to work inefficiently. If you do not mow your lawn regularly to its recommended height, you will be left with unhealthy grass.

How long is too long for grass?

A grass with a height beyond three inches is already considered too long. Allowing grass to grow beyond three inches will make it difficult for the grass to hold itself up and will cause problems for your lawn’s health. Extremely long grass can trap moisture that can cause fungus and disease to spread, it can also grow unevenly and turn brown or yellow.

When should you not mow your lawn?

You should not mow your lawn when the grass is wet because it can clump together and can cause stress to the mower blades and engine. It can also prevent sunlight from getting to the grass which can lead to molds, diseases and can create a breeding ground for pests. 

During the dry season, you should adjust the mower’s deck height by half an inch because dry grass grows at a slower rate. You should also make sure that the lawn gets enough moisture during this season. You should also avoid mowing your lawn if the mower’s blades are dull because it can open up a lot of problems, so make sure they are sharp before mowing.

When the grass is newly seeded or when new sod is installed, wait for a few weeks before moving to avoid compromising its healthy growth.

How often should you cut your grass?

You should cut your grass weekly, however, some lawns need to be cut more often. Other types of grass need to be cut once every two weeks or ten days. Generally, you should not cut off more than one-third of the grass and not let the grass grow beyond three inches.

Should I water the lawn after mowing?

It is definitely okay to water your lawn after mowing, but you should avoid watering before you mow because wet grass can clog your mower. It is best to water your lawn in the early morning hours and not during the hottest part of the day.

On the other hand, watering in the late hours of the night is also not advisable because the lawn will stay moist for a longer period of time and will likely inspire mold, fungus, and mildew. If your lawn is sufficiently watered, you do not have to water it after you mow. It is best to check the moisture level of your lawn by walking across the grass, if you see any footprints then you can hold off on watering. 

Lastly, you should keep a regular schedule to ensure that you water the lawn every three days and mow once a week.

What time of day is best to cut the grass?

The best time to cut grass is between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm, however, maintaining the health of your lawn is best done in the late afternoon.

Alternatively, you can also mow your lawn from 4:00 to 6:00 pm to avoid the highest temperature of the day. This will also ensure that the grass is thoroughly dry.

It is best to follow your local weather when determining the best time to work on your lawn. You should be able to mow before it rains and mows and fertilize before the first frost of the winter season.

Summary

When dealing with extremely tall grass, you should learn how to use the right tools to avoid damaging your yard. Remember to cut only one-third every time and keep the total height of your lawn under three inches. Once you get a hang of using tools like a scythe and a grass trimmer, you can easily carry out these basic steps without having to hire commercial lawn companies.

I’ve seen my fair share of untamed lawns, it may look like a big job but work at a slower pace and get that first cut done. Start in a small section of the cutting area if you have a particularly big job.

You will soon get your lush, green lawn back. Overgrown lawns look worse than they are, for best results we go for power tools over hand tools but if the lawn area is small, anything to get the lawn cut is good.