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Does Mowing The Lawn Help The Grass Area Spread? Fact Or Myth?

Written by William
Last Updated on March 8, 2021

Is It Possible To Help My Grass Spread By Cutting It?

There's nothing worse than a patchy lawn, and nearly everyone desires there garden to be thick and lush, with grass growing everywhere that needs little maintenance.

You might have heard of the idea that mowing can help grass spread in your garden, and there is some truth to this statement.

By mowing your grass regularly, you are preventing the grass from putting its energy into growing vertically and encouraging it to grow its roots horizontally, resulting in the further spread of your grass. 

We have put together a small guide below that will tell you how mowing can help thicken and spread your grass, as well as tips to help your grass spread and make your lawn thicker after mowing.

Let's get mowing!

How Does Mowing Help My Grass Spread?

Before we all start enthusiastically mowing our lawns, again and again, to help our grass spread and thicken, you should stick by the rule of never mowing more than 1/3 off your grass at a time.

Your grass blade height should stay to at least 5cm, and you can mow in different directions to allow more space for new grass shoots to grow.

But you still might be wondering, how does this all work? Well, by mowing your grass, you are encouraging it to grow in a lateral direction which will help spread it rather than in a vertical direction.

Keeping your grass blades at an even height can also encourage growth in your grass as it allows the sun to access all of your garden rather than only the parts with tall grass blades.

Can Mowing My Grass Help It Spread To Bare Spots On My Lawn?

Everyone wants to get rid of those ugly bare spots on your lawn, so your probably asking yourself, can mowing help?

This depends on your type of grass and how it grows, for example, if you have grass that grows lateral, then yes, eventually the grass will spread over these bare spots.

However, if your grass grows straight up rather than across then you might need to overseed your lawn, which is simply a process of sprinkling grass seeds on top of your lawn and keeping the soil moist to encourage growth in bare areas.

We have put together a few mowing tips below to help you with your grass growth and get the most out of your lawn.

Never Cut Too Short

As we touched on above, you should never remove more than 1/3 of your grass at a time. Very short grass can encourage weed growth and additionally stops your grass from being able to provide nutrients to itself for growth.

Keep a Regular Cutting Schedule

Don't leave too long in between cuts, cutting more regularly will encourage growth and be better for the health of your lawn rather than waiting till it gets overgrown to cut it.

Cut To The Right Height

In season, your grass height should be up to 3-inches or a little less, you should also cut your grass a little shorter before the end of the season to help avoid mould forming over winter and ruining the growth of your lawn.

Mulch Your Clippings

Mulching your grass clippings onto your lawn is a great homemade fertiliser and can help with growth on bare patches of your lawn rather than them going to waste.

Can I Get My Grass To Grow Thicker?

As well as wanting your grass to spread, you might also be wanting it to grow thicker so as you can have that lush look to your lawn, one way you can do this by mowing as we mentioned above.

We have listed out a couple of other tips below that can help encourage your lawn to grow thicker.

Install Irrigation

One of the next best ways to help your grass get thicker and spread is by making sure it has enough moisture. A well-hydrated lawn will encourage growth and stop it from turning yellow.

Dethatch Your Grass

Dethatching your grass can also help it spread, you can do this by using a rake and taking out all of the dead roots that are at the base of your grass, clearing more space for grass to grow as well as allowing nutrients to get to the soil.


Using a very good fertiliser can do wonders for your lawn and help it spread to those barren patches quicker. Mulching your grass and creating a fertiliser is a great option too as it will spread nitrogen into your soil.

Remove Weeds

Weeds will jump at the chance to take any extra space in your lawn and grow, by removing them you can help your grass grown in these spots and get thick enough to stop the weeds from growing.

What Will Happen To My Lawn If I Don't Mow It? Will It Spread?

If you don't mow your lawn, it will likely become very long and patchy too, it will also allow for weeds to grow which can be very hard to remove, and stop your grass from spreading.

Leaving your grass for this long then mowing it will cause it to go into shock next time you mow it, meaning it will take a while to recover, that's why you should stick with the 1/3 rule.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mowing Grass To Help It Spread

Why is my grass not growing in some bare spots?

Your grass might not be covering some bare spots if there was uneven planting, turf diseases or external factors such as dog urine which are preventing your grass from growing evenly.

Luckily, most of these issues can be fixed easily.

Do different types of grass spread differently? 

Yes, some grass can grow roots underground and spread, while others will need to be re-seeded to spread properly.

How do I overseed my lawn?

If you are planning to make your grass thicker and help it grow by overseeding then you need to make sure that you mow it first and rake it so as the seeds have a better chance of making direct contact with the soil.

You should also add fertiliser and keep your lawn watered during this process.

Last Words

Overall, mowing can help your grass spread as long as you don't cut it too short and maintain the health of your lawn in the best way possible.

Keeping your grass at an even length can help spread nutrients fairly too and encourage the grass to grow lateral rather than vertical.

About the author
Written by William
I have always had a passion for gardening and that with a background in selling lawn mowers for the past 10 years, I have become very knowledgeable in all types of gardening tools. The site was created as a hub where I can review and write about all of the tips around gardening.
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