The Best Way to Cut Overgrown Grass: A Step-by-Step Guide

Letting your lawn get overgrown is something that happens to most homeowners at some point. Life gets busy and before you know it, your lawn has grown knee-high! Getting an overgrown lawn back under control takes some time and effort, but following the proper techniques will get the job done right.

Here is a step-by-step guide to the best way to cut overgrown grass

Size Up the Situation

First, assess how bad the overgrowth is. If the grass is just a few inches too tall you can probably get by with gradually mowing it down with a regular lawn mower. But for really tall grass exceeding 12 inches or more trimming it down in stages is best.

Extremely overgrown lawns may contain hidden debris, animals, or other hazards Be sure to scan the area thoroughly before starting any work Safety first!

Equipment Needed

Cutting overgrown grass requires having the right tools for each stage:

  • Line trimmer – To initially chop down very tall grass and weeds
  • Brush cutter – For cutting thick brush mixed in with the grass
  • Lawn mower – For final mowing once grass is short enough

Cordless, battery-powered tools provide flexibility and ease of use for this multi-step process.

Stage 1: Initial Trim

For the first pass, use a powerful line trimmer to cut the grass down to about half its current height. Trying to mow extremely long grass with a regular mower right away will bog down the blades and could damage the motor.

Make sure to wear protective eyewear and watch out for hidden objects. Take your time, working in rows or a pattern to trim the area evenly. Dispose of debris as needed.

Ideally, wait about 2-4 days after this initial trim to allow the grass to recover from the shock before moving to the next stage.

Stage 2: Secondary Trim

Go over the lawn a second time with the line trimmer, cutting down to a height of about 6 inches. Again, allow several days for the grass to recuperate before the final mow.

For areas with heavy woody brush, use a dedicated brush cutter to clear overgrown weeds and vegetation mixed in with the grass. A brush cutter has a more rugged cutting head designed for thick stems.

Stage 3: Final Mow

Once the grass is trimmed down to about 6 inches tall, it’s ready for the final mowing. For best results:

  • Adjust the mower cutting height down by about one-third to reduce grass height gradually.

  • Mow in different directions each pass for a clean, even cut.

  • Overlap rows slightly to avoid missing patches.

  • Dispose of clippings or mulch if needed.

  • Allow the grass to fully dry for 24-48 hours before mowing again if needed.

  • Lower the mowing height in stages until you reach the desired length.

Overseeding and Reviving Bare Spots

Once you’ve tamed that overgrown lawn, it’s time to bring it back to its former glory. Here are some tips:

  • Overseed any thin or bare areas with a quality grass seed mix, watering regularly to help it establish.

  • Aerate the lawn with a core aerator to improve airflow and nutrient delivery to roots.

  • Fertilize to provide nutrients and stimulate new growth. Time applications appropriately.

  • Adjust watering to provide adequate moisture without over-saturating.

  • De-thatch using a mechanical de-thatcher or rake to remove clippings and debris thatch buildup.

  • Repair any ruts or damage caused by heavy mowing when grass was too tall.

Maintain Regular Mowing

The best defense is a good offense when it comes to preventing overgrown grass in the future. Here are some tips:

  • Stick to the 1/3 rule, cutting no more than 1/3 of the grass blade height at a time.

  • For cool season grasses, mow every 5-7 days during peak growth periods.

  • For warm season grasses, mow every 7-14 days as needed.

  • Adjust cutting height based on season, grass type, and weather.

  • Alternate mowing direction for blade health and even cutting.

  • Sharpen mower blades 2-3 times per year or as needed.

  • Monitor lawn health and treat issues quickly to avoid decline.

Consider a Robotic Mower

Robotic mowers make consistent lawn maintenance easy. Once installed, they automatically handle daily or weekly mowing on autopilot, freeing up your time!

Robotic mowers from Husqvarna can:

  • Mow anytime – even at night or during light rain. No scheduling hassles.

  • Handle mild slopes and uneven terrain.

  • Mulch clippings into the lawn as they cut.

  • Run safely around pets, kids, and obstacles via sensors.

  • Produce minimal noise compared to gas mowers.

For anyone short on time or patience for mowing, robotic mowers prevent the lawn from ever becoming overgrown again!

Take It Slow for Lush Results

Cutting an overgrown lawn is a process – not a one-and-done project. Taking it slow with multiple passes allows the grass to recuperate between mows, preventing shock and maintaining health.

Following these best practices for safely and gradually regaining control of overgrown grass will ensure your lawn bounces back looking its best for years to come. Just be sure to keep up with regular maintenance afterwards!

Two Simple Steps To Mow EXTRA LONG GRASS EASY!


What is the best tool to cut long grass?

Try using a strimmer first and then using your lawnmower when the height is more manageable.” If the grass is very long, David recommends a flail mower, which are designed to tackle overgrown areas that may be full of other types of vegetation.

What to do when grass is too long to mow?

Hire a Professional: For excessively tall grass, professionals, though more costly, have the right equipment and expertise to efficiently restore your lawn. Prevention is Key: Regular mowing saves money and keeps your lawn healthy, avoiding the extra cost of professional services for overgrown grass.

What is the best way to cut a large lawn?

Ride-on mowers are really just for very large lawns. They can have cylinder or rotary blades, and can be petrol or battery powered. Although on the expensive side, they’ll reduce your mowing time. A self-propelled mulching mower is a cheaper alternative for large lawns, with the added bonus of keeping you fit.

Can you cut tall grass if your lawn is overgrown?

Here’s how to cut tall grass as quickly and efficiently as possible so you can tackle your overgrown lawn once and for all. When a lawn is overgrown, you never know what could be hiding among the tall grass. The goal here is to ensure you won’t damage your lawnmower while mowing, and also to make sure you’ll be safe walking through your own lawn.

How do you mowing an overgrown lawn?

Sharpen the blades, then set the mower at the highest setting before tackling an overgrown lawn. Following the one-third rule, which implies not taking off more than one-third of the grass height at a time, will maintain the health of your lawn. When mowing an overgrown lawn, a single pass is often insufficient.

Can you cut a lawn with long grass?

They are quite effective at cutting long grass with ease so if you have an overgrown lawn this will be a great tool to use. While you can cut a lawn with long grass with any of the tools or methods we have detailed here it is obviously better if this never happened in the first place.

How do you cut tall grass on a lawn mower?

Guy Jenkins at Johnsons Lawn Seed adds: “To cut tall grass, raise your mower to the highest setting and work your way down. Carefully lift the lawn mower’s deck to lower it on your grass. Do small sections at a time to level your grass out. Rake up debris to make it easier.”. Einhell Power X-Change Cordless

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