Does grass really need to be cut?

We don’t have a lawn. I’ve never lived anywhere with a lawn. I thought that the main reason to keep the grass mowed was to stop the neighbors from complaining.

We do grow pots of grass for the cats. My BB says that we need to trim the grass so it will keep growing. I think that he’s just being his usual anal-retentive self and that the cats do just fine chewing off the tops of the grass.

What say you folks? Don’t need answer fast, our grass is growing well, even if it does look uneven.

Well, it’s not going to die if you don’t cut it, if that’s what you mean.

Uncut grass will eventually go to seed. Cut grass doesn’t, or at least takes longer. If your cats are keeping the grass trimmed, evenly or unevenly or otherwise, I suppose that should work as well.

But yeah, if you actually have a lawn, one (among several) of the primary reasons to keep it cut is to keep the busybody neighbors out of your hair. Also why you need to pull up all the dandelions.

Yes, it’ll seed…but it’ll seed when it’s just a few inches long. However, if you don’t cut your grass it does eventually end up several feet high. You’re neighbors won’t be able to walk through it to get to you, but you’ll probably also have animals living in it.

When I was younger there was someone near by that didn’t cut their grass (or maybe the house was abandoned, I don’t remember) and we’d walk through the grass, it was tall enough to be a novelty.

I enjoy my dandelions more than I enjoy my neighbors.

If you don’t mow it, it will turn into long grass. Then large weeds will flourish, then pioneer woody plants, then trees, then it won’t be lawn, it will be woodland.

Assuming this is all taking place somewhere that grass doesn’t just die without human care.

I am a professional grass cutter. You should cut the grass.

Just to focus, I believe the OP’ grass is in pots, not on the lawn.

It will turn into a meadow. Could be worse.

Where I live unmowed grass can grow 8-9 feet high. It chokes out the “pioneer woody plants”. Hence, “The Great Plains”, the North American grasslands.

But no, it doesn’t need to be mowed. We just mow it around here so we don’t get lost in our own backyards.

It will only stop there if it is mown, cut or grazed at least once a year. Otherwise, it will tend to become a forest.

Parries and grassland plains are often that way because of grazing, which is the same as mowing, more or less.

I’m not going to assert that every grassland environment will tend to forest in every region, but in regions where forests exist, it’s a common outcome.


Woods and prairies surround our house. If we did not cut the grass around our house, there would be lots of critters (mice, shrews, raccoons, etc.) trying to get into our home. Keeping the grass cut keeps the critters at bay. And tall grass can hold a lot of moisture, plus it blocks sunlight to the lower part of the house, and thus can lead to mold and other moisture-related problems.

June 15th … if your grass is taller than 10 inches, the city comes in and mows it for you … then sends you the bill … pay or the city takes your property.

The Left Coast has a distinct dry season, grass fires are common and quasi-natural, so there a clear public safety issue letting your grass grow too high or not mowing it. (typical example)

NM, misread OP badly

OP is talking about “cat grass” in a pot. I would cut off the flower stalks if there are any, but I don’t think there’s any benefit to clipping the leaves.

We have to take our “cat grass” outdoors periodically to let it recover from abuse by cats. I don’t think we ever had to cut it.

You said “pots”, plural. Cut one and not the other and see for yourself.

As for lawns, the only legitimate reasons to cut it are to use it (it’s hard to play catch in 6-foot high grass), and to keep snakes and other critters away. I’m sick of it, and I plan to switch to some low-growing plant that takes less maintenance. I think lawns were just a 200-300 year fad and it’s time to move on to something more sustainable and less time/water/effort intensive.

Edited to add: If you look at the history of lawns, you’ll see that the effort it takes to maintain them was the whole point. In the 17-1800s, it was a way to signal that you could afford a landscaping crew, and in the 20th century it was to show that you were a hardworking man with a house and yard he was proud of, took care of, etc. Nowadays I don’t know many people who are proud of their lawns. At best it’s a chore.

Totally agree. We put in bushes (trim em once every five years), flowerbeds (bulbs, come up every year, don’t need to even think about them), and some paths covered with wood chips. Looks far better than a boring lawn and requires no watering and barely any maintenance. A lot of birds live in the bushes.

So, just a little longer than the Pet Rock? :stuck_out_tongue:

I agree that lawns are not a terribly great idea throughout much of CA, AZ, NV, etc., where their upkeep wastes a resource (water) that is in short supply. But throughout much of hte country, there is plenty of water, and I don’t see people getting rid of their lawns. Mowing a lawn once every week or two for six to seven months of the year really isn’t that much of a burden, and some people actually enjoy it.

But this isn’t really what the OP is asking. If you let grass go, it will go to seed and get unsightly, as well as too tough for the cats to eat. If the cats don’t keep it short enough, snip or clip it off every couple of weeks.

Exactly. I think it’s important to realize that lawns as we know them are not some fact of nature. They’re man-made and came about relatively recently in history. And it was even more recently (20th century) that regular people had lawns that they maintained around their home. Before that they were a luxury of the rich.

I mean, you’re correct that in places with adequate water, lawns are really not detrimental and they don’t take a whole lot of effort to maintain. (Though it can be more than just mowing. Trimming, edging, seeding/watering if necessary, aerating, weeding, etc.) Certainly, I’m not implying that people who enjoy it shouldn’t have lawns. But there are other options, is my point.