What is the Proper Mowing Height for Your Lawn?
There is quite a bit of maintenance that goes into a healthy lawn. One of those bits is the height of the grass, which needs to be mowed correctly in order for your lawn to maintain its health.
Cutting the grass too short may prevent your lawn from establishing longer and stronger roots. Leaving the grass too long can unwittingly create an environment for unwanted pests and insects.
How to Cut Grass Correctly
Many different factors go into proper mowing. These include:
- Type of grass – Different types of grass have different ideal mowing heights. In Pennsylvania, where most people use cool season grasses, the ideal mowing height tends to be slightly taller than warm season grasses. Tall fescue has a height of about 1.5 to 4 inches. Kentucky Bluegrass should be between .75 and 3.5 inches. Perennial Ryegrass is a bit shorter, at about .75 to 2.5 inches.
- Standard Mowing Height – It is recommended that you never cut more than 1/3rd the length of the grass at a time. This is because if you cut too low, you can damage the grass. It will pull the grass and rip it rather than slicing straight through, and you need the grass to remain as healthy as possible. Even if you want the grass to be shorter, cut it 1/3rd its length at most at a time so as not to damage the blade.
- Sharpness of Blade – However, it’s not quite that simple. Sharpness of the blade plays a role as well. If your blade is getting dull and you do not have the tools to sharpen it, you may want to cut even less than that at a time and possibly leave the grass higher until you have the ability to sharpen the blade. Lawn mower blades that are too dull risk doing too much damage to the turf.
Proper lawn mowing plays a significant role in your ability to maintain a healthy lawn. No amount of fertilizing can make up for damaging mowing. So make sure you’re cutting your lawn the right height, or contact a lawn mowing company to do it for you so that your fertilizing doesn’t go to waste.
Generally in the Daytona Beach, Centeral Florida area we set the mower at 4 inches as a standard. This is acceptable for St. Augustine , Zozia and Beheai grass. If we expect rain we will go down to 3 3/4 on St Augustine. Other field grasses we generally leave at 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 to prevent it from drying out. It is a common mistake that people want short grass and end up with dry and weed infiltrated lawns. Going to short will cost more in chemicals and water.