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The Dutchess DIYer

Learn how to properly care for your property, discover tell-all signs of maintenance needs

and how to become a better homeowner.

  • Dutchess Lawns

The Ideal Height For Mowing Grass

If you were to walk up to 5 people and ask them how they like to keep their lawn, you’ll get 5 different answers. Some will tell you that they like a clean tight look when they mow their grass low, and others will tell you they prefer the dark green look of a lawn that’s mowed high. Some will tell you that cutting it high will keep out weed and others will insist that it lasts longer when cut low.

There’s an ideal mowing height for every grass. It doesn’t matter if you have warm season grass in phoenix or cool season turf in Minnesota. Your type of grass has a specific height requirement. If you maintain your grass at its ideal height, you’ll be rewarded with a healthy lawn that can fend off disease, droughts and weeds.

Ignore the age old myth that says it’s better to mow your grass short since you’ll cut it less. Concepts like that will only lead to a problem-prone lawn. Your grass would be more susceptible to drought, weed invasion and heat damage if you cut it too short.

But, if you let your grass grow too long before cutting it, you’ll end up creating a favorable habitat for mosquitoes, snakes, mice, and other critters. Additionally, if the grass is too long, it becomes too hard to mow and you’ll only create more work for yourself as you’ll need to rake and bag the extra-long clippings.

Mowing your lawn frequently to maintain the ideal height may seem like a lot of work, but it is always worth the extra effort. Even when the growth is at its peak, you’ll probably still cut the grass a maximum of 5 to 7 days. The frequency of mowing will depend on the ideal height of your grass and this varies according to seasons as well as growing conditions.

Cool season turf such as Kentucky bluegrass and fescues will grow more during the cooler climates of spring and fall. Although the specific heights may vary, the average range for cool season grass is between 1 – 4 inches.

Warm season turf includes zoysia, Bermuda, centipede and St. Augustine. They are grasses that hit their peak growth during the summer months. The specific mowing heights vary according to the grass type. It can even vary for different types of the same grass. The mowing height of Empire zoysia for example is 0.75 to 3 inches, while for Zenith zoysia it is 1.5 inches. Even then the ideal height still varies by region.

The key thing to note is that mowing should not remove more than a third of the total grass length in a single cutting. The simplest way to achieve this is to learn the ideal height of the grass on your turf, and let it grow one-third longer before mowing.

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