|Most people feel that mowing their lawn short will lessen the frequency of mowing. This practice is often the cause of lawn deterioration, as is mowing your lawn when it is wet. Wet mowing leaves large clumps of wet grass lying on your lawn that are detrimental to the health of the grass. If you mow during a drought, it promotes heat stress which will cause excessive burning of the grass.
If you use proper methods when mowing your lawn, it will enhance the production of crisp, healthy grass and your lawn will be well groomed. Proper mowing promotes density, growth and vigor, which affects the appearance of your lawn. When you combine proper lawn mowing procedures with the right amount of water, fertilizer and weed control, your lawn will be the talk of the neighborhood.
Grass Mowing Height
When you mow your lawn, you must be careful to mow at the proper height. Bluegrass, fescue and ryegrass should be mowed at a height between 2˝ and 4 inches. These are cool season grasses and if they are continually mowed too low, they are placed under a great deal of stress, which will require you to water more frequently. Your lawn will become weak and thin and will be highly susceptible to disease and weeds. However, if you maintain cool grasses at the advised height, deeper roots will be produced. This in turn will require less frequent watering because deep roots can find water that is deeper in the soil.
To keep weed germination at bay, mow your lawn on a regular and frequent basis at the tallest mowing height. If you mow short and infrequently, weed germination will be encouraged. These mistakes thin grasses and opens the canopy, which in turn invites week germination. Crabgrass will infiltrate if these conditions exist.
Use the following height guide when mowing your lawn:
If you have a lawn that includes warm season grasses, mow between 1˝ to 2˝ inches in the spring. Then be sure to rake all dead leaves and debris from the lawn. This reduces the accumulation of thatch and causes the grass to green-up, which allows you to mow your lawn easier and more uniformly. As the season moves forward, you should adjust your lawn mowers height. By fall, you should be mowing warm season grasses at a height of 2 to 2˝ inches. Always leave the grass taller in the fall when you have this type of grass. This allows it to winter well.
- Perennial ryegrass – 2˝ to 3˝ inches.
- Bluegrass/ryegrass mix - 2˝ to 3˝ inches.
- Creeping fescues – 3 to 3˝ inches.
- Tall fescue – 3 to 4 inches.
- Bluegrass/fescue mix – 3 to 3˝ inches.
- Kentucky bluegrass - 2˝ to 3˝ inches.
Tip: To properly adjust your lawn mower’s height, place it on a hard, flat surface. Then measure from the blade to the ground.