How to Determine the Proper Mowing Height
In partnership with the National Association of Landscape Professionals, Ariens is providing its customers with a variety of lawncare tips. For more tips and tricks to achieving the perfect lawn, please visit www.loveyourlandscape.org.
One of the most important rules to remember when deciding how high or low you want to mow your lawn is the one-third rule. Grass plants attempt to balance their above and below ground growth, so the root systems are roughly equal to the mass of grass blades. Removing no more than one-third of the grass blade at any one mowing helps keep this balance.
Mowing too short, a common mistake some homeowners make in an effort to reduce mowing frequency, can stress plants. In addition, if too much grass is removed, clippings will fail to decompose rapidly enough, contributing to a buildup of clippings and an unsightly lawn.
Here are some other recommendations about mowing height:
- During active growth periods in spring and fall, the ideal mowing height for cool season grasses like fescue and Kentucky bluegrass is between 2 to 3 ½ inches.
- Warm season grasses like Bermuda grass or Zoysia have their peak growing season during the summer. Their mowing height recommendation is a little lower, somewhere between 1 to 3 inches.
- During periods of drought, it’s advisable to keep grass mowed at its tallest recommended height.
- During cooler weather, grass can be mowed a little shorter without causing stress.
- Adjust your mowing height by moving your mower to a flat surface and measuring the distance from the ground to the blade.
- If grass gets too tall because of too many non mowing, rainy days, wait for the lawn to dry and still follow the one-third rule. It may take a couple of times mowing to get back to the desired height.
Mowing height varies depending on growing conditions, grass type, and the season. Your landscape professional will be able to match proper mowing height to your lawn, helping to ensure that it stays healthy even during times of stress.