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What Is the Ideal Cutting Height for My Lawn?

What Is the Ideal Cutting Height for My Lawn?

There are many things that can impact the beauty of your lawn, but one important factor that’s easily forgotten is mowing your grass to its ideal or proper height.

Cutting your grass too short weakens its growth pattern and makes your yard more susceptible to weeds. On the other hand, not mowing your grass often enough makes your yard an appealing home for critters like mice and grass-eating slugs. So, how do you find a happy medium?

Identifying your plant hardiness zone is the first step in maintaining the ideal mowing height for the health of your lawn, as you can better understand your growing environment and what thrives best in your location. After becoming familiar with your zone, use these tips to determine the best height to cut your grass.

Cool-Season Grass

If you live in the northern region of the country, chances are your yard is being occupied by a cool-season grass. Cool-season grasses are built to survive the fluctuating temperatures of the northern states and usually do the majority of their growing in the spring and fall.

Kentucky Bluegrass Cutting Height

This durable grass tends to recover quickly from heavy foot traffic but doesn’t fare well in times of high temperatures. Your Kentucky Bluegrass should be maintained at a healthy 2.5" during its peak growing seasons.

Tall Fescue Mowing Height

Available in different varieties, fescue is the turf of choice for sports fields because of its slow growth pattern and durability. In times of heavy foot traffic, you can allow fescue to grow up to 3" for easy recovery.

 Ryegrass Cutting Height

Homeowners tend to opt for ryegrass because of its fast growth pattern and bright green color. Ryegrass should be mowed often and shouldn’t exceed 2". The short length will encourage growth throughout the season.

Warm-Season Grass

Warm-season turfs are made to withstand the scorching summers of the southern region. Because they are tropical in nature, warm-season grasses do most of their growing in the summer and typically go into a brown, dormant state as the temperature drops. Warm-season grasses can consist of the following:

Bermuda Grass Cutting Height

True to its tropical nature, Bermuda thrives in places of bright sunlight. Often used to cover golf courses, the best height for Bermuda grass is 2".

St Augustine Grass Cutting Height

Known for its wide grass blades, this type of grass can be found growing in many coastal regions of the country. Because of its fast growth pattern, St. Augustine grass should be mowed after exceeding 3" in height.

Zoysia Grass Cutting Height

Lush and slow-growing, Zoysia is known for being the most temperamental of the warm-season grasses. Zoysia requires steady temperatures to keep its bright color but can take over your yard if not properly maintained. Because of its slow growth pattern, Zoysia turf doesn’t need to be mowed as often but should be kept 2" in length to prevent the spread of more seeds.

No matter what type of grass you are growing, it’s good practice to mow your lawn every five to seven days, and in different patterns each time to prevent your soil from becoming compacted. It’s OK to let your grass grow a little taller in the summertime to increase its drought resistance. And always consult your mower’s user manual before adjusting your blade height.