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Number 1 Lawn Mistake

May 15, 2017

Many folks cut off TOO MUCH grass when they mow.  Your lawn suffers when you mow off more than 1/3 of the top growth at a time because you force it to scramble to create more leaf growth to survive.  This extra energy to create leaf growth comes at the expense of root growth.  If you mow frequently enough so that you never cut off more than 1/3 of the leaf growth you will not “shock” your grass plants and stunt their root system. So the 1/3 rule would mean if your final cut is 3 inches you can allow your grass to grow to 4-1/2 inches and then remove 1-1/2 inches when you mow.  If your final cut is 2 inches you can allow your grass to grow to 3 inches and then remove 1 inch when you mow.

Do not mow your lawn too short.  This Kentucky Bluegrass/Tall Fescue lawn is being mowed at a 3 inch mowing height.  (click photo to enlarge)

So the question comes up:  “What is a good mowing height for my grass?”  Different kinds of grass types like different mowing heights, so here are some guidelines for how tall your grass should be after you mow.  The higher end of the range is good during the hot summer months.  The lower end of the range is good for spring and fall.

2-1/2 to 4 inches for Bluegrass, Ryegrass and Fescue

2 to 4 inches for St. Augustinegrass and Bahiagrass

1 to 3 inches for Centipedegrass

1/2 to 2 inches for Bermudagrass

3 /4 to 2 inches for Zoysia

If you have no idea what your grass type is, click here to go to Scotts easy to use grass type identifier.  They start with your zip code to narrow down the kind of lawn you have, then help you figure it out with descriptions and pictures of grass types that grow in your area.

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