Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

What Is the Proper Mowing Height for Grass in Your Yard?

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How low–or high–should I cut the grass in my lawn? -Rasheem

The proper height for mowing your lawn depends on the type of grass, the season, and the growing conditions. For example, bentgrass can be mowed under 1/2″ while tall fescues should be 3-4 inches high. Choosing the correct mowing height is important since:

  • Proper mowing creates a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant lawn.
  • Mowing discourages undesirable grasses and weeds while encouraging your chosen grass type. For example, mowing fescue higher will discourage Bermuda grass which is low-growing.

Pointers for Setting Mower Cutting Height

  • Shady grasses grow better if mowed a little higher.
  • Raise the blade to the top of the cutting range for your type of grass (see chart below) during drought conditions in summer to reduce the stress on your lawn.
  • Cut warm-season grasses at the lower end of the cutting range in early spring to remove dead blades.
  • In general, cool-season grasses do best when cut as high as possible.
  • Different varieties within the same grass type may vary as to the best cutting height, so try to identify the specific variety you have (such as ‘Zenith’ zoysia or ‘Empire’ zoysia), then check with a sod or seed supplier for cutting recommendations.

Recommended Mowing Heights for Lawn Grasses

The chart below gives general guidelines for grass cutting height.

Grass Type Mowing Height
Bahia grass 2” – 3”
Bentgrass ¼” – ¾”
Bermuda ½” – 1½”
Buffalograss 2” – 3”
Centipede 1½” – 2½”
Fine fescue 1½” – 2½”
Kentucky Bluegrass 1½” – 2½”
Ryegrass 1½” – 2½”
St. Augustine 2” – 4”
Tall fescue 2” – 3”
Zoysia ½” – 1½”

Further Information

Julie



Please Leave a Comment

3 Comments on “What Is the Proper Mowing Height for Grass in Your Yard?”

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  1. Mr. Sandy Kodish Says:
    July 7th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    In the spring, mow frequently…at least once a week. It may not appear that the lawn needs to be cut but by doing so will stimulates growth and helps to choke out winter weeds. I have found that keeping the grass at the top of the recommended cut height in the summer months will protect the roots from the summer heat and help stay off bugs. I do not know why this works since I am not trained in this field. Trial and lots of error over many years makes the difference. And lastly, use a good quality fertilizer. The discount brands are less forgiving when it comes to overuse. Some of them are not time released products and can easily destroy a beautiful yard with an overzealous dosing.

  2. John Says:
    July 14th, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I think you also have to consider your lawn when choosing cutting height. Such as drainage, pitch of yard, do you have shade or does it get full Sun. My lawn generally has little shade and is flat to pitched. I tend to mow between 3″ and 4″ depending on temp and moisture. In the middle of Summer I tend to raise height closer to 4″ and since my mower only has 1″ increments I feel 3″ in a dry Summer is too low. Yes, I have neighbors who generally scalp their lawn I guess so they don’t have to mow as often. But it certainly shows how unhealthy that can be.

  3. Jonathon Says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    During cooler seasons you could mow your lawn until there is approximately three inches left. If its during a warmer season you can mow your grass until there is about two inches left in height. However, with each cut its important to not mow more than 1/3 of the height of your grass.

    Hope this helps!

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