Home Improvement Expert Danny Lipford

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

By:

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

We want to hear from you! In addition to posting comments on articles and videos, you can also send your comments and questions to us on our contact page or at (800) 946-4420. While we can't answer them all, we may use your question on our Today's Homeowner radio or TV show, or online at todayshomeowner.com.

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.