I have been asked the same question by customers, friends and relatives: “What is the secret to a nice lawn?” Many people think that it is some special fertilizer formulation or water, or even a particular species of turf grass, but the answer is fairly simple –proper mowing.
How a lawn is mowed has more impact on your lawn than anything else you can do, or all the other lawn care tips you’ll read. Here’s why:
- The grass blade is the food producing part of the plant. The shorter you cut it, the less food the plant produces.
- The longer grass blade will shade the ground underneath, keeping it cooler, which means it will not dry out as fast. Therefore, you don’t have to water as much.
- By shading the soil surface, less sunlight will reach weed seeds that are in every lawn. Mowing high is one of the best ways to control weeds, and that is the reason it’s our #1 lawn care tip.
- Mowing height has a direct effect on how deep the plant’s root will grow. The shorter you mow your grass, the shallower the roots will grow, which means the lawn has to be watered more often.
Many people think that if they mow their lawn short, then they don’t have to mow it as often. The thought is correct, but it is not a good idea. Mowing short can severely stress a lawn as it has to use up carbohydrate reserves in the root system to grow a new plant. Mowing a lawn short week after week will leave it in a weakened state, resulting in an increase of weed, disease, and insect pressure.
Here is a list of the best mowing heights for the most popular grasses. Use the higher height during the heat of the summer.
- Bermuda grass 1.5 to 2”
- Zoysia grass 1.5 to 2”
- Centipede grass 1.0 to 1.5”
- St. Augustine grass 3 to 4”
- Tall Fescue 3 to 4”
- Kentucky Blue grass 2.5 to 3”
- Perennial Rye grass 2.5 to 3”
- Fine Fescue 2.5 to 3”
So, now you know! The answer to a nice looking lawn is simple – mow high.