As the weekend rolls around, the hum of lawn mowers will fill the neighborhood, and
property owners across the country will be participating in one of the most common
landscaping practices, cutting grass shorter and shorter. Whether you’re using a small,
push rotary cutter on a small landscape, or a large riding mower to manage a
commercial property or sport field, how often and how short you cut are major factors
in the overall appearance and vitality of your turf. Are you cutting your grass too short?
In order to maintain a healthy landscape, consider the following three factors when
trimming your lawn.
Grass height and growth habits
Before you mow, take stock of your turf’s range of cutting heights. Different grasses
have different growth habits, therefore the type of turf will set the guidelines for the
prime cutting height range. Here are some grass-type best practices for home and
- Fine Fescue: 0.5-3 inches
- Tall Fescue: 1.5-4 inches
- Bluegrass: .75-3.5 inches
- Ryegrass: .75-3 inches
- Bermuda: .5-2.5 inches
- Buffalo: 1.5-4 inches
- Zoysia: .5-2 inches
- St. Augustine: 1-3 inches
The time of year greatly affects your mowing habits. For example, environmental
changes in the height of summer constitute grass heights toward the top of their
suggested cutting ranges to prevent weeds and conserve water. Similarly, if your lawn
features include deep shade, turf should be maintained at a taller height than the same
turf in the sun, as it will need more leaf area to stay healthy.
Maintaining the blade
The third and most important factor to consider when mowing is what percentage of
the leaf you will be cutting each time you mow. Professional turf managers know that if
you cut more than 30% of the leaf blade at once, you will detrimentally affect the
appearance and growth of the turf. Consequently, the shorter you keep the turf, the
more frequently you need to mow. If you’re looking to turn your lawn into a tee box, cut
away and your lawn will be looking like Pebble Beach in no time. Of course, they mow
and maintain every day.
If you’re not up for that, take a look at your mowing schedule and be sure to
accommodate the growth rate of your turf between scheduled clippings. Are you set up
on a weekly or bi-monthly mowing schedule? Consider all of the above factors and your
lawn will be looking healthy and conserving water in no time.
Want to hear more from Banyan’s landscape experts? Contact us today.