For those of you who don’t know, there is a proper time to cut grass as well as a wrong time. The height of your lawn will depict its health and growth rate. But how do you know when or how often to do it? And what is the best height to cut grass? Well, that’s what we’re here for!
CUTTING TOO SHORT
There’s a saying that states if you cut your grass super short then it will take longer to grow back and you won’t have to cut it as often. This couldn’t be more of a lie. When you cut your grass too short you expose the delicate roots as well as the soil beneath them.
The sun can dry your soil which then dehydrates your grass. This produces that yellowed and brown spotted lawn some people have. You don’t want that.
Also, when you cut it too short that’s like an open invitation for weeds to open up shop and just take over your yard. Once you get a blanket of weeds, it’s a lot of added maintenance that you probably don’t want to deal with. Best to just avoid it altogether. So how do you really know what height to cut grass?
LETTING GROW TOO LONG
Like anything, there’s always an opposite. Some say cut your grass super short, others say let it grow long and skip mowing in between. This is a bad idea for different reasons than mentioned above. When your grass is too long it folds over and blocks the sun from reaching the base.
Also, long grass is a breeding ground for bugs, slugs, and other critters you definitely don’t want in your yard. And finally, when you get around to mowing it, you’re left with piles of mulchy clippings that really should be raked. This just creates extra work when you were only trying to avoid it to start with.
KNOWING YOUR GRASS TYPE
Before determining what is the best height to cut your grass, you need to know what type of grass you’re dealing with. There’s a whole system involved when looking at this, too. There’s warm-season grasses as well as cool-season grass and each category has its own species.
Most range in 1-2 inches for perfect grass height, but others can vary up to 4 inches. It’s best to check out the numbers on perfect grass height and then determine what you should be doing.
THE MATH INVOLVED
Okay, now down to the basics of why you’re reading this article. Regardless of your grass type, the season, or your motivation to mow, go outside and measure your grass when it looks like an ideal height.
This means that perfect sweet spot when your lawn is cut, healthy, and the blades are standing up straight. Whatever the height is at that point, only let it grow to one-third of that. The general rule of thumb when cutting grass is to only remove about a third of what’s there. This guideline should ensure that your grass isn’t going to go into shock from being cut too short.
Yes, you may look like the crazy guy on the block, going out with a ruler in hand to measure the grass. But really, a quick examination and guestimate of the height are fine. It doesn’t have to be exact.
TIPS TO A HEALTHY LAWN
So, we learned that cutting too short is bad. Also, leaving the grass to grow too long is equally as bad. But what are some other tips to keep in mind? Well, during the Summer months when we experience hot temperatures and even droughts, it’s okay to leave your grass just a teeny bit longer to help protect the soil.
To prepare your grass and winterize your lawn, it’s okay to cut it a little short because the fine layer of snow that will cover it won’t let any sub through to damage the soil. This is also a good idea to avoid dead spots in the Springtime. If the grass is short when the snow falls then it’s not mushed down and folded over.
THE RIGHT TOOLS
Above all, it’s best to make sure you have the right tools for the job. Cheesy, I know. But it’s true. If you have a large lawn and care about its health, invest in the best lawn mower for you.
Also, having the aid of a good weed eater wouldn’t hurt to keep your lawn nice and trimmed and allow the grass to flourish from the aggressive weeds that threaten the edges.
- don’t cut too short
- don’t leave too long
- Only ever cut about a third of the height
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Did this handy guide help you in figuring out when to cut your lawn? It may be a pain to go out and mow every few days, or once a week, but it’s worth it in the long run when you have a nice healthy yard to look at. Maintaining your grass properly also prevents the addition of extra work like raking and such.
If you found this helpful, or have any tips of your own to add, please comment and share!