When deciding how short to cut your lawn, you shouldn’t focus purely on aesthetics. Unlike a haircut, lawn mowing doesn’t only affect your grass’s appearance; it also impacts the health of your grass. Because grass grows at a shockingly fast rate in the summertime, you might be tempted to cut it very short to give yourself more time between mowings. However, as you’ll learn below, this could actually damage your grass and prevent your lawn from reaching its full potential. So if you’re wondering how low to cut grass in summer, scroll down for some helpful tips and advice.
Why Is Finding “the Goldilocks” of Grass Heights so Crucial?
Well, if your grass is cut too short, it will be vulnerable to weeds, drought, and heat damage. During the brutally hot months of summer, an overly enthusiastic haircut could actually destroy your lawn! The grass blades wouldn’t be long enough to shade the earth, which could become overly dry and dehydrated, and the grass would be more vulnerable to weed infestation.
However, if you allow your grass to grow too long, an abundance of insects and critters may decide to make your lawn their home. Although we peacefully share our yards with many tiny creatures, you probably don’t want to invite in snakes, rodents, and grubs—right? In addition, an overly tall lawn will look unkempt and take more time to mow.
Mowing your yard regularly in the summertime (or hiring a pro to do it for you) is well worth the extra effort, as it will help you create a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and undoubtedly beautiful yard.
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The Ideal Height
As a general rule, you should never cut more than one-third of your grass blades’ height. Maintain your grass’s height through regular mowings if possible. However, if you miss a few mowings and the grass’s height gets ahead of you, cut it at a higher height first (sticking to the one-third rule). Then, a few days later, cut it again to reach the ideal height.
In addition, each type of grass has a specific height requirement, so do a little research to figure out what type of grass you have and what its mowing recommendations are. For example, cool-season turf like fescue and Kentucky bluegrass should typically be in the 1-4 inches range. Warm-season turf like Bermuda and zoysia, on the other hand, should typically be in the 0.5-3 inches range. Here are some basic guidelines:
- Bermuda: 0.5 to 1.5 inches
- Buffalograss: 2 to 3 inches
- Fine Fescue: 1.5 to 2.5 inches
- Kentucky Bluegrass: 1.5 to 2.5 inches
- Ryegrass: 0.75 to 2.5 inches
- Tall Fescue: 2 to 3 inches
- Zoysia: 0.5 to 1.5 inches
- Cut your grass when it is dry for a crisp cut.
- Mow in alternating patterns for an even finish.
- Sharpen your blade regularly for clean-cut and healthy grass blades.
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Nixa Lawn Service Is Here to Help
Grass grows so fast in the summertime, it can be hard to keep up! If you live in southwest Missouri and you’re tired of mowing each weekend, the lawn care professionals at Nixa Lawn Service would be happy to help. We offer full-service lawn care, from weekly mowing and aerating to overseeding and irrigation. Plus, we can improve your landscaping with retaining walls, a paver patio, plants, trees, and more! Call 417-724-0318 to get started, or contact us online.