Grass Cutting

Freshly mowed yard

 

Never remove more that 1/3 of the leaf surface or plant height. Set the mower no lower than 3” and mow the grass when it reaches 4” tall. Moist and mild spring weather may require mowing every four days but less frequently during the summer to stay within the 1/3 mowing height rule. For most of the growing season the mower height should be 3.5". Of course this may vary depending on the site.

Bagging is unnecessary if staying true to the 1/3 rule. The 1” clippings will easily filter into the grass canopy and out of sight. Grass clippings quickly decompose and add valuable organic material to the soil.

Prevent scalping by making sure that the mowing deck is properly adjusted to maintain an even cut at the proper height. Scalping thins the lawn canopy, encourages weeds, and robs the plant of energy needed to make new grass during the summer.  If the grass gets too tall then raise your mowing height to stay within the 1/3 rule. Every few days lower the height by 1/2” until you reach the desired height.

Cutting shorter for the first cutting in the spring is beneficial for removing winter burned and dried out leaves and will stimulate new growth, your first step to a thicker spring lawn. The last cutting of the season is the other time that shorter cutting is accepted. While pulling up any laid over and wispy grass, the dropping leaves will be less likely to become caught in the shorter turf preventing dieback from suffocation.

Adjust mowers higher for hotter and dryer seasons. Taller mowing means deeper roots and a more competitive lawn canopy that shades the soil and keeps out weeds.  Without watering, taller mowing is often required during summer to prevent dormancy.