Cutting the grass is the most basic lawn care activity that every homeowner does. Despite this, there are still arguments between homeowners about the best height to cut grass! Some people prefer to cut it short, others prefer to cut it long, and there are arguments to support both sides.
However, if you want the nicest, greenest, and most lush lawn that you can have, there is an ideal height and frequency for cutting the grass. Let’s discuss!
The Best Height To Cut Grass
It should come as no surprise that the best height to cut grass depends on a variety of factors. The most important factor that determines the best height is what kind of grass you have!
So how high should you cut your grass? First, determine whether or not you’re using cool season grass or a warm season grass. Most grasses in the South are warm season grasses like bermuda, carpetgrass, zoysia, and bahia.
Cool season grasses are more common in the North and include grasses like bentgrass, fine fescue, tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and ryegrass.
Warm season grasses can tolerate a shorter cut and should probably be cut slightly shorter. Cool season grasses need to stay longer to shade the root system and prevent heat stress.
If you have warm season grass, like most grasses here in Georgia, you should aim for a cut of about 3 inches. If you have cool season grass or are in the transition zone (from Northern California all the way to the mid atlantic, includes most of the midwest and Southern states like Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virgina), you should aim for a cut around 3.5 to 4 inches.
How Frequently Should I Cut Grass?
In lawn care circles, we have a saying: mow high and often. You should follow this general advice no matter what kind of grass you have, to get a enhanced lawn.
Many people who don’t enjoy mowing their grass (especially in the summer when the heat is oppressive) choose to cut the grass low and mow every two weeks. This may work for hardier grasses, but it’s not recommended for several reasons.
First, mowing your lawn short exposes more of the grass to the sun and heat. This could cause the grass to dry out, especially in areas without a lot of shade.
Second, mowing short allows more weeds to take over due to lower grass density. Grass does an okay job of keeping weeds out, but when it’s cut short, it can’t work as effectively to make sure weeds can’t grow. Short grass allows weeds to take up necessary nutrients and sunlight.
Our lawn care professionals recommend cutting your grass every week, preferably in the mid morning at least one day after the last rain or watering. This way, you’re not cutting wet grass which could clog your mower and make your grass susceptible to mold and fungus.