When to mow and what height
reducing lawn maintenance

When to Mow & How Much to Cut

North

Cut cool-season grasses when they reach heights of 3 to 3-½ inches, typically once a week.  If the lawn grows too high for you to cut off one-third of the height and have an acceptable length, cut off one-third and then wait two or three days before cutting off another one-third.  The best time of day to mow is in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.

South

Cut warm-season grasses when they reach heights of 2- to 2-½ inches.  If the lawn grows too high for you to cut off one-third of the height and have an acceptable length, cut off one-third and then wait two or three days before cutting off another one-third.  The best time of day to mow is in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.

North and South

If you cut more than one-third of the grasses length, you will have; clumps of clippings that lie on top of the lawn, slower decomposition, and a less attractive, bristly appearing lawn.  If this occurs, remove the clippings by raking them away or by using a leaf blower. It is also important to remember that short cutting will stunt or slow root growth and weaken the grass plants.  It is far easier to cut the lawn when it needs cutting because it  will reduce extra work.  See below for some recommended mowing heights based on grass type, and Click here to learn more about choosing the best mower for your yard. 

 

Recommended Mowing Heights

Grass Type Inches
Annual ryegrass 2 to 2-1/2
Bahiagrass 2 to 3
Bermudagrass 1 to 1-1/2
Centipedegrass 1-1/2 to 2
Fine fescue 2 to 2-1/2
Kentucky bluegrass 2-1/2 to 3
Perennial ryegrass 2 to 2-1/2
St. Augustinegrass 2 to 3
Tall fescue 2-1/2 to 3-1/2
Zoysiagrass 1 to 2
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