How Short (or Tall) Should You Cut Your Grass?

Man adjusts height of cut on walk mower

Cutting grass is a necessity many homeowners experience during the warmer months. Not only does it keep your outdoor space looking tidy and clean, but it also helps keep your yard compliant to proper city or HOA ordinances. However, one thing many may not consider is the optimal height to cut grass. Can you cut the grass too short? Too long? Our Toro YardCare experts have compiled a quick guide to the basics of keeping your grass height picture-perfect all season long.

Before you read the details, we recommend consulting this chart:

How Do I Measure My Grass?

A lot of people will say they can tell how tall their grass has gotten in inches by simply looking at it and estimating. They might even use the old trick of using a dollar bill to demonstrate what two inches might look like. But the only 100% accurate way to measure your grass is… well, to measure it.

Your run-of-the-mill ruler will work to assess its current height and what you think you should cut your grass to.

Does The Weather Affect Grass Height?

Like any plant, the weather affects how fast and how much your lawn grows. Heavy rains can both flood your lawn and make your grass grow taller and quicker. Hotter, drier days on the other hand can stall the growth of your grass, making the height to cut your grass vary.

How Do I Change the Height of My Mower?

When it comes to what height to cut grass to, measuring is important. But what do you do with that measurement when it comes to actually mowing your lawn? Luckily, most mowers are height adjustable. You can adjust the height of cut on most walk-behind mowers by simply raising or lowering the deck with the level located next to your mower’s wheels, depending on the model, you may need to adjust the height at 2 or 4 wheels. For most riding mowers, you’ll want to look for a pin or lever to adjust the deck height. Just make sure each wheel is leveled to the same height and you’re ready to roll. If you’re still having issues with adjusting the height of your mower, check your equipment’s manual for the best way to get your grass height just right.

What Happens if My Grass Is Too Short?

What happens if the grass is cut too short? Unfortunately, if you cut your grass too short, it can damage not only the grass but the soil underneath. This can lead to your lawn drying out quicker and even creating patches of dead grass. A good rule of thumb is to always keep your grass height a little taller, rather than shorter, to avoid having to reseed patches of dead or dying grass.

So, What Height Should I Cut Grass To?

Armed with all this important information, you still might be wondering what height to cut grass to for the best, healthiest-looking lawn. Recommended height is dependent on your grass type, but iIf you’re not sure, we suggest a grass height to 2.5 to 3 inches. This allows your outdoor space to keep a tidy appearance while still allowing for healthy grass growth.

For more tips and tricks to keep your outdoor space looking its best, check out Toro YardCare’s other articles on lawn care maintenance and curb appeal inspiration.

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