When it comes to mowing a lawn, may people think it’s just a matter of pushing around the mower. But there’s much more to mowing – it’s the one task that can have the most drastic effect on your lawn’s well-being and appearance. One of the most commonly asked landscaping questions is about the proper grass mowing height in fall. Just how low do you go?

Why Measured Mowing Is Important

Cutting grass promotes healthy growth. When it’s properly mowed, a lawn has healthier, deeper root systems underneath and less weeds on top. It’s also better able to withstand heat, drought, and diseases. And of course, it looks so much nicer!

The easiest way to damage your lawn is to cut the grass too short. Called scalping, cutting grass too close prevents it from being able to perform the photosynthesis process it needs to survive. This depletes the turf’s energy sources and causes stress, leaving the lawn vulnerable to browning and bare spots, or worse, disease and weed invasion. If you are uncertain how short to cut the lawn, err on the side of leaving it higher. Also, taller grass keeps the soil from drying out so it’s best to leave your lawn a little longer in the hotter months.

How Low Do You Go?

The proper mowing height depends on three factors: time of year, type of grass, and the growing environment. As long as your lawn is growing, you should keep mowing it. Sticking to a strict schedule, like cutting the grass every Sunday, does not take into consideration weather conditions, such as rain or drought, which determines the amount of growth that will occur during that period. The height of the grass blades is the main factor for determining when to mow. The best approach is to know what type of turf you have, find out its proper height, then cut it by the one-third rule: never remove more than one third of the grass blade during one cutting.

The Right Mowing Height in Fall for Northern Ohio

The type of turfs most commonly used in Ohio are usually cool-season grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, fine fescue, and tall fescue. Kentucky bluegrass tends to be the most popular turf in the state because of its fine texture and durability. For cool-season grasses, the most active growth periods are during the spring and fall.
On average, the suggested height for grass in Northern Ohio is 2 to 3 inches in the spring and fall and 3 or more inches in the summer. Use these guidelines for each specific turf type in the spring and fall:

Kentucky bluegrass: 2 to 2-1/2 inches
Perennial ryegrass: 2 to 2-1/2 inches
Fine fescue: 2 to 2-1/2 inches
Tall fescue: 2-1/2 to 3 inches

Now that you know how low to go, here are some more mowing tips to help you maintain a well-manicured lawn.

  • Always mow the grass when it’s dry.
  • A sharp blade is of the utmost importance. A clean cut keeps the grass healthier, while a dull blade can cause damage and invite disease. Sharpen it at least once a season.
  • Leave the clippings on the lawn. This provides the grass with nutrients, which means less fertilizer is needed.
  • Cut cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass shorter for the final fall mowing to prevent damage from heavy snows.

Call Free Spray Lawn Care at [phone] and we’ll help you determine the proper height for your well-manicured lawn.