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What Is the Proper Mowing Height for Grass in Your Yard?

Cutting grass with Toro lawn mower.Yes this time of year lets talk about grass height. Its important to start cutting it a little higher as to avoid burning of the lawn with lack of rain and the heat. Its also better for the grass to be thicker when its drier because of the type of root system grass has. Grass has a shallow spreading root base vs chickorey or dandelions which have a tap root system. This allows them to drive deeper into the ground and find water which is why you see these type of weeds in the heat of summer sticking up and the grass is brown. So for a thicker healthier lawn raise your cutting height to at least 1.2 inch if not a full inch for July, and August.

How low–or high–should I cut the grass in my lawn? – Northern NY Watertown NY

The proper height for mowing your lawn depends on the type of grass, the season, and the growing conditions. For example, bentgrass can be mowed under 1/2″ while tall fescues should be 3-4 inches high. Choosing the correct mowing height is important since:

  • Proper mowing creates a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant lawn.
  • Mowing discourages undesirable grasses and weeds while encouraging your chosen grass type. For example, mowing fescue higher will discourage Bermuda grass which is low-growing.

Pointers for Setting Mower Cutting Height

  • Shady grasses grow better if mowed a little higher.
  • Raise the blade to the top of the cutting range for your type of grass (see chart below) during drought conditions in summer to reduce the stress on your lawn.
  • Cut warm-season grasses at the lower end of the cutting range in early spring to remove dead blades.
  • In general, cool-season grasses do best when cut as high as possible.
  • Different varieties within the same grass type may vary as to the best cutting height, so try to identify the specific variety you have (such as ‘Zenith’ zoysia or ‘Empire’ zoysia), then check with a sod or seed supplier for cutting recommendations.

Recommended Mowing Heights for Lawn Grasses

The chart below gives general guidelines for grass cutting height.

Grass Type Mowing Height
Bahia grass 2” – 3”
Bentgrass ¼” – ¾”
Bermuda ½” – 1½”
Buffalograss 2” – 3”
Centipede 1½” – 2½”
Fine fescue 1½” – 2½”
Kentucky Bluegrass 1½” – 2½”
Ryegrass 1½” – 2½”
St. Augustine 2” – 4”
Tall fescue 2” – 3”
Zoysia ½” – 1½”

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