Lawn Care: How High and How Often Should You Cut Your Grass

have your lawn mowed regularly to keep it at around 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches high throughout the grass growing season

Have your lawn mowed regularly to keep it at around 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches high throughout the grass growing season. Photo by Bryan Clayton

What is the Best Height to Cut Your Grass?

As a general rule of thumb you should cut your grass in the when it is around 3 1/2 inches tall, then maintain the height of your mowed lawn to keep it at 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 inches high throughout the grass growing season.

Different types of grass varieties have different heights that are recommended to cut your grass to. For instance, annual ryegrass should be cut to 2 1/2 to 3 inches high,  tall fescue grasses should be cut to 3 1/2 to 4 inches high, and Kentucky bluegrass lawns should be maintained at 2 1/2 to 3 inches in the spring and fall, but to 3 to 3 1/2 inches in the hot summer months.

If you fertilize your lawn in the spring you’ll want at least mow the grass every 4-5 days to keep the grass at the proper height for your lawn type, then adapt your lawn mowing schedule throughout the season to adjust for periods of wet and dry weather. You’ll probably want to cut your grass less and let it grow taller during any droughts or periods of dry weather, and cut your grass more often to keep your lawn shorter in rainy, wet weather.

Different varieties of grass have different recommended heights

Different varieties of grass have different recommended heights you should cut your lawn down to. Check with the brand of grass you use to decide how tall to keep your lawn


What is the  “one third” rule of grass cutting?

You should try not to ever cut more than one third of your grass’ height during any one lawn mowing, this can shock and damage your lawn grass. If your grass is overgrown you should make multiple cuts with your lawn mower, adjusting the height of your mower blades until you get the height of the lawn down to the proper lawn height for your grass type.

Don’t bag your clippings, use mulching blades

If you are in the habit of bagging your grass clippings, think about mulching them back into your lawn when mowing your grass. Mulching the grass clippings back into your yard will give the soil essential nutrients to keep your lawn healthy throughout the year. Lawn clippings contain about 1 percent phosphorus, 4 percent nitrogen and 2 percent potassium, these finely mulched clippings will filter through the blades of grass and quickly decompose into the ground and will strengthen your grass, giving your lawn that deep rich, green color you want.


Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp

It’s important to keep your lawn mower’s blades sharp throughout the lawn mowing season. If your mower blades are dull they will tear the grass instead of giving the lawn a clean cut edge, and these ragged edges can lead to lawn diseases and potential infestations of insects and other parasites, not to mention leaving your lawn with a discolored and uneven appearance.

If you don’t cut your own grass browse the HelpHouse Contractor Directory to find a local landscaper near you and avoid all the hassles of maintaining your lawn mower this year, and enjoy the spring & summer months on a professionally cut and maintained lawn.


Don’t want to cut your own grass? Find a local landscaper near you:



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