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Mowing: How Low Should You Go?

How Short to Mow - Farmside Landscape & Design

Mowing: How Low Should You Go?

We know you’re busy. So when it comes to routine yard chores like mowing the lawn, you might be tempted to cut it really short so you don’t have to do it as often and it will look neater, longer. Please resist that temptation!


Mowing your lawn very short makes it susceptible to a whole host of ailments, leaving it vulnerable to environmental stresses such as drought and sun scorching as well as to weeds and insect infestation. Here’s why:


Buzzing your lawn more than one third of the grass’s height sends the blades into a kind of physiological shock. The leaf blade is responsible for the lawn’s food production through photosynthesis, so leaving too little of it can literally starve your grass. With stunted food production, the grass draws on its stored root reserves for nutrients that are quickly used up during growing season. This can weaken and even kill your grass. In turn, your lawn becomes thinner, leaving it more vulnerable to weeds and hungry insects.


Optimal blade height for your lawn is somewhere between 2 ½” – 3”. A word of caution here; if your grass is long, the rule of thumb of not cutting more than 1/3 of the height of the blades still applies, which means you should mow your lawn more often to get it to its ideal height without cutting more than a third of it’s length each time. Cutting more than a third of the blade length can expose its stem tissue, giving your lawn a yellow or brown appearance and making it a particularly inviting food source for parasites, fungi and bacteria. The tender stem tissue is also quite vulnerable to the strong summer sun’s rays and periods of drought.


Frequent proper trims will encourage your lawn to grow thick and lush, which will naturally crowd out weeds and make it more resistant to pests and environmental stresses. Pressed for time? Call us here at Farmside—our turf professionals will keep your lawn beautiful while giving you back some time for yourself.