Lawn Mowing Tips

Proper mowing can mean the difference between a so-so lawn and a great one. There are a few simple decisions to make when mowing that make a difference in your lawn.

How high to mow?

Grass generally performs best when mowed at one of the higher settings on your mower — especially in hot summer weather.

  • Avoid scalping at all costs.
  • Never cut off more than 1/3 of the length of the grass blades in a single mowing. If lawn growth gets ahead of you, mow it at a higher length, then lower blade and mow again a few days later.

Recommended mowing heights by grass type

Grass Minimum Height Maximum Height
Fine Fescue 1 1/2″ 2 1/2″
Kentucky Bluegrass 1 1/2″ 2 1/2″
Ryegrass 1 1/2″ 2 1/2″
Bahiagrass 2″ 4″
Bermudagrass 1/2″ 2″
Buffalograss 2″ 3″
Carpetgrass 2″ 3″
Centipedegrass 1″ 1 1/2″
St. Augustinegrass/Floratam 2″ 4″
Zoysiagrass 3/4″ 2″

How often to mow?

Once a week is usually sufficient. In spring, when grass is growing more rapidly, mowing twice a week may be necessary to avoid removing more than 1/3 the length of the grass blades.

Blade sharpness

Keep mower blade sharp. Mowing with a dull blade tears the ends of grass blades, leaving ragged ends which later turn brown, giving the lawn a dried-out look. Such grass blade damage also encourages the spread of fungus disease.

Other tips
  • Mow in different directions (diagonal, horizontal, vertical patterns) each time you mow to prevent “leaning” of grass blades in your lawn.
  • Avoid making sharp turns with the mower. Use sidewalks and driveways as a place to turn the mower, or make “header strips” and turn the mower at the end of each row when you reach the header.
  • Never mow a wet lawn, as this can lead to uneven cuts and invites fungus to your lawn.
  • Get the “striped” or “checkerboard” look, like on a professional baseball field, by placing a roller on your mower. These can be purchased at many hardware stores.