Tips & Advice

Does the cutting height of your grass make a big difference?

Height of cut plays a very important role in determining the maintenance needs of a lawn.

Generally, the higher the height of cut the less the maintenance required.

This is primarily due to the fact that higher heights of cut promote deeper root growth into the soil. Shorter heights of cut promote shallower root systems. Deep root systems have naturally greater access to soil water and nutrient reserves thereby increasing their ability to tolerate environmental stresses. Shallower root systems require greater attention to supplementing soil water and nutrient needs to keep the plants healthy and minimize negative effects of adverse environmental stress.

In addition to larger and deeper root systems, higher heights of cut restrict the amount of light reaching the soil surface. Since many lawn weed seeds require light for germination, the increased shading from a higher height of cut will actually suppress weed germination and growth thereby cutting down the need for herbicide use or other weed control measures. This can be particularly helpful in controlling warm season annual grasses such as crabgrass. In turn, this can reduce the dependence on preemergent herbicides for their control.

For most lawn areas, mowing at a height of 2.5 – 3.0 inches will provide a good quality turf.