How short should I cut my grass? This is a frequently asked question and so we thought it would be a great one to blog about!
We all see beautifully manicured golf courses and we want that look for our lawn. Right? Unfortunately, really short grass doesn’t work on the types of grasses we have in our lawns. I have seen a lot of skinned lawns in the last few weeks and it can stress a lawn out to be cut too short. There is a myth that keeping your grass short means you won’t have to mow it as often. But grass cut too short cannot naturally choke out weeds, is prone to heat stress, diseases and even drought. Here is an example of a Kentucky Bluegrass lawn cut unevenly and too short. In the upper right corner, you can see it is much longer after they adjusted the height of the mower.
Did you know? Grass mown too short can increase your watering by 20%? Stressing out a lawn by cutting it too short costs more money.
We get calls from customers complaining about their grass not being green and when we get there we have to tell them, you cut it so short you cut all the “color” off. :0 Remember tall is happy and short is crappy!
This is a customer’s lawn that isn’t green enough. 2 inch heigh is too short. We recommend 3 inches as recommended mowing height.
Keeping your lawn longer reduces heat stress which is necessary for Northern Colorado. It also reduces the need to water heavily because when the grass has more length it is able to photosynthesize more efficiently. Spotted Spurge also likes to grow in lawns cut too short. Leaving your lawn a little longer won’t allow the dreaded spurge to grow. Our rule of thumb for length is 3 inches or higher! Tall is happy; short is crappy – Jordan says.
Leaving your lawn too long can also be problematic (over 5 inches). We have all had it happen to us when we went on vacation or after a rainy week and the grass grows like crazy. No one likes to mow a lawn too long–hard work! Mowing infrequently and letting it get super long can cause a lawn to go into shock. Over time mowing a grass super short and then letting it get super long will weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to disease and insects.
Follow the one-third rule. For a thriving lawn, never cut away more than one-third of the grass blade in any one mowing. If the grass “gets ahead of you” because of wet weather or your busy schedule, move up the cutting height of your mower to the highest possible setting and mow. If clippings are too long and heavy, even at that cutting height, catch them with the bagging unit or clean up after mowing with a leaf rake. Then move the cutting height back to your normal range and cut the lawn again a few days after that first mowing.
Keeping your grass at about 3 inches won’t stress out your lawn and will keep it healthy and strong. Let’s stop skinning our lawns!