We’re often asked the question, “How do I pick the best mowing height for my lawn?”
Here, we’ll give you all the answers you need to ensure you’re mowing your lawn like a pro.
The Golden Rule
Arguably one of the most important things to consider when deciding on the right height is understanding what type of grass you're dealing with and how different seasons impact it.
The golden height for cool-season grass can range from 25mm to 100mm and 10mm to 75mm for warm-season grass.
These measurements are a guide only as a lot will depend on the type of mower used. Height of cut will vary between a cylinder mower and a standard rotary mower.
With each mowing, you should only remove about the ⅓ top of the blade of grass.
Removing more than ⅓ of the blade will stress the grass and could lead to an unhealthy lawn. Maintain your lawn at an appropriate height, and you'll be sitting back watching lush, healthy turf grow.
Seasons and Types
What’s all this talk about seasons and types of grass anyway?
In Australia, warm-season grasses commonly found in northern areas, whereas cool-season grasses to the far south.
Compared to North America and Europe, we have a limited and less common “cool season”, therefore warm-season varieties tend to be much more common.
The gist of it is that the particular season directly relates to the best climate for growing that variety of grass. Easy!
Common cool season grass includes: (Heights stated are a guide only and will come down to personal preference)
- Tall Fescue varieties 35-100mm
- Ryegrass varieties 20-50mm
- Fine Fescues varieties 35-100mm
- Kentucky Bluegrass varieties 25-75mm
Common warm season grass includes: (Heights stated are a guide only and will come down to personal preference)
- Kikuyu varieties 25-40mm
- Couch varieties 10-50mm
- Buffalo varieties 25-75mm
- Zoysia varieties 15-75mm
As for frequency, this is dependent on many factors. It would be arbitrary to set a schedule for mowing based on length of time between mowing.
For instance, telling someone to "mow every other week" does not take into account growing conditions and growing patterns. For example, rainfall will encourage increased growth, an inconsistent watering schedule will slow down growth, and many types of grass grow at different speeds.
With all this being said, it’s best to keep an eye on your lawn and keep the Golden Rule mentioned above in mind.
To ensure you’re mowing correctly, make sure to service your lawn mower at least a couple of times per year and adjust the length according to the season.
Time is everything
Another common question we get is “When is the best time of day to mow my lawn?”
We suggest hitting the grass around mid-morning because at that point, any dew or irrigated water will be dry.
Mowing wet grass can lead to uneven cutting and / or clumping of grass which can get stuck in your mower’s deck. Mowing the lawn outside of peak sunlight hours also ensures that you're not stressing your turf.
Other Handy Tricks
Ensure you are mowing with a well maintained mower. This includes sharp blades.
Mowing blades are often forgotten; when blades become blunt or dull, your lawn can be exposed to fungal diseases as the leaf of the plant can fracture as oppose to a nice clean cut given by sharp blades.
Mix it up! By this we mean alternate the direction of which you mow, this will help reduce the look of unsightly tracks from mowing consistently in the one pattern.
Changing direction will also help increase the density of your lawn and promote a more even growth pattern.
If you have allowed your lawn to overgrow, save yourself the frustration of bogging your mower and leaving a mess.
Simply mow twice. Start at a higher cut for the first pass, then lower on your second pass - remembering the rule of thumb.
And now that you’ve got all those tips and tricks in your back pocket, you’re ready to give it a go!