Lawnmowers are a must if you want to have a garden or if you want to keep the one you have now constantly well-maintained. There are many types of lawnmowers and you can choose from walk mowers and ride mowers, two-function or three-function mowers, rear-wheel-drive, front-wheel drive, or all-wheel drive mowers, and battery-powered, electric-powered, or gas-powered mowers.
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Once you have purchased the lawnmower that is most suitable for your needs, it is time to use it! However, you must be careful not to mow the grass too low or too high. If you cut the grass too low, it may be at a higher risk of being invaded by weeds or heat damage.
On the other hand, if you cut the grass too high, it may be much harder to mow the next time around. Thus, one must know the optimal lawn mower cutting height.
How to Measure Lawn Mower Cutting Height
1. Identify What Type of Grass You Have
One of the things you should consider when determining the right cutting height is the type of grass that you have in your lawn. There are so many types of grasses out there so we won’t be discussing each one separately here but basically, grasses can be divided into two groups namely, cool-season grasses and warm-season grasses.
Cool-season grasses such as fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, Perennial ryegrass, and tall fescue must be mowed at 0.75 to 4 inches. In general, cool-season grasses must be cut to around 2.5 inches. On the other hand, warm-season grasses such as Bahia grass, centipede grass, and Bermuda grass must be mowed at around 0.5 to 4 inches, but typically, the maximum height for such grass types is 3 inches.
Height for Warm Season Grasses
- Bahia- 2.5 to 4 inches
- Bermuda Grass- 0.5 to 2.5 inches
- Buffalo- 1.5 to 4 inches
- Centipede- 1 to 2.5 inches
- Kikuyu Grass- 1 to 1.5
- St. Augustine- 1 to 3 inches
- Zoysia- 0.5 to 3 inches
Height for Cool Season Grasses
- Fine Fescue- 2.5 to 4 inches
- Kentucky Bluegrass- 0.75 to 3.5 inches
- Perennial Ryegrass- 1 to 1.5 inches
- Tall Fescue- 1.5 to 4 inches
2. Make a Few Measurements and Adjust
Get a ruler and measure the point at which the mower housing hits the ruler. Recall that the blades will not cut below the housing.
Following this, adjust the mower’s height such that you reach the one that is ideal for cutting the type of grass you have. Mark this measurement with a ruler.
3. Try Mowing
Pick a small patch in your lawn and try mowing using the primary adjustments that you have made.
4. Check the Height
Use your ruler and use it to measure the height of the cut grass in comparison to that of the uncut grass. Check whether the length that was removed is just a third of the total grass blade height. If it is less or more than a third, adjust the height of the mower accordingly until you get the desired height.
To increase or decrease the mower’s height, you have to know how to make adjustments based on your mower’s manual. For some mowers, all you have to do is pull the adjustment lever towards the wheel and pick the notch you wish to mow at.
Tips for Cutting Grass at Right Height
1. Follow the One-third Rule
When it comes to mowing your lawn, a general rule of thumb is called the one-third rule. This rule states that you should never cut more than a third of the grass blade length during one session of mowing.
The trick here is to determine the ideal height for the type of grass you have and allow it to grow a third more before cutting.
2. Cut to Just the Right Height
Mowing is also some sort of art. You can’t just do it aimlessly. When mowing, you have to ensure that the resulting height is neither too low nor too high. If you cut the grass too low, you may end up stressing the grass, and if you cut too high, grass growth may not be as good.
3. Don’t Set Up a Mowing Schedule
Most probably, you are going to make a mental note for yourself to mow the lawn every Sunday, when you are free from work. However, this is not a very good idea. Instead, look at the height of the grass. The height of the grass should determine when it is time for you to mow. Before mowing, ensure that the height is about a third larger than the ideal height of the type of grass that you have.
This is because the growth of the grass may vary each week depending on many environmental conditions, thus, setting up a weekly schedule to mow may not be very effective.
4. Always Keep the Blades Sharp
Sharpen the blades of your mower regularly so that they always cut cleanly, since mowing with dull blades will make the task much harder for you and in addition to that, it may also stress the grass.
Remember to be careful whenever you are handling the blade of the mower.
5. Mow at The Right Time
Most people mow the lawn during the day, but actually, the best time to do this task is during the early evening since it is during this time that the grass is dry (if it has not rained recently, of course). This way, moisture will not clog or damage the mower. Chances are if you mow during the morning, there is still dew on the grass. In addition to that, mowing early at night means the grass will not be exposed to heat thus, it will not be stressed, and it can freely recover overnight.
If you do not want to do it early in the evening, then you can do it in the day, as long as there is plenty of shade.
Heat imposes unnecessary stress on the grass, so it is best to avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day.
6. Change Things Up
If you follow a pattern when you mow and if you follow it every time, then stop. Do not go in the same direction or follow the same pattern each time you mow. This may compact the soil and lead to ruts, which may not be good for the growth and development of the grass. Also, it may promote the growth of weeds that prefer to grow in compacted soil.
Flowers, bushes, and trees are the ones that often catch our eye in gardens, but all these will probably be nothing without the background that grasses provide. Grass, even though they are usually just green and a bit more boring than flowers, complete anyone’s garden, and so it must be also constantly well-maintained.
One of the ways you can take care of the grass in your garden is by ensuring that you cut it at the right height every time you mow. This way, they wouldn’t be too short (which promotes weed invasion) or too long (which will make it hard to mow next time).