Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Are you looking for that perfect lawn this summer? By focusing on your watering, mowing, and fertilizing, you can have a lush green yard. Below, you will find specific information on the best ways to mow your lawn and what height is best for your specific grass type.
**Note: Before you read this or any other article on mowing, watering, or fertilizing your lawn, know that everything you read is subjective to multiple variables in your specific lawn. Some of these variables are its amount of sun, slopes, irrigation, soil fertility, etc.
The following are a few general rules and tips that should always be applied to mowing:
Cut the grass higher in shaded areas. The grass blades act like solar panels - the larger they are, the more sunlight they can pull in for photosynthesis. In shaded areas, they don’t have as much sunlight so they need larger solar panels to absorb sunlight.
For a fertilized lawn, mow more frequently (weekly) during the growing season and leave the clippings. If you bag the clippings, your lawn requires 30% more fertilizer than if you mulched/left the clippings.
For an irrigated lawn, water deep (½” per watering) and infrequently (2-3 times a week). This pushes the roots down deeper. If irrigating, plan on cutting grass at least once a week.
For areas with slopes, cut the grass slightly higher to avoid leaving scalp marks.
For a denser lawn, mow more frequently. Frequent mowing will encourage your lawn to grow laterally instead of vertically and create a denser stand of turf.
Never take off more than 1/3 of the grass height at a time. Example: if the grass is at 3" you can remove 1" when you cut. If the grass is tall then it would be better to remove 1/3 of the height on one day then 2-3 days later take off the another 1/3 until you get it back to the height you want.
There is an ideal mowing height that you will see on most websites for lawns, but we have found that most DIYer's lawns are best maintained slightly higher. For example, but maybe not sustainable for your average homeowner (us too!), it is recommended that Bermuda is best when cut to around 1”. To keep Bermuda at the recommended 1” height, you need a level lawn and have to mow it every 3-4 days. If you don’t have the time and energy to maintain your lawn like a golf course, read on. We discuss the heights that we have seen work well for homeowners over many years of mowing and treating lawns in the Athens and Watkinsville area.
Bermuda and Zoysia
-Early Spring - Scalp it down to at least 1.5”
-Summer - Slowly raise the cut height to 2-2.5” as it gets hotter. This helps shade the soil from the heat of the summer.
-Fall and Winter- Maintain at 2”
1.5"to 2” is a good height. It can be raised ¼” to ½” during the warmer summer months.
Maintain fescue no shorter than 3” in the Athens, GA area. During the heat of summer, cut as high as your mower will allow.
Many people treat St. Augustine similar to other warm season grasses, but this can quickly cause problems. St. Augustine should be cut taller like fescue; keep St. Augustine around 3"- 4” year round.
Our desire is for you to have a lawn where you can enjoy spending time reading a book, playing with your family, or having a cookout with friends. If you’re in Athens, Georgia, let us know how to help. For specific watering information, check out our blog here. For fertilization and weed control questions or service information, contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (706-395-5069).