Don’t be afraid to use one of the highest settings. Mower manufacturers put them on the deck for our zone and grasses, Blue, Rye, and Fescue.
*When a lawn is cut too short it will put all of its energy into blade growth at the expense of its roots, making it surge in blade growth in favorable conditions compared to a lawn that is cut right.
Many people underestimate the importance of mowing. A lawn that is mowed with sharp blades, at the right height, and at the right times, will actually resist weeds and fungus, and keep its color longer. Proper mowing will help keep the lawn looking better in hot conditions. The key is sharpening and adjusting your blades as the season progresses, so you can achieve your goal of a healthy green lawn. The quote “God is in the details” couldn’t be more correct.
In hotter, drier times (June, July, August), 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 inches or higher may be needed to prolong health and color. In the early spring and late fall cut 2 1/2 - 3”. Don’t cut more than 1/3 off at a time. That means you may have to cut more than 2 times a week during wetter times or not for weeks when dryer. On average you should be sharpening 2-3 times a season not just once. The first and last cut of the season should be cut lower.
With heavy shade lawns, you may want to cut a bit shorter with certain types of shade grasses, but only if needed.
Leaving your grass longer in hot, stressful weather enables it to store water and nutrients. Cutting your lawn longer actually slows the growth. It also shades the crown. Cutting off more than 1/3 of the blade will shock the crown. With no top growth and photosynthesis to balance the roots, fungus and die back will follow. Grass with ragged edges looks dingy, takes up more surface area, loses water quicker, and heals slower than a nice sharp cut. A doctor uses a sharp scalpel so you heal quickly and don’t get a disease, it’s the same for your lawn.
Mower manufacturers put them on the deck for our zone and grasses, Blue, Rye, and Fescue. Please review the information we have put together over the years and don't hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
Water your lawn in the AM HOURS (12 A.M. TO 12 P.M.), 60 minutes or more per zone. 1 to 1-1/2 inches a week is needed during periods of no rain. Do not wait until the lawn looks like it needs water. Do not water in the afternoon/evening (specifically 3-7 p.m.). This will help promote fungus by extending the time the lawn stays damp. If you don’t have time in the morning hours, then you can pick up a timer that attaches to your garden hose. If you can’t water in the A.M. watering after dark is acceptable. Just don't prolong the time the lawn would naturally sit dewy and damp by starting too early.
Watering lightly in shorter intervals weakens the grass because the roots do not search out water, enabling the grass to better deal with extreme periods of weather. Watering after your lawn looks like it needs it will take much more water and effort to get it back to normal because it has already been damaged. Your lawn, just like all organisms, is doing a balancing act. It has to resist diseases and insects that are attacking constantly. By watering in the afternoon/evening, you extend the time your lawn sits damp. This gives disease pathogens (fungus) already in your lawn an ideal environment, and when hot you will lose a measurable amount to evaporation.