When mowing the lawn, what is the proper mowing height?


When mowing the lawn, what is the proper mowing height?


Kentucky bluegrass lawns should be mowed at a height of 2½ to 3 inches in the spring and fall months.  Mow bluegrass lawns at a height of 3 to 3½ inches in June, July, and August.  A higher mowing height in summer helps to cool the crowns of the turfgrass plants, encourages deeper rooting, and provides more leaf area for photosynthesis during the stressful summer months. 

Mowing below the recommended range may scalp the turf and cause the turfgrass to deteriorate.  Extremely low mowing heights decrease the total leaf surface area, carbohydrate reserves, and root growth, creating a situation where the turfgrass plants are unable to produce enough food to meet their needs.  This makes the plants more susceptible to drought, high temperature, and wear injury.  In addition, the bare areas created by a decrease in turfgrass density increase the likelihood of weed problems. 

Mowing too high can also create problems.  Mowing above the recommended range reduces tillering and causes matting of the grass.  Reduced tillering results in fewer and coarser plants, while matted grass creates a micro-environment that encourages disease development. 


Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on . The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.