How Short should I mow my lawn?
Some people envision a lawn that looks like a well kept golf course, without truly realizing that most lawns aren’t built or designed for that. How short (or tall) you mow your lawn can actually have a big long-term impact on your lawn’s overall health and condition. You typically don’t want to mow it too short as you see in the picture here, but what is too short for the average lawn? And why is it bad if it is too short? Let’s find out!
Why Lawn Height Matters
First the “why.” Mowing your lawn too short can have negative effects on the health and appearance of your grass. Cutting the blades of grass too short can shock the grass and prevent the roots from growing deep into the soil, making it more susceptible to disease, pests, and other damages. It can also lead to bare patches and an overall thinning of your lawn. Conversely, allowing your grass to grow too tall can cause it to become too top-heavy and flop over, leading to an uneven and unsightly appearance.
Most sources will tell you to keep your lawn mowed between 2.5 – 3.5 inches, but in our experience, 3-4 inches is optimal (our standard is 3.5 inches). This is not only for the look and health of the lawn, but even when it comes to invasive weeds having a place to grow. This height promotes healthy growth and helps the grass develop a deep root system. It also helps to shade the soil, which helps to retain moisture and prevent weed growth. Keeping your grass at the appropriate height will ensure that it not only looks but actually is healthy and vibrant, while also keeping it more resistant to pests, disease, and heat damage.
Short grass doesn’t allow deep root growth, which impacts the strength and health of the lawn. This also allows weeds the space that they need to take root and flourish. Taller grass promotes deep root growth and helps to choke out some weeds from growing. I know some you reading this may really want that nice golf course look and feel where the lawn is kept super short and weed free, but there is A LOT of maintenance that goes into a lawn of that type. It is possible, but a lot of maintenance almost always gets expensive really fast.
I hope this article helps you decide on how short you mow your lawn. I know some will disagree with this article, and that is perfectly fine. These are simply some things that we have learned from being in business for the last 14 years in the Southwest Missouri area. Other areas will have different climates, types of soil, and even different grasses. Good luck out there!