Our Guide to Properly Mowing Your Lawn

Proper mowing height and frequency promotes a healthier yard. By mowing your lawn too short, you may not leave enough of the grass blades to sustain healthy turfgrass. However, if the grass gets too long and mowing frequency is not enough, your lawn can become prone to pests or disease.

A General Rule

A good general rule is most grasses should be mowed at about 2 ½ inches for optimal growth. Only the top 1/3 of the blades of grass should be cut with each mowing. Mow your lawn on a consistent basis to maintain it’s best color and thickness.

If you aren’t sure how much grass to take off, it is best to err on the side of keeping the grass taller rather than shorter. Just as with pruning a bush, over pruning can damage the plant.  Taller grass produces its own shade which in turn protects the plant from overheating the grass crown and roots. That helps grasses thrive, even in drought conditions.

When to Mow

Mowing season for the Pacific Northwest typically begins in early to mid-Spring as the weather warms and grass begins to show new growth. Give your mower a tune up by sharpening the blades and taking it in for any needed repairs toward the end of Winter. Having your mower in tip top shape and ready to go makes lawn maintenance easier.

In addition to seasonality, mowing frequency will be affected by fertilizer levels and the amount of irrigation or rainfall. Keeping your lawn a beautiful, deep green means regular fertilization which in turn results in faster leaf growth and more frequent mowing. Periods of rain or irrigation applications will promote growth in warmer weather and mean more frequent mowing as well.

In periods of heavier growth, the “cut the grass every other week” approach may not be frequent enough. So alter your mowing frequency with changes in watering and weather conditions in your area.

Saving Grass Clippings

Leaving the clippings on the turf after mowing can provide additional “insulation” against water evaporation and provides nutrients to the lawn as they break down. However, if you are mowing infrequently or finding that the clippings are “clumping too much,” it may be best to use the bag and get rid of them or compost clippings for use in other areas of the yard.

Mowing Tips

  • Mow 7 days after installation – this allows for better root development.
  • Keep the mower blades sharp for best performance.
  • Mow when the grass is dry.
  • Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blades – this can injure the individual plants and slow the growth of your grass.