How Short Should I Cut My Grass? – Best Height & Length

When it comes to lawn care, one of the most critical tasks is mowing your grass. But with so many varying preferences when choosing a grass-cutting height, how do you know which is the best grass-height lawn? Unsurprisingly, the answer can be tricky, but we’re here to help.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how high you should cut your grass and which garden tools are best suited for each job.

To help you achieve that beautiful, lush, and vibrant lawn, we’ve created this easy-to-follow grass-cutting height chart. Below, you’ll find the optimal cutting heights for the most popular grass types.

How short should I cut my grass?

Heights may vary depending on regional climate conditions and grass variety. Always check with your local lawn care professional for specific recommendations. But, if you want to know how low should I cut my grass, here is a general guide:

Cool-Season Grasses

  • Kentucky Bluegrass: 2.5 – 3.5 inches
  • Perennial Ryegrass: 2.5 – 3.5 inches
  • Fine Fescue: 2.5 – 3.5 inches
  • Tall Fescue: 3 – 4 inches
  • Bentgrass: 0.25 – 1.5 inches (for putting greens: 0.125 inches)

Warm-Season Grasses

  • Bermuda Grass: 0.5 – 2.5 inches (for putting greens: 0.125 inches)
  • Zoysia Grass: 1 – 2 inches
  • Centipede Grass: 1 – 2 inches
  • St. Augustine Grass: 2.5 – 4 inches
  • Buffalo Grass: 2.5 – 4 inches

Helpful Mowing Tips

When following the grass-cutting height chart, keep these mowing tips in mind:

  1. Never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade at once: Cutting too much at once can stress the grass, so raise your mower if necessary.
  2. Keep mower blades sharp: Dull blades tear grass, leaving jagged edges that can lead to disease and pest issues.
  3. Mow when the grass is dry: Mowing wet grass can result in an uneven cut and the potential for mower damage due to clippings clogging the blade.
  4. Alternate mowing patterns: Changing the direction of your mowing each time can help prevent soil compaction and ruts in the lawn.
  5. Leave grass clippings: Returning them to the lawn provides valuable nutrients as they decompose.

Keep this grass-cutting height chart handy for a quick and easy reference when lawn mowing. You’ll enjoy a beautiful and healthy outdoor space all season long with proper mowing and lawn care.

Importance of One-Third Rule 

The one-third rule is a crucial concept when using the grass-cutting height chart. This rule states that you should never remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade when mowing. Cutting too much at once can cause undue stress on the lawn and lead to damage or discoloration.

The root system will also be weakened, making it more susceptible to pest and disease issues. To ensure your lawn remains healthy, only cut the top third of the grass blades at each mowing session. This will help promote a thick, lush turf resistant to weeds and pests.

Environmental Benefits Associated with Lawn Height:

The grass-cutting height chart is vital to ensure you mow your lawn properly. But did you know that this practice can also benefit the environment? Maintaining a taller turf helps reduce water runoff, erosion, and soil compaction. It also serves as a natural filter for pollutants like chemicals and sediment.

Additionally, having taller grass helps lower soil temperature, providing a comfortable environment for microorganisms and beneficial insects. This can help promote natural pest control without relying on synthetic chemicals or fertilizers.

So, not only does mowing at the right height provide healthier turf, but it can also benefit your local environment in many ways.

Related FAQs

What happens if you cut it too short?

Cutting grass too short can lead to several issues, such as stress on the lawn, soil compaction, weed growth, and pest infestations. It’s best always to follow the recommended grass-cutting height chart for your specific type of grass.

How often should you mow?

It depends on the type of grass and regional climate conditions. Generally speaking, cool-season grasses should be mowed every 5-7 days in the spring and fall, while warm-season grasses should be cut every 7-10 days during the summer. Always follow the recommendations of your local lawn care professional.

How can I adjust the height of my mower?

Different mowers have different methods of adjusting the height. Refer to your owner’s manual for instructions on using levers or gears to set the optimum height for the kind of grass you have.

What does the 1 out of 3 rule mean regarding lawn mowing?

The 1 out of 3 rule suggests not cutting more than a third of your grass blades in one go. For instance, if your grass is three inches tall, trim no more than one inch off – one-third of its total length. This will help keep your lawn healthy and encourage growth.

Should I keep my grass long or short during summer?

It’s important not to mow your grass too short in the summertime. Longer blades will provide better protection for the roots against the hot weather. Cutting slightly higher during this time is ideal.


What height should I cut my grass depends on your grass type and the climate conditions in your region. Check with a local lawn care expert for specific recommendations, but keep these general guidelines in mind when following the grass-cutting height chart. Additionally, it is important to always adhere to the one-third rule when mowing. This practice will help ensure a healthy lawn and benefit your local environment.

Taking proper care of your lawn is essential to keep it looking its best. Following the grass-cutting height chart and adhering to general mowing tips and the one-third rule can help you maintain a lush, healthy outdoor space all season long.

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