There’s a secret to keeping your grass pristine during the summer when Ohio encounters periods of dry weather and temperatures exceeding 90 degrees, it involves cutting your lawn at a higher height.
Many people choose to mow their grass short, thinking they can save time and delay their lawn’s next mowing. Doing so ruins a lawn’s health and assures that any lawn care program will be significantly less effective.
Why Cut Your Grass Tall?
Think of a blade of grass like a tree; the taller it is, the deeper its roots go and the more water it can store. Because of the deeper root system and bigger, longer grass blades, tall grass is more resistant to drought and requires less frequent watering to stay green and healthy. This is critical during hot stretches of weather as cool season grasses do not tolerate hot and humid temperatures like warm season grasses do.
Taller grass also crowds out weeds. Tall grass covering your soil not only blocks new weeds from finding bare ground to gain hold, it also out-competes weeds for sunlight and nutrients.
How Tall Should I Mow?
How tall should you mow? Ideally, as tall as the grass can stand before it bends over from its own weight. Usually that means setting the deck of your lawn mower anywhere from 3.5 to 4 inches off the ground, with 3 inches being an absolute minimum during the growing season.
How much of the grass blade that gets cut is another guide to follow; never cut off more than ⅓ of the grass blade. If your desired height is 4 inches, wait until the grass blade height reaches 6 inches before mowing. Likewise, if your grass won’t stand upright after 3 inches, wait until it’s a little over 4 inches tall before mowing.
Mulch The Clippings
It’s best practice to recycle grass clippings right back into your lawn as they eventually decompose back into the soil by mulching or using the discharge function on your lawn mower. The only exception is when mulching leaves big clumps of grass that will smother and kill the lawn beneath. If this happens, grab a leaf blower to spread the clumps of grass out.
The best reason to mow tall is that it’s the cheapest and easiest thing you can do to support your lawn’s health so it can be robust throughout the summer. The result will be a greener and more uniform covering of grass on your lawn. So do your part to ensure the best results by mowing tall.