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How Often to Mow a Lawn - Grass Types, Length & More

How Often Should You Mow Your Lawn?

Knowing how often to mow your lawn during the growing season can be challenging. If you mow too often or cut it too short, you can stress your lawn and cause it to develop brown patches. If you don't mow often enough, you risk stressing your lawn by cutting too much at once or irritating your neighbors because your lawn looks like a prairie.

The first rule of thumb is the one-third rule, meaning you should never cut more than one third of your lawn's height at once. If your lawn is particularly long and needs more than one third cut off, set your lawnmower blade a bit higher and make a few passes over it with a day or two in between until you have the desired height.

Second, consider the type of grass you're growing. Common grasses used in lawns are Kentucky bluegrass blended with perennial ryegrass. Kentucky bluegrass is best kept at 3 inches and up to 3 1/2 inches in the heat of summer.

Going back to the one-third rule, then, if you want your lawn at about 3 inches, you would ideally let it grow to about 4 inches before cutting off an inch. If you're aiming a bit shorter, like 2 1/2 inches, let it grow to about 3 3/4 inches and cut off about 1 1/4 inches. If you're aiming closer to 3 1/2 inches, wait until it's about 5 1/3 inches long to cut off about 1 3/4 inches.

Third, look to the weather. When it's particularly hot, it's best to stay at the higher range of these grass heights to give the roots some shade. If it's particularly rainy, your grass is going to grow more quickly, and you may need to mow more often. In early spring or fall, the weather is usually chilly so you may be able to wait a bit longer between cuttings.

In most cases with the above rules considered, you'll be mowing about once a week throughout the season. But don't be afraid to deviate from this to accommodate your unique lawn and weather conditions. If you’d feel more comfortable with the guidance of local experts, request a quote for our Greenskeeper Plus Complete Care program for year-round care.

Some Lawn Tips from the Pros

  • Keep your lawnmower blade sharp. This provides a clean cut on the grass and avoids tearing the blades, which can create openings for pests and disease.
  • Consider checking your soil's fertility and pH if you're having lawn issues. Learn more about pH levels here.
  • Avoid cutting the lawn too short, especially in hot weather when the roots need shade.
  • If you have a heavy riding mower, the tires may damage the lawn and you may need to mow less often.
  • Let Fit Turf keep weeds under control and pests at bay with a good lawn treatment plan.
  • Water often, especially in hot weather.

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