Grass Cutting Tips

Grass maintenance is more complicated then it seems, especially if you want your lawn to look perfect all year round.  Most people hate mowing the lawn, especially when their grass is nothing to be proud of.  Most people cut the lawn short as possible to increase the time between cuts.  There are two main principles one should follow when it comes to lawn maintenance.  One is to mower at the correct height, and the other is mowing frequency.  Below we have provided you with the best grass cutting tips to help keep your lawn staying lush and green.

Grass Cutting Tips


How Does Grass Grow?

Having a good understanding of grass and its requirements will help you achieve your perfect lawn.  Grass is a plant that grows from seed.  Its roots grow into the soil which extends to collect water and nutrients. These roots also ensure the grass is secure to the ground.  Although grass get plenty of nutrients from the ground, it also requires plenty of sunlight, around 4 – 6 hours each day to survive properly.

Why Grass can Grow at Different Rates

Do you have a lawn that is becoming uneven or growing at different rates? Below are the most common reasons for this:

Shade: Grass that is in the shade may not grow as quickly as grass in direct sunlight.

Water Levels: Some patches of your lawn may experience different levels of water compared to others. For example, your lawn may become waterlogged in certain areas.

Thatch Levels. Thatch laying on top of your lawn could affect the amount of water your grass receives, and can also reduce the exposure to light.  Both of these situations would reduce the ability for the grass plant to grow and move through the soil. To help reduce thatch buildup, ensure debris and leaves are removed from the lawn before they decompose.

Uneven Treatments: Make sure you spread fertiliser evenly, otherwise it may cause your grass to grow differently in some areas.  Thick layers of thatch can also stop treatments from reaching the soil, which may be another reason for uneven growth.

Different Grass Types: It could be possible you have different grass types, especially if your lawn has been around for many years.  Previous owners could have planted a different type of grass seed, compared to other parts of the same lawn.  Ideally, your grass should only be one type.

Grass Types and Heights

It is difficult to say the max height your grass should be.  This is because the optimum height depends upon many factors.  Below is a rough guide to help you:

Cool-Season Grass:  This type of grass thrives in locations that experience both cold winters, and hot summers.  With temperatures between 65 and 75 °F (18 – 24 °C).  In general, max height should be around 2.5 inches.

Typical locations include North of USA.  United Kingdom

Warm-Season Grass:  This type of grass thrives in very hot locations that experience a reasonably warm winter.  With temperatures between 80 and 95 °F (24 – 35 °C).  In general, max height should around 2 inches.

Typical locations include south of USA.

Ornamental Lawns:  Such lawns usually have very short grass, between 3/8 – 3/4 inches.

Lawns with moss problems:  Mow at least ½ inch above the moss height.

Are you ensure? If so, then mow high.

1/3 Cutting Rule

Grass Cutting Tips

This rule seems to be the optimum cutting ratio to ensure your grass is long enough to shade the and promote deeper roots.  Deeper roots help the grass absorb water in the driest of conditions.

If you remove more than 1/3 of grass repeatedly, you will eventually be riddled with lawn problems such as:

  • Reduction in grass blade thickness, making it insufficient to produce food via photosynthesis.
  • Increase your lawns vulnerability to disease and pests.
  • Increase the chances of soil compaction, reducing the amount of air within the soil.

When to Mow Grass

Cutting grass when dry allows a cleaner cut.  This is because dry grass will be more upright and less likely to clump.  During the summer season it is a good idea to mow in the morning or late afternoon, when it is slightly cooler.  Cutting your lawn during intense sun periods can stress your lawn.  During the summer season, aim to mow your grass at least once a week.  This helps to promote healthy lawn growth, whilst keeping moss levels down.

When to Water your Grass

Ideally you should water your garden twice each week during the summer months.  You should water long enough so your grass is soaking wet.  Water penetration should reach at least 3 feet below your grass level.  Deep water penetration helps to promote dense grass growth, which means less room for weeds to grow.

Keep your Blades Sharp

Make sure you regularly balance and sharpen your lawn mower blades at least once a year. Sharper blades create a cleaner cut, causing less damage to the lawn.  This promotes a healthier grass that can recover quicker after mowing.

Grass Cutting Tips

Change the Way you Cut

Grass can develop a grain based on your cutting direction, usually in the direction you mow.   Alternating the pattern causes more upright growth and helps avoid ruts and tramlines in the lawn.  Always mow forward, rather than backwards.

Feeding your Lawn

Many people concentrate on watering their grass, but often forget lawns also require food.  The best way to feed your lawn is to use a good fertiliser.  The type of fertiliser you apply will depend upon the season.  Slow-release fertilizers are commonly used as it requires less effort, as it could be applied twice a year. 

My name is Jon Warton.  My enthusiasm for DIY encouraged me to create a DIY Blog called Warton Woodworks.  My blog contains many step-by-step home improvement guides and advice.

Erin Emanuel