When to Mow & How Much to Cut

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Mowing Tips for North Grasses

When to Mow: The best time of day to mow is in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.

When to Cut: Cut cool-season grasses when they reach heights of 3 to 3-½ inches, typically once a week.  If the lawn grows too high for you to cut off one-third of the height and have an acceptable length, cut off one-third and then wait two or three days before cutting off another one-third.

Resources: How to Choose the Right Cool-Season Grasses

Mowing Tips for South Grasses

When to Mow: The best time of day to mow is in the evening when the sun is lower in the sky.

When to Cut: Cut warm-season grasses when they reach heights of 2- to 2-½ inches.  If the lawn grows too high for you to cut off one-third of the height and have an acceptable length, cut off one-third and then wait two or three days before cutting off another one-third.

Resources: How to Choose the Right Warm-Season Grasses

Mowing Tips for All Grass Types

If you cut more than one-third of the grass length, you will have; clumps of clippings that lie on top of the lawn, slower decomposition, and a less attractive, bristly appearing lawn.  If this occurs, remove the clippings by raking them away or by using a Toro Leaf Blower.  Read our guide on How to Select the Right Leaf Blower & Vacuum for You. 

It is also important to remember that short cutting will stunt or slow root growth and weaken the grass plants.  It is far easier to cut the lawn when it needs cutting because it will reduce extra work.  See below for some recommended mowing heights based on grass type. When choosing the best mower for your yard be sure to check out our Buying Guide for Self-Propelled Walk-Behind Mowers or the 8 Things to Look for When Buying a Zero-Turn Mower. 

Recommended Mowing Heights by Grass Type

Grass Type Inches
Annual Ryegrass 2 to 2-1/2
Bahiagrass 2 to 3
Bermudagrass 1 to 1-1/2
Centipedegrass 1-1/2 to 2
Fine Fescue 2 to 2-1/2
Kentucky Bluegrass 2-1/2 to 3
Perennial Ryegrass 2 to 2-1/2
St. Augustine Grass 2 to 3
Tall Fescue 2-1/2 to 3-1/2
Zoysiagrass 1 to 2

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