June 10, 2022
Mowing performed at the correct height, frequency, and technique is essential to the health and density of your lawn. Every variety of grass has an ideal cutting height. A common mistake people make with their lawn is thinking they have to mow all the time and stop the grass from getting too tall. We will be discussing the proper mowing height and techniques for Bermuda and Fescue grass.
Bermuda grass is a consistent warm-season grass. It returns every year and grows most aggressively from late spring through the hot summer months. This grass is quite sensitive to cold temperatures. The best mowing height for Bermuda grass depends on the variety that you’ve grown on your lawn. Unlike common Bermuda grass which has an inch-long stem, hybrid Bermuda grass varieties have been cross-bred to have shorter stems and low-lying crowns.
The best time to mow your common Bermuda is when it reaches a height of about three inches. Therefore- after cutting off one inch (one-third of three inches), you should be left with about two inches of lush green common Bermuda grass. If you allow your Bermuda Grass to grow much higher than about 3 inches, you will scalp your lawn by removing most of the green portion of the grass when you mow. This is not only ugly, but it is absolutely horrible for your lawn. If compounded by heat and drought, scalping during the summer can kill areas of your lawn.
THIS EXAMPLE IS DEPENDENT UPON THE TERRAIN. MOST RESIDENTIAL YARDS IN OUR AREA DO NOT ALLOW FOR BERMUDA TO BE CUT LOWER THAN 3 INCHES. IF YOU DO HAVE A VERY LEVEL LOT THEN YOU CAN MOW YOUR BERMUDA AT THE HEIGHTS LISTED ABOVE.
For Bermuda grass, spring normally is a period of fast and rapid growth. It’s advisable to mow lower than the recommended height at this time of the year, to remove the dead leaf blades left behind from the winter dormancy period. From June-September, you should mow your Bermuda grass lawn less frequently during these months; preferably once every week.
You can also increase the mowing height a little bit above the recommended height as leaving behind longer leaf blades helps minimize water evaporation. By August, you should have reduced the frequency of your mowing to only when necessary.
Fescue is a cool-season grass, meaning most of the growth occurs during the spring and fall months. Fescue is a resilient, low-maintenance grass. It can withstand drought conditions and needs fertilizer infrequently. Overall, the ideal tall fescue mowing height is 4 inches. This is a safe length to mow your tall fescue any time of the year.
Tall Fescue grass grows in bunches. Therefore it is highly suggested that you mow them tall. The taller the shoots of grass means the deeper the roots penetrate. Lengthier leaves allow much better photosynthesis, helping the grass grow better and strengthen its roots. Mowing the tall fescue grass higher also helps in preventing the growth of weeds. Along with mowing frequently, it is required that you should never cut your grass less than one-third of its height. Mowing your lawn less than one-third of its height can cause severe damage to the grass.
Should You Change Direction Each Time You Mow?
Yes! Why? Because when grass is mowed in the same direction over and over, it’s trained to lean one way. Also, going over the same tracks each time can cause rutting and soil compaction, which is essentially when soil particles get packed too tightly, making it hard for water and air to reach lawn roots.
Also, mowing in just one direction makes the lawn look worn out over time. Ideally, grass stems should grow straight up and stand tall. Mowing in different directions helps make that happen.