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How to cut your lawn to the best height

How to cut your lawn to the best height
(Image credit: Getty)

One of the crucial steps in lawn care is cutting your grass to just the right height. Whether you’re using one of the best gas lawnmowers, electric lawnmowers, or even a rider lawn mower, it’s important for the health of your lawn to be mindful of just how fine you’re cutting it.

We’ve included the exact heights for cutting your lawn in both the winter and summer within this guide, as well as plenty of advice on how to get a healthy, thriving lawn. There’s no rule that fits all when it comes to backyards given the variety of conditions and climates across the US, so we’ve made sure to both accommodate warmer and colder climates as part of our advice.

When it comes to looking after your backyard, lawn mowers are an investment that will change your outside spaces for the better, but they can be pricey. Be sure to check for any cheap lawn mower deals before you make your purchase, and find the most affordable garden solution for you.

In warmer months, cutting the lawn is a task that most of us find ourselves doing regularly, and it can transform the way your garden looks in a flash. Letting grass get to an unmanageable state is not only unsightly but also provides a perfect breeding ground for slugs and pests.  The gardening experts at Troy-Bilt have shared their tips on the first steps to take in finding your ideal lawn length.

“Identifying your plant hardiness zone is the first step in maintaining the ideal mowing height for the health of your lawn, as you can better understand your growing environment and what thrives best in your location.”

For more on how to get your lawn looking lovely, check out our feature on how to create lawn stripes. 

What length should you cut your grass?  

Cool-season grass 

Troy-Bilt explains that states in the northern region of the US will most likely have cool-season grass. These grasses are much better at dealing with changing temperatures and see the biggest growth in the spring and fall seasons. 

You should cut your cool-season grass at a height of between 2 and 3 inches. Troy-Bilt explains that for ryegrass, 2 inches is the optimum height. The experts add ‘because of its fast growth and shallow root systems, ryegrass should be mowed often but shouldn’t exceed 2 inches’. For Kentucky Bluegrass, 2.5 inches is an ideal height, and Fescue grass can be cut at 3 inches. 

(Image credit: Getty)

Warm-season grass

Typically, as the name suggests, you’ll find warm-season grasses in the more southern regions of the US. Warm-season grasses do most of their growing in the summer months and then tend to lie dormant when it’s cooler. 

Troy-Bilt recommends an average lawn length of 2 inches for warm-season grasses. Examples of this type of grass include Bermuda and Zoysia, which should be cut at 2 inches high, whereas St. Augustine grass, which typically grows near the coast, should only be cut ‘after exceeding 3 inches in height’.

As a general rule, whichever type of grass you have, it’s best to avoid cutting it any shorter than 2 inches.