Which Cutting Height To Use On Your Lawn Mower?

Many lawn mowers today have a central cutting height adjustment, some devices must be adjusted separately on two or four wheels. Either way, it shouldn’t be a big problem to adjust the cutting height.

Which Cutting Height To Use On Your Lawn Mower?

Experts recommend a cutting height between 3.5 and 4.5 cm. We find: A concrete and generally applicable centimeter specification for the optimal lawn cut is difficult to recommend and in the end is also a matter of taste. If there is a lot of moss in the lawn, for example, the grasses should tend to stay longer.

The cutting height you should use on your lawn mower depends on several factors, including the type of grass, the time of year, and your desired lawn appearance.

How high to set the lawn mower for this must be tested out, because even the soil conditions make a difference. A heavy gasoline mower on soft ground must be set differently in height than a light electric lawn mower on hard ground. There are three lawns in our allotment. Two of them I mow at the medium height (means level 3 on our mower), on the third one I go up to level 4 because the soil and the lawn are different there. Otherwise, the grasses there would be too short.

Here are some guidelines to help you determine the right cutting height for your lawn:

  1. Grass Type:
    • Different types of grass have different optimal cutting heights. For cool-season grasses like Kentucky bluegrass, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass, a cutting height of 2.5 to 3.5 inches is generally recommended. Warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass, Zoysia grass, and St. Augustine grass are often cut at a lower height, between 1 to 2.5 inches.
  2. Seasonal Considerations:
    • Cutting height may vary with the seasons. During the growing season, it’s common to mow at the higher end of the recommended range. In late fall or winter, you can cut your lawn slightly shorter for the last mowing of the year.
  3. Mowing Frequency:
    • Frequent mowing at a higher height is often better for your lawn than infrequent mowing at a shorter height. “Mow little and often” is a good rule of thumb. Avoid removing more than one-third of the grass blade in a single mowing, as this can stress the grass and lead to a less healthy lawn.
  4. Drought and Heat Conditions:
    • During drought or hot summer weather, raising the cutting height of your mower can help your lawn retain moisture and cope with stress. Taller grass provides shade to the soil and reduces water evaporation.
  5. Shade Conditions:
    • In shaded areas, where grass may receive less sunlight, it’s often better to mow at the higher end of the recommended height range. Taller grass blades can capture more sunlight for photosynthesis and provide better coverage in low-light conditions.
  6. Lawn Health:
    • Cutting your lawn at the appropriate height encourages a healthier root system and can make your lawn more resilient to pests, diseases, and environmental stress.
  7. Desired Lawn Appearance:
    • Your personal preference for lawn appearance also plays a role. Some people prefer a manicured, golf-course-like look and may mow shorter. Others prefer a more natural, meadow-like appearance and may opt for a higher cutting height.
  8. Mulching or Bagging:
    • If you’re mulching your grass clippings, you can mow at a slightly higher height, as the finely chopped clippings will decompose and return nutrients to the soil. If you’re bagging clippings, you may need to mow more frequently to maintain a tidy appearance.
  9. Lawn Mower Type:
    • The type and condition of your lawn mower also affect the cutting height. Different mowers may have different height adjustments, so it’s important to select the appropriate setting.
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In general, it’s a good practice to start with a higher cutting height and gradually reduce it as needed to achieve your desired lawn appearance. Keep in mind that setting your mower too low can lead to scalping (cutting too much grass at once), which can damage your lawn and create an uneven surface.

Consult your local agricultural extension service or lawn care experts for specific recommendations tailored to your region and grass type. By adjusting your lawn mower’s cutting height based on these factors, you can maintain a healthy and attractive lawn throughout the year.

It is better to mow the lawn more often

The depth of cut also depends on how high the lawn is before you cut it. You should ideally not cut more than a third or half of the existing blade length, otherwise the grass will be weakened. In practice, of course, this is hard to keep up unless you have a lot of time and mowing the lawn is your hobby. However, if you want to take good care of your lawn, you should really mow more often and shorten less of the length of the blades.

In the summer, you shouldn’t keep your lawn too short. Slightly longer blades of grass shade the ground and ensure that the soil does not dry out so quickly. The lawn itself also keeps better during long dry periods or periods of high heat if the grasses are a little longer.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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