Cutting your lawn, and understanding the science behind when and how to cut your grass is one of the important parts to maintenance for your lawn. Cutting at the right time and knowing the right length to cut can help with several things in your lawn, while not doing this can cause more problems and maintenance than was expected.
It is said that you should allow the grass to stay at an average of two to two and a half inches. When you mow, you should only remove the top third of the blade. When your grass is a little over three inches high to three and a half inches at most, is the best time to mow your grass. You can either estimate these heights, or you can set your lawn mower to be able to cut this much. There are special made lawnmowers that will help to determine the length in which you should cut your grass with.
Why Length Matters
The measurements that have been made for cutting grass have been averaged out for several reasons. The main purpose of this is that allowing this much length in your grass allows nutrients to continue to move through each blade. When the blades of grass are growing, they take a certain amount of soil, water and sun in order to grow properly. When you cut the tips of this off, they have to adjust how much of the nutrients they should continue to get. If this change is too drastic, it will cause problems with the grass.
This moves into the second reason as why you should not cut the blades of grass too short. Because of the change in size and nutrients, cutting blades too short will stress out the plants. This is because they have to adjust to the different length.
The second type of stress that they receive from the shorter blades is if the weather is hotter, the blades will not have enough protection provided from the length that they once had. Too much of a difference in blade length can then cause problems by either causing brown patches, wilting, or grass burn.
A third reason why it is always good to only cut this much off, and consistently, is because each time you cut your grass, it grows back thicker and faster. If you only cut the grass by a third, it will continue to be able to receive the same amount of nutrients and sun. By doing this, it will be able to grow back at a faster pace, turning even more green and filling out space more than it did before.
On the maintenance side, you won’t have to remove as many grass clippings when you don’t cut as much off. It is known to be healthy to leave some of the grass clippings that you have cut on the grass, as this provides more nutrients as well as protection to the growth of the other grass blades. With this in mind, if you leave too many grass clippings, it will take away the sunlight and water that the plants are supposed to be receiving.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the grass should not be mowed when the grass is wet. This causes a spreading of diseases, as the dampness that is on the blades of grass can not be evaporated, and eventually begins to mold or turn into a disease.
Mowing with wet grass may also cause you to slip and injure yourself. The best time to mow a lawn is in the early evening. This will prevent the grass from getting stressed. The sun in the afternoon usually stresses out the grass and the mowing in the afternoon will only add to this.
Grass should always remain at a length between two and three inches. When it begins to move past three inches is the best time to mow the grass. Beyond this, you should never take off more than one third of the blade.
If grass is not mowed at the right height, it can cause problems with stress, nutrients, and diseases spreading throughout your lawn. By cutting your grass at the right height, and mowing when it is about three inches tall, you will not only keep your lawn healthy, but you will also provide a better looking, greener lawn.