What Is the Best Height to Cut Grass?

Updated: Sep. 29, 2022

There is more to a healthy lawn than watering and fertilizing.

A well-maintained and fertilized lawn can be one of the best ways to increase your home’s curb appeal. With a combination of soil additives, fertilizers, and tender, loving care, you can change your lawn from scraggly to golf-course green in one season. But maintaining a lawn involves a lot of care, including knowing what is the best height to cut grass.

What Is the Best Height for Cutting Grass?

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. A cut that is robbing the grass of its food source: grass blades. Taller grass also shades the ground, slowing weed growth and water loss from the soil.

The ideal length of your lawn depends on your climate, but most experts agree you should keep your grass between 2 1/2 inches to three inches long, with the last cut of the season remaining the same.

Does the Type of Grass Impact Cutting Height?

Most grass cutting heights are between 2-3 inches in length, according to Pennington‘s full list. Two exceptions that should be cut at an inch height or less are Bermudagrass and Zoysia, which are both warm-season grass types that thrive at temperatures between 60 and 75 degrees.

grassmathieukor / Getty Images

How Does Grass Height Change in Season?

There is no universal date for when you should stop mowing your yard for the year. How long your grass will continue to grow in the colder months will depend on a lot of variables, especially if you live in a particularly hot or cold region of the country. Mowing your lawn well into the fall is important, so as long as your grass keeps growing, keep cutting it.

How Do You Measure the Height of Grass?

You can use a tape measure to measure your lawn mower’s base height while adjusting the wheels on a flat surface, like a walkway. It is important to keep lawn mower blades sharp for clean cutting and avoiding pulling the grass.

lawn mower cutting grasskurhan/Shutterstock

How Do You Change Height on a Mower?

This will depend on the type of lawn mower you have, so make sure to check with your owner’s manuals. Most lawn mower cut heights are controlled by lowering or raising the wheels with a lever located next to each wheel. Make sure each wheel is set to the same height on either side of the lawn mower.

What Happens if You Cut Grass Too Short?

Cutting grass too short can damage the soil and the lawn mower itself. Short grass also will not do as good of a job blocking the sun, which can dry out the soil and create dead patches.