Irrigation alone is not enough to keep a grass plant healthy. Many other variables go into the equation for a beautiful lawn. Often we hear about different applications of fertilizer, lime, pest control, soil types, and how often you need to run your lawn sprinkler system. But when was the last time you got advice about mowing height?
Turf grasses are well adapted to frequent mowing, but mowing too short will reduce the vigor of the plants by reducing their ability to manufacture food. Also, there is a direct relationship between cutting height and the amount of roots a grass plant can maintain. Lowering the mowing height reduces the root system. This restricts the ability of the plant to absorb water and nutrients. In recent years, recommendations for mowing height have steadily increased for home lawns. Earlier recommendations for a cutting height of 1.5 inches were common. Current standards suggest between 2 and 3.75 inches. Higher cut lawn grasses are more stress tolerant. This is especially important during the summer heat period. Taller grass plants with higher density have a profound shading effect on the soil surface, which reduces germination of weed seeds, particularly crabgrass. This is an excellent way to reduce herbicide use, especially where the lawn is properly fertilized and watered to maintain vigor.
So consider raising the height of tour mower deck and cutting a little more frequently and your lawn might just reward you with less weeds, less need for applying chemicals, and a beautiful emerald green color.