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Mowing Chart

Common Grass Species and Best Mowing Heights

Selecting the correct mowing height depends primarily upon the species of grass in the lawn. The appropriate cutting heights for the common lawn grasses found in Ohio are listed in the chart.

Mowing height for Ohio lawn grasses.
Type of Grass Recommended Mowing Height
Kentucky bluegrass1 1/2" - 2 1/2"
Fine Fescue 2" - 2 1/2"
Perennial Ryegrass 2" - 2 1/2"
Tall Fescue2 1/2" - 3"
Zoysiagrass1/2" - 1"
Bermudagrass1/2" - 1"

Lawn grasses, like most other plants, must manufacture food through the process of photosynthesis if they are to survive and grow. This process occurs mainly in the leaves of the plant. Typically, the more leaf area, the more food produced. Grasses cut at low mowing heights cannot sustain the rate of photosynthesis necessary to produce enough food to maintain a healthy plant because of a low leaf area. The short mowing height weakens the grass and increases its susceptibility to weed invasion, disease and injury from drought and summer heat. Higher mowing heights favor deeper grass roots, a greater number of roots and an overall healthier grass plant. The deeper, more prolific root system increases the capability of the grass to acquire soil water and nutrients. This, in turn, makes lawn maintenance easier.

It is advisable to raise the cutting height of the lawn slightly (by 1/2" plus) in the summer to provide more shade to the lower portion of the grass plant and soil to reduce heat stress and, also, to increase the leaf area available for food production.

John R. Street
William E. Pound

Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet

 



 


 
 
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