What height should grass be cut in spring

You are keen to mow your lawn but unsure what height should grass be cut in spring. Don’t worry, you are not alone. Most lawn owners are nervous about getting the correct cutting height for the first mow of the year, but it’s really not as complicated as you may think. 

In spring, grass should be cut at 0.5-4 inches (1.27-10.16 cm) high, depending on the variety and geographic location. Cool-season grasses can be cut at 3-4 inches (7.62-10.16 cm) tall, while warm-season grasses at 0.5-1.5 inches (1.27 to 3.81 cm). Also, cutting the grass a bit shorter in early spring is advisable before raising the mower height.

If you’re looking to know what height should grass be cut in spring, keep reading this post. We will help you determine the proper mowing height for your grass variety and provide some valuable tips.

Best Height to Cut Grass in Spring

So much goes into mowing your lawn in spring than simply cutting it every weekend. 

Spring lawn care aims to help your grass quickly bounce back from winter dormancy and prepare for the coming hot summer months. 

As such, knowing when and how to cut your grass in spring is critical to the health and longevity of your lawn. 

The first step is getting the mowing height right. Why is it important? You may wonder.

Well, cutting the fragile, fresh grass too short (scalping) early in spring can stress the plant before it fully bounces back from dormancy. Remember, the plant derives its nutrients from the grass blade through photosynthesis.

So, removing too much of it means less nutrients and, consequently, less energy to sprout.

Raising the mower height will help your lawn maximize its root growth potential. Deep roots mean more food and water storage for the plant’s survival in summer.

So, what height should grass be cut in spring?

The ideal cutting height for your lawn will be determined by a few factors, including:

  • Your grass variety 
  • Your lawn’s soil condition
  • Your area’s climatic condition

It’s, therefore, best to consult with a lawn care expert near you to get the most appropriate mowing height for your lawn this spring.

All in all, we shall look at the ideal mowing heights for different grass types to help you determine yours.

Find Out: What Height Should Grass Be Cut in Summer?

Optimum Spring Mowing Height for Grass Types

Mowing in spring

Different grass varieties have different optimal heights. Maintaining your lawn at the appropriate height for your grass type will help keep it dense and healthy.

You can cut cool-season varieties to a height of 3-4 inches (7.62-10.16 cm). They include:

  • Tall and fine fescues 
  • Annual and perennial ryegrasses
  • Kentucky bluegrass

Fescues can be cut up to 4.5 inches (11.43 cm) tall.

Warm-season varieties like to be kept shorter. So, aim at a height of about 1-1.5 inches (2.54-3.81 cm). These include:

  • Zoysia grasses
  • Centipede grasses
  • Bent grasses 
  • Bermuda grasses
  • Couch grasses
  • Buffalo grasses
  • Kikuyu grasses

Bentgrass varieties can be cut up to 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) short.

Also Read: Scarifier Vs. Aerator: What Is the Main Difference? 

Useful Tips for Cutting Your Spring Lawn

For the first cut of the season, you may want to mow your grass slightly shorter, say ½ inch (1.27 cm), than the recommended length. 

This will rid your lawn of any winter debris. The shorter length will also allow sunlight to penetrate the ground, promoting new growth. 

You can then raise your mowing height for the following consecutive season cuttings. Consider increasing the settings by half an inch every one to two weeks until you attain the recommended height. 

Experts also recommend not to mow your lawn too early into the season. By doing so, you risk damaging the germinating grass.  

Giving the grass time to sprout fully, mature, and withstand cutting is best before bringing out your mower. 

You can wait at least two weeks after germination, or after spring flowers appear to start mowing your lawn. 

Lastly, it goes without saying that you should always adhere to the one-third rule. Cut only a third or less of the grass blade length at a time. Removing too much at once will harm your lawn. 

If the grass is too tall, cut in sessions in between days. It may take you longer, but your grass will thank you.


The first mowing after winter can be nerve-wracking as you may not know precisely what height should grass be cut in spring or when to begin mowing.

We hope you have an answer now. 

Generally, you should cut your lawn according to your grass type’s recommended height. Be careful not to cut too short, especially in early spring as you’ll be compromising your lawn’s ability to bounce back.

Also, don’t cut too early in the spring. It’s best to let the grass sprout, mature, and grow longer to establish a strong root system before beginning the mowing process.

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