What height should grass be cut in summer

Did you know that as the seasons change, so should some of your lawn requirements? Yep, adjusting factors such as the lawn height will help your lawn stay healthy and beautiful. This might then make you wonder, what height should grass be cut in summer?

Grass should be cut at 2 to 4 inches (5.08 to 10.16 cm) in summer, depending on the variety. The mowing height of warm-season grasses should be about 2 to 2.5 inches (5.08 to 6.35 cm), while that of cool-season grasses should be around 3 to 3.5 inches (7.62 to 8.89 cm). Varieties such as tall fescue and perennial ryegrass can be cut at 4 inches (10.16 cm).

In the rest of this article, you’ll know how to cut your lawn correctly during summer. Get acquainted with essential summer lawn care practices to keep your lawn safe and healthy. Read on!

The Best Height to Cut Grass in Summer

While summer months are for spending more time outdoors enjoying your lawn, they’re also when your lawn undergoes so much stress.

Stress from high temperatures, harsh sunlight, inadequate water, and, in some cases, weeds and pests.

As such, mowing in summer should be all about minimizing this pressure. 

One way to achieve this is by allowing your grass to be an inch taller than its optimal height. When cutting the grass, you’ll also want to raise your mower height by at least half an inch.

You might be asking why you should cut your lawn higher in summer. Here are the reasons. 

  • A higher lawn will insulate the soil underneath from the summer heat, reducing the evaporation rate.
  • The shading will also hinder weed invasion. Shade reduces the quantity of sunlight reaching the ground, which would otherwise cause the seeds of weeds to germinate. 
  • Longer grass blades bring about more profound and strong roots, which will help absorb moisture deep inside the soil. Food production occurs at the grass blades. Cutting the grass too short will reduce the surface area for photosynthesis, weakening the root system and slowing its development. 

Still wondering what height should grass be cut in summer? Let’s get down to the specifics.

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Summer Mowing for Cool-Season vs. Warm-Season Grasses

The ideal height for cutting grass in summer trickles down to your variety of grass. Different types of turf perform best at different heights. 

You’ll, therefore, want to ensure that you’re catering to your specific type when cutting.

Cool-season turf should be cut at about 3 to 4 inches high (7.62 to 10.16 cm). For warm-season turf, cut them at 2 to 2.5 inches (5.08 to 6.35 cm) tall. 

Grass TypeCut When This Tall (inches)Recommended Cutting Height (inches)
Tall fescue4-6”3.5-4”
Fine fescue4-6”3-4”
Kentucky bluegrass 4-5.5”3-3.5”
Perennial ryegrass4-6”3-4”
Bermuda 2.5-3”1-2”
Centipede 2.5-3”1-2”
St. Augustine3-4”2-2.5”
Summer mowing for cool season and warm season grasses

Grass Cutting Tips During Summer

As mentioned earlier, mowing in summer should be all about relieving your lawn from the season’s stresses. If performed correctly, your lawn will survive the summer heat and flourish. 

Besides increasing the cutting height of your mower, as mentioned above, here are other important guidelines to keep your grass safe and healthy.

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Follow the One-Third Rule

The rule of thumb is never to cut more than a third of your lawn’s height at a go, as it puts too much stress on the grass.

While this rule applies all year round, you’ll want to emphasize it more during summertime.

Cutting more than a third of the grass blade will cause the grass to direct more of its resources to the tips in an attempt to recover. This will weaken the root system.

Also, cutting your lawn too short (scalping) risks obliterating the growing points. This will lower your lawn’s ability to recover quickly and can cause ugly browning and dying of grass. 

If your lawn has grown longer than the recommended height, cut off under a third of the height, wait a few days for the grass to rejuvenate, then cut a little more.

Keep Your Mower Blades Sharp

It’s vital always to keep your mower blades sharp to ensure a clean cut. 

Blunt mower blades chew the grass and leave dead ends, increasing the likelihood of damage from heat, pests, and diseases.

The plant then has to redirect lots of nutrients and energy to repair itself. Summer shouldn’t be the time for this!

In short, a clean cut implies less trauma and recovery time.

Cut Your Grass Regularly

It’s essential to mow your lawn more often in summer. It’s the period when lawn growth is at its peak.

Frequent mowing at the ideal height will also ensure thick and robust regrowth. It encourages lateral growth of new shoots, resulting in a healthier and denser turf. 

In addition, consistently cutting the top portion of the blades will cause the grass to focus more on developing its roots to sustain itself. The result is a more robust root system.

Final Words

If you were curious about what height grass should be cut in summer, you now have an answer. 

Mowing in summer should be aimed at keeping the grass healthy instead of stressing it more. For this reason:

  • Keep the grass at least half an inch taller than usual to insulate the ground.
  • Use sharp mowing blades to ensure a clean cut.
  • Cut your lawn regularly for a healthy, dense turf.
  • Cut one-third or less of the grass’s total height at a time. 

Establish these grass-cutting habits and enjoy a healthy, lush lawn all season.

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