Skip to main content

Mowing Matters: How your mowing practices may be causing problems with your lawn

One of the most important things you can do to help keep your grass thicker and greener while minimizing weeds and fungal diseases during the stress of summer is to mow it at its proper height. The proper height for Fescue is 3"-3.5". The only times we recommend cutting it lower is the first time you mow in late winter and just before your fall renovation. A little shorter in the spring and fall when temperatures are consistently below 80 degrees is probably ok, but not too low or you may be compromising root growth during critical periods when your turf needs to build its strength. When daytime temperatures start flirting with the 80 degree mark, it is time to raise up the mower deck.

Keeping Fescue grasses long has several benefits.
  • It shades the soil from the sun, which keeps your grass's roots moist longer. 
  • The shaded soil also prevents some weed seeds from germinating and sprouting. In our experience, homeowners who mow their lawns lower than 3 inches usually have more weed problems. 
  • Cutting Fescue higher reduces the stress on the turfgrass plant, which makes it less susceptible to fungal disease and drought stress.
  • Keeping the grass higher, allows the turfgrass plant to focus its energy on growing deeper, stronger roots rather than on recovering from close cutting. 

While some people have a preference for a shorter lawn, in our experience Fescue lawns that are mowed higher stay nicer through the growing season than those mowed lower, which tend to suffer more damage from heat, drought, and disease during the summer. If you mow your own lawn, set your mower at 3"-3.5". If a lawn service is cutting your grass too low, ask them to cut it higher.

Go to Crownover Green's main website.

Popular posts from this blog

My grass is brown during the winter. Is it going to be ok?

Winter can be hard on a lawn, even in the Wake Forest, NC area where the cool season is typically relatively mild with short periods of freezing temperatures. Along with sometimes frigid temperatures will come browning of your turf. Is brown grass during wintertime healthy grass, or is it a sign of a problem or deficiency?

Most plants experience color changes during winters in our transitional climate zone, and all of the turfgrasses that are common in our area experience some degree of browning.

Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass during Winter

Bermudagrass and Zoysiagrass, which are the most common warm-season turfgrasses in our area, turn sandy tan in color during dormancy from late fall through early spring. This is normal. There is nothing that can be done to keep warm season grasses from turning brown in winter, although some people who do not like the dormant color of their lawn choose to "paint" their brown grass green or overseed with a winter ryegrass, which is green. Berm…

How much should I water my lawn?

We often talk with folks about watering lawns and the most frequently asked questions related to watering are 1) "How often should I water my grass?" and 2) "How long should I run my sprinklers?"

How often should I water my grass?

The answer to this question is simple: Usually not more than twice per week unless you are establishing a new lawn with sod or seed. More frequent watering may be causing more problems with your lawn.

Many people we talk with say they water twice a day, every day, every other day, or at least three times per week. If you are one of these people you may be enabling your lawn's addiction to water and creating weed and disease problems. The frequent watering offenders tend to be those who have automated in-ground irrigation systems.

The problem with frequent watering is not that you are using more water than necessary (although you might be). The problem is that by watering frequently, you may be preventing your turf from reaching its ful…

How can I get rid of moles in my yard?

Moles can cause damage to a landscape, including turfgrass, small annual plants, and paver patios or walkways. They tunnel unseen through the top few inches of soil in search of prey, and leave a trail of damage behind them. In a lawn, the tunnels appear as narrow ridges that may have a small hole here or there where the mole popped its head out. In a lawn with a lot of mole activity, the surface may feel spongy as it is walked upon. These are tell-tale signs of a mole problem.

Many homeowners think that applying a grub control solution will deter moles. Unfortunately, this is not the case, though you will find lots of pest control companies in the Raleigh, NC area and sites all over the web that tell you this will work. You may also have heard this from some of your friends and neighbors. They say killing the food source of moles will send the moles elsewhere, but grubs are not the main food source of moles. While they do eat grubs, the main staple in a mole's diet is earthworms.…