My lawn looks very good right now, but when summer comes, my neighbor’s lawn looks thicker and greener. He says I should raise my mowing height. Does mowing height really make that much difference? The golf course mows fairways shorter than I do and they always look good.
Not only mowing height but mowing frequency are very important for best lawn appearance. Although golf fairways are mowed short for best playing performance, they are also typically mowed every three days. They also use more fertilizer, water and pesticides.
Lawns should be mowed so no more than two-fifths of the blades are removed at one time. If mowed at 1 inch they should be mowed by the time they reach 1 ¾ inches. If mowed at 1 ½ inches, they can be allowed to grow to 2 ½ inches. The higher mowing height allows for less frequent mowing.
The leaf blades are the manufacturing plant of the grass plant. The more leaf surface, the more food can be made for plant growth. That is why higher mowing height usually produces thicker lawns.
Research has shown that grass roots are directly proportional to the leaf surface. Lawns mowed at 2 inches have twice the root system of lawns mowed at 1 inch. When weather warms, the extra roots make a big difference in grass performance. Not only that, but a larger root system means less frequent irrigation and a smaller amount of water is needed.