What Is the Proper Mowing Height for Grass in Your Yard?

Cutting grass with Toro lawn mower.

How low–or high–should I cut the grass in my lawn? -Rasheem

The proper height for mowing your lawn depends on the type of grass, the season, and the growing conditions. For example, bentgrass can be mowed under 1/2″ while tall fescues should be 3-4 inches high. Choosing the correct mowing height is important since:

  • Proper mowing creates a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant lawn.
  • Mowing discourages undesirable grasses and weeds while encouraging your chosen grass type. For example, mowing fescue higher will discourage Bermuda grass which is low-growing.

Pointers for Setting Mower Cutting Height

  • Shady grasses grow better if mowed a little higher.
  • Raise the blade to the top of the cutting range for your type of grass (see chart below) during drought conditions in summer to reduce the stress on your lawn.
  • Cut warm-season grasses at the lower end of the cutting range in early spring to remove dead blades.
  • In general, cool-season grasses do best when cut as high as possible.
  • Different varieties within the same grass type may vary as to the best cutting height, so try to identify the specific variety you have (such as ‘Zenith’ zoysia or ‘Empire’ zoysia), then check with a sod or seed supplier for cutting recommendations.

Recommended Mowing Heights for Lawn Grasses

The chart below gives general guidelines for grass cutting height.

Grass Type Mowing Height
Bahia grass 2” – 3”
Bentgrass ¼” – ¾”
Bermuda ½” – 1½”
Buffalograss 2” – 3”
Centipede 1½” – 2½”
Fine fescue 1½” – 2½”
Kentucky Bluegrass 1½” – 2½”
Ryegrass 1½” – 2½”
St. Augustine 2” – 4”
Tall fescue 2” – 3”
Zoysia ½” – 1½”

Further Information



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18 Comments on “What Is the Proper Mowing Height for Grass in Your Yard?”

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  • Official Comment:

    Thomas Boni Says:
    June 7th, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Hi, Mike! Sand spurs can be a nuisance (and a painful one at that!) There are immediate solutions, but patching the problem just makes it nice; it doesn’t actually fix the underlying issue. Here’s a suggestion that could have long-lasting effects.
    Good luck!

  • Mike hill Says:
    May 30th, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    I am battling sand spurs in Sw Florida. I was told they had to be removed by hand. Any suggestions?

  • Mike maschek Says:
    May 27th, 2018 at 6:15 pm

    We live in Charleston SC along the coast we put in Zoysia grass. We usderstand the proper height to mowing height is 1 1/2 “. If to short it burns out. I’d this ok? How often do we water & for how long?
    In the pass we have got brown leave spot in the late summer how do we prevent this from happening?
    Sure look for to your response & any other suggestions.
    Thank you,

  • Official Comment:

    thomas Says:
    February 27th, 2018 at 9:52 am

    Hi, Wendy,
    We recommend referring to the general guidelines chart and using the high end for the type of grass you have.
    Thanks for reading, and thank for your question!

  • Wendy Says:
    February 27th, 2018 at 9:43 am

    What could be the ideal height cut during winter season?

  • Jim Says:
    May 23rd, 2017 at 1:06 pm

    JERRY and Claude just seen this post. If you want to get rid of creeping charlie, clover, sticker bushes, dandelions I highly recommend Lesco Momentum FX. Its used in a hose sprayer or spot sprayer. Don’t use when planting new seed or when extremely hot out. Day or 2 after mowing is ideal. Follow instructions on bottle. I battled creeping charlie for years till I found this stuff. Went from 80% creeping charlie to about 1% ( still comes under my wooden fence from my neighbors house) .

  • JERRY Says:
    April 20th, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    Need some advice about a weed and how to get rid of it, I do believe it is called creeping Charlie, had it last year, in fact a lot of people did even in other towns, it is purple in color, A big Thanks if you can help me………

  • Bill harrer Says:
    August 17th, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    I live in minnesota my neighbor likes her grass at 5 in. I cut mine at 4 in . All my life I have been cutting it at 4 in. I said 5in may be too high. So what is the ideal height ?

    July 6th, 2016 at 7:42 am


  • ssegawa samuel Says:
    February 24th, 2016 at 9:31 am

    Thank you for this,I have Bermuda of almost a pitch, I am in Uganda and now we experience summer season, were by we receive 30•c every day, so I want to know how often do we have to cut my grass so that it can service during this very hot day? And which level should I cut it on?

  • barbara castillo Says:
    October 13th, 2015 at 8:36 am

    People used to love well-maintained property. It allows us to enjoy outdoors and boost our self-confidence to show how clean and neat our properties. Thanks for posting those wonderful ideas. It’s a great help!

  • Ken Says:
    September 9th, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    How do I tell what kind of grass mine is so I can figure out how high to cut it?

  • jack Vance Says:
    June 5th, 2015 at 6:24 am

    How do you measure the mowing height? I set the mower on a flat surface then measure from the bottom of the deck to the surface. Is that the correct way?

  • jerryhall Says:
    May 3rd, 2015 at 12:34 pm

    Live on Roscoe street, pay property taxes to Metro Gov. as well as Goodlettsville, rear of my home (hollywood st at Dickerson Rd). They will not cut grass until made to by gov. if we pay metro gov property can the owners be made to keep cut, they always say not in our budget to cut. This is a misquata, rats, and snake problem.
    Please do not say this is City Of Goodlettsville to make the owers cut if so why do we pay Metro Gov. property taxes

  • Aurora Says:
    April 22nd, 2015 at 8:20 pm

    I have been cutting my zoysia 3 inches high but was talking with an Ag agent this week and he told me that 3 inches in too tall because it will cause thatch buildup. I have been using my thatching rake, and sure enough there is a build up of thatch around the roots. I’m lowering my mower to 2 inches.

  • Jonathon Says:
    July 21st, 2014 at 2:54 pm

    During cooler seasons you could mow your lawn until there is approximately three inches left. If its during a warmer season you can mow your grass until there is about two inches left in height. However, with each cut its important to not mow more than 1/3 of the height of your grass.

    Hope this helps!

  • John Says:
    July 14th, 2014 at 8:51 am

    I think you also have to consider your lawn when choosing cutting height. Such as drainage, pitch of yard, do you have shade or does it get full Sun. My lawn generally has little shade and is flat to pitched. I tend to mow between 3″ and 4″ depending on temp and moisture. In the middle of Summer I tend to raise height closer to 4″ and since my mower only has 1″ increments I feel 3″ in a dry Summer is too low. Yes, I have neighbors who generally scalp their lawn I guess so they don’t have to mow as often. But it certainly shows how unhealthy that can be.

  • Mr. Sandy Kodish Says:
    July 7th, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    In the spring, mow frequently…at least once a week. It may not appear that the lawn needs to be cut but by doing so will stimulates growth and helps to choke out winter weeds. I have found that keeping the grass at the top of the recommended cut height in the summer months will protect the roots from the summer heat and help stay off bugs. I do not know why this works since I am not trained in this field. Trial and lots of error over many years makes the difference. And lastly, use a good quality fertilizer. The discount brands are less forgiving when it comes to overuse. Some of them are not time released products and can easily destroy a beautiful yard with an overzealous dosing.

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What Is the Proper Mowing Height for Grass in Your Yard?