Mowing is one of the primary cultural practices of maintaining a healthy lawn. It involves removing a portion of turfgrass shoots, or leaves, to encourage vigorous growth and maintain turfgrass at a desirable height. Mowing frequency and height are important factors to consider when developing a management plan for your home lawn.
Many turfgrass professionals recommend the one-third rule, which states: Never remove more than one-third of the leaf blade height in a single mowing. Although widely known as a “rule,” it is more of a general guideline. The benefit of this rule lies more in regular mowing than it does in measuring and removing exactly one-third of turfgrass height. Regular mowing at the appropriate height can prevent scalping and reduce weed encroachment. In Louisiana, follow the recommended mowing heights (see table) per turfgrass species to promote a healthy, vigorous turfgrass.
Mowing frequency is dependent on the turfgrass species as well as the utility and desired aesthetics of the lawn. In Louisiana, homeowners may mow their lawn on average once a week or three to four times per month during the active growing season.
|Turfgrass dormant||Turfgrass dormant||Turfgrass active growth season||Turfgrass active growth season||Turfgrass active growth season||Turfgrass active growth season||Turfgrass active growth season||Turfgrass active growth season||Turfgrass active growth season||Turfgrass active growth season||Turfgrass dormant||Turfgrass dormant|
Fast-growing species, such as bermudagrass, may need to be mowed more frequently compared to slower-growing species, such as zoysiagrass. Regular mowing increases shoot density and limits the volume of clippings after mowing. Large clipping piles, if not removed, block light penetration and will eventually thin out underlying turfgrass. Mowing while turfgrass is dormant is generally not necessary as turfgrass is not actively growing during this period.
|Turfgrass Species||Mowing Height|
|Bermudagrass||1 to 2 inches|
|Centipedegrass||1 to 2.5 inches|
|St. Augustinegrass||2.5 to 3 inches|
|Zoysiagrass||1 to 2.5 inches|
The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture