How Short to Cut Grass and Other Florida Grass Cutting Tips


August 22, 2018 - Brian Reynolds

Ah, a summer in Florida is unlike anything else. Just picture it – enjoying a cold glass of lemonade on your front lawn, sitting on a sun chair, soaking up the rays. A nice picture isn’t it? That is unless your grass is overgrown and your lawn looks more like a jungle than anything else. Or, if it’s dry and short, and barren like a dessert. Not what you want your luscious lawn to be. Keeping your Florida grass neat and beautiful seems like an easy task, but there’s more to this home maintenance past time than meets the eye. In this article, we will let you in on the secrets of how short to cut your grass, as well as other grass cutting tips.

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Cutting Your Grass at the Right Height

Cutting your grass at the perfect height is a big part of what makes your lawn healthy and happy. If you cut your grass too short, it might become weak and have a poor root system. This can cause weed infestations or even diseases. On the other hand, if you don’t cut your grass enough and let it go a little too wild, it creates an environment for insects and pests. And it will be hard to mow the next time you do get around to cutting grass! Of course, the ideal height to mow your lawn is dependent on the type of grass you have for your lawn. But as a rule of thumb, you should cut your grass often enough so that no more than 1/3 of the leaf blade height is removed every time you mow. Sound complicated? It’s not really! To the set mower height, place it on a flat surface and measure the distance from the ground to the blade. And voila! It’s important to leave as much leaf surface as possible so that photosynthesis can take place. This is especially important for grass that must endure environmental or site stresses.

When is a Good Time to Mow Florida Grass?

Ah, the age-old question – when is the right time for me to mow my lawn? Well, unfortunately, this isn’t a one-answer-fits-all kind of question. The best cutting height of your grass is widely dependent on the type of grass you have, its growing habits and the width of the leaves. Grass species that grow horizontally have thin, narrow leaf blades are generally mowed shorter than upright-growing grass that has coarser, wider leaf blades. Two of the most common types of grass in Florida are Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass. While Bermuda grass must be mowed at low heights because of its many narrow leaf blades and low growth habit, St. Augustine grass should be mowed at higher heights because it has coarse-textured leaf blades.

How Often Must I Cut My Grass?

The frequency at which you must cut your grass is dependent on the growth rate of your grass. And this depends on the type of species, the time of year, and the weather. If you happen to live in North and Central Florida, you may not have to cut your grass during the winter months. During these colder months, your lawn begins to go into a state of dormancy, so it won’t grow as fast or be as green. That means less need for mowing and less watering. If you call South Florida home, during winter your grass will also not be actively growing as much as summer, but lucky for you it will most likely still stay green. During the warmer summer months, it’s also a good idea to let your grass grow a bit taller than in winter months. This will allow their roots to build up some protection against colder weather.

What Equipment Must I Use?

An important factor to consider for your lawnmower is ensuring that the mower blades are kept sharp and are properly balanced. When grass is cut by a sharp blade, it heals faster and loses less water than grass hacked by a blunt mower blade. It can be difficult to keep the blades on your lawnmower constantly sharp and balanced. Lawnmowers are also an expensive piece of equipment to buy! You may want to seek a professional lawn care service that will keep your grass and lawn constantly luscious.

Keeping Pesky Grass Pests Away

Ensuring your grass is pest-free is a must if you want to keep it healthy and happy. Chinch bugs are a common pest for home lawns in Florida. They are most commonly found in St. Augustine grass, a popular type of grass in Florida. These hairy buggers like open, sunny areas, so they love the heat of the Florida sun! While these tiny bugs aren’t exactly harmful to you or your pets, they are pests none the less. They may mistake your hair follicles for a blade of grass and try to bite, causing you some itching and discomfort. They can be as many as 150 to 200 insects per square foot, without you evening noticing them! Chinch bugs often go unnoticed because of their tiny size, and their color blends in with the grass. A good form of pest control for these types of bugs is to fertilize your lawn with iron sulfate during Florida’s hot season. This will make your lawn green without producing that succulent growth that chinch bugs are so attracted to.

Let’s Keep Your Florida Grass Green

Keeping your Florida grass at the right height isn’t just about keeping your lawn looking neat. It’s so much more. Keeping your grass short prevents it from getting from keeping nasty pests away to making your house a home that you can be proud of. According to a study by the National Association of Landscape Professionals, 83% of Americans think having a yard is important. And 90% of those with a yard think it is important that it is also well-maintained. Well, we agree. They say the grass is always greener on the other side. But why take the risk? Contact us today, and we’ll get the grass on your side looking as green as can be.

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