Mowing your lawn

Mow Like a Pro

The principles of lawn mowing are simple

Sharpen mower blades after 10 hours of mowing. Dull blades rip the grass, creating jagged edges that lose water and invite disease.

Leave the lawn clippings on the lawn! Lawn clippings contain the nutrients you just added and help create new soil.

Mow your lawn at the highest setting to preserve plant and soil moisture and to crowd out weeds. If you mow higher, you mow less often.

Mow fallen leaves right into the lawn when fall arrives and you will greatly improve soil quality and moisture-holding capacity.

Sweep clippings off hard surfaces and back into the lawn. Don’t let them wash away with the rain (or you’ll be adding nutrients to the bays and Long Island Sound).

Mow High

Mowing higher will help your lawn grasses compete with weeds for sunlight and space, while allowing the roots to grow deeper.

1/3 Rule

The best guideline for mowing is to remove only a third of the height of the grass blade.

  • This reduces plant stress and water-loss.
  • It also reduces the number of times you need to mow each season if you mow high.

For example, if you mow your grass down to a height of 2 inches, you need to mow each time it reaches 3 inches to follow the one-third rule. If you mow to a height of 4 inches, you wouldn't need to mow the grass until it is 6 inches tall, saving you time and gas. Taller grass is healthier and crowds out weeds.

Mowing Height and Frequency

Mowing HeightHeight of grass at mowing (inches)Length of grass cut off (inches)Estimated mowing frequency (days)
2"3" 1"5 days
2.5"3.75"1.25"6.3 days
3"4.5" 1.5"7.5 days
3.5"5.25" 1.75"8.8 days
4"6" 2"10 days