Is Cutting Grass too Short Bad?
Let’s face it: After a long day at work, few people rush home in breathless anticipation of mowing their lawns. For most of us, cutting the grass is a chore we’d rather do less often (this is probably why the majority of our clients in Alberta, BC and Ontario rely on our team for weekly grass cutting).
As a result, most of us make a very common mistake: Cutting the grass very short in an effort to extend the time before we’ll have to do it all over again.
While it may feel like we’re saving time, the truth is, we’re probably doing a lot of damage to the lawn, which means that somewhere in the not-too-distant future, we’ll be spending even more time – and a lot more money – trying to undo the damage caused by mowing too short.
Longer Blades Maximize Health
When you really think about it, leaving the blades longer – and cutting more frequently to maintain ideal height – is a much better approach that helps grass develop to its fullest, healthiest potential, and here’s why:
- Just like the leaves of a tree, grass blades provide the entire plant – roots and all – with life-giving sunlight, necessary for the plant to perform photosynthesis that turns nutrients into a food source the plants can use. When blades are cut too short, the ability to perform photosynthesis is significantly limited, and that can leave plants malnourished and open to diseases.
- Longer blades help shade the soil, which means it takes a lot longer for moisture to evaporate. They also help keep roots from overheating, allowing the roots to grow deeper and stronger. And finally, the shade offered by longer blades makes it much more difficult for weeds to take hold.
Know Your Turf
Taking a one-size-fits-all approach is the second biggest mistake homeowners make when setting the cutting height for their lawns. In fact, most species of grass have optimal mowing heights that allow them to grow to their healthiest, greenest best; cutting them shorter than the recommended height can cause grass to turn brown and die.
For instance, while Bermuda grass prefers a height of between 0.5 to 1.5 inches, buffalo grass responds best when it’s allowed to reach heights of from three to four inches. No matter what species you have, it’s always better to cut at the high end of the recommended cutting height to avoid stressing the plant and increasing the risk for fungal infection or other diseases.
The only time it may be OK to cut grass short is at the end of the growing season in cold areas where temperatures will fall below freezing for 30 or more days or where there’s lots of snow. In these areas, mowing short in the autumn can help prevent the development of turf mats and springtime fungal diseases called “snow molds” that form when last year’s long blades prevent spring sun from reaching the soil.
Want to Free Yourself of this Dreaded Chore?
Contact us for a free quote on grass cutting services- you might be surprised how little of an investment can buy you hours of extra free time each year.Back