Mow high, mow low, mow often … ever wonder what the best recommendations are to ensure a beautiful lawn? Not doing it right can be detrimental to warm-season turfgrass, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service specialist, Dr. Becky Grubbs.
AgriLife Extension has released a new publication to help homeowners and other turfgrass managers properly execute the most common turfgrass management practice — mowing.
In the case of St. Augustine lawns, for instance, she said it is not uncommon for her to see homeowners maintaining them at heights that are much too low, opening up opportunities for weeds and disease to move in.
Two tables in the publication highlight appropriate mowing heights for Texas. Grubbs said there may be different practices in other parts of the country, particularly for cool-season grasses that thrive at lower mowing heights further north.
“This is really a guide for Texas turfgrass managers and homeowners,” Grubbs said. “We include a few cool-season species, as we do see them in areas throughout North Texas, but the focus is more on warm-season turfgrass management.”
“Following the one-third rule means that if, for example, I am trying to maintain a mowing height of 2 inches, I should really aim to mow by the time it reaches 3 inches in height.”
She said this may mean mowing more frequently than some lawn owners are used to doing if they really want to keep their turfgrass healthy.
“Mowers are like any other tool,” she said. “They will perform best when they are clean and sharp. Dull, dirty blades can spread pests and create entry points for disease. You wouldn’t use dull shears to prune your woody plants, and the same principles apply here.”
Through the application of science-based knowledge, AgriLife Extension creates high-quality, relevant continuing education that encourages lasting and effective change.