Mowing Height For Tall Fescue Grass


Fescue grass is popularly known as shade grass, and it is a cool-season grass that helps to make the lawn more beautiful, just like any other grass. Its benefit is that it requires less care, has the advantage of providing shade, and also can survive heat and drought weather conditions. However, just like other grass, it requires proper mowing too. There is a myth of mowing that if you cut your lawn short, it won’t require frequent mowing, but the fact is it worsens the situation. Therefore, grass requires a certain height for being mowed according to its types.

Mowing Height For Tall Fescue Grass:

Tall fescue, also called shade grass, is a multipurpose grass that does not ask for much care. It is also very adaptive to hot, drier seasons. In general, Tall Fescue grass ideally has a mowing height of 1 ½  to 4 inches. The exact height depends on the local conditions and the time of the year. Proper mowing height and mowing frequency impact the grass’s growth and density.

In this article, you will learn about lawn mowing, what mowing height is, and the type of grass that may be present in your lawn. It will also point out the best lawn mowing practices that a lawn owner must keep in mind during the mowing sessions. Many factors result in the change of mowing heights. These factors include the sudden change of local conditions, climate changes in general, the type of grass, and even the speed at which it grows. You should avoid cutting the grass in dry and hot weather, wait for it to be humid, but never cut very wet grass. You will also get to know the origin and history of the cool-season grass, namely tall-fescue grass. The height at which tall fescue grass should ideally be mowed is 1 ½ till 4 inches tall.

Mowing Height For Tall Fescue Grass 1

Lawn mowing and mowing height

With the arrival of spring, people mow their lawn weekly to keep their grass healthy and beautiful. Having an eye-catching and attractive lawn makes the home look more beautiful. However, mowing does not mean just running a lawnmower will give you your desired lawn appearance. Different lawns require different heights of the mower that is suitable for the grass type of your lawn. The best cutting height depends on the grass type. The change of season may ask for a different height of the mower. Climate change and the frequency with which you mow your lawn also affect your mowing height.

Best Mowing Practices

It is suggested that you never mow your grass less than 3 inches – 1/3rd of the grass blade should always be left behind, as cutting the blades more can put the grass under pressure because the growth of root is reduced, which is important for drier months. However, the rainy season requires mowing every 3rd or 4th day, depending on the speed it grows.

Mowing Height of Various Types of Grass

Mowing height does not remain constant all-around a specific region. The change of season and weather also requires a shift in mowing height.

● Weather affecting the mowing height

The spring season asks for frequent mowing, as the rate of grass growth is very high. If the grass happens to grow taller than you expected, it is suggested that you mow at high settings so that you do not cut the grass too short, which results in surplus clippings.

In the hotter season, the growth of grass is very high, and it requires you to at least mow your lawn two times per week. It is suggested to keep the mowing settings high, so you do not cut your grass too short. It also helps the grass fight the hot summer days and dry periods and overcomes the pressure it experiences from extreme conditions.

In the fall, your lawns do not require frequent mowing. The growth of grass does not stop but is rather slower than the hotter seasons and keeps on growing slower as winter approaches.

Winters, however, might need little to no mowing. The grass grows so slow that you may not need mowing from November till late March.

● Type of grass affecting the mowing height

Just like different weather conditions affect mowing height, different types of grass also demand changed mowing heights. As different categories of grass grow only during specific times. Therefore, their mowing height requirements are also different.

Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass and tall fescue, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass, all need to be mowed at different ranges of recommended heights. Fine fescues recommended mowing height is 1-3 inches, tall fescue needs to be cut between 1 ½  and 4 inches, and Kentucky bluegrass between ¾ and 3 ½ inches.

Bermuda, which is a warm-season grass, is recommended to be cut at heights between ½ and 2 ½ inches, and the recommended mowing height of Zoysia grass is between ½ and 2 inches.

Tall Fescue Grass

Tall fescue grass was originated in Europe. In the early 1800s, the United States saw tall fescue for the first time. However, until the mid to late 1900s, tall fescue was not consumed widely as lawn grass and was only found in the meadows. During this time, a range of tall fescue grass called Kentucky 31 was seen on most lawns.

Many more varieties of Tall Fescue for lawn were developed after that, mainly called dwarf-type and turf-type tall fescue. These also included fescue with narrower blades, darker green, and much better hot, cold, shade, and drought tolerance.

Tall fescue, also known as shade grass, is popular for its ability to grow in many climate forms. Be it a cool climate, dry, shady or hot weather. Tall Fescue grass can grow in most of these weather conditions. Growing in its preferred regions, of course increases the lawn’s flexibility and stability. This grass type allows the lawn owner to choose from a variety of options. Opting for tall fescue grass for your lawn, depending on your location, can be the best choice you’ve ever made, as it is the most flexible and adaptable grass.

Tall fescue is also known as the cool-season grass that has better tolerance to heat, shade, and drought. The northern and transition areas are the most suitable for tall fescue grass. This grass is resistant to diseases, grows in bunches form, requires minimum care, and has very limited self-repairing capacity.

Mowing Height and Proper Mowing of Tall Fescue Grass

The key to a healthier and beautiful-looking lawn is to run through proper mowing routines. Tall Fescue grass is highly recommended to be mowed at the height of 1 ½ to 4 inches. The majority of lawnmowers in Virginia do not cut tall fescue grass higher than this. Some lawn mowing service providers recommend that the mower’s deck should always be kept at the highest possible setting. The mowing height can be checked if you place a ruler on the lawn soil and measure the grass’s length to the tip of the leaf blade. Here are some tips on how you can adequately mow tall fescue grass.

● Avoid cutting tall fescue grass too short

As already highlighted above, Tall Fescue grass grows in bunches. Therefore it is highly suggested that you mow them tall. By doing so, you can make your lawn grow thicker length-wise as it does not spread horizontally.

In tall fescue, the taller the shoots of grass means the deeper the roots penetrate. Lengthier leaves allow much better photosynthesis, helping the grass grow better and strengthen its roots. Mowing the tall fescue grass higher also helps in preventing the growth of weed.

● Use A Sharper Lawn Mower Blades To Prevent Brown Grass

A lawn owner should always avoid using a dull mowing blade while cutting the tall fescue grass. Using a very sharp mowing blade is suggested. Mowing tall fescue with a dull blade can tear your leaf blades, due to which your lawn may experience brown grass, and it will give you a hay-like appearance. Dull blades also put the grass leaves under pressure that can negatively affect the lawn and lead to other problems. At the start of every season, you should use a freshly sharpened lawn mowing blade, and even throughout the season, you should frequently check the sharpness. Also, replace the blade or sharpen it if required.

● Be Consistent In Spring and Fall Mowing

As you know, tall fescue grass is also called cool-season grass. It grows majorly in the spring and fall seasons. It is required to mow frequently during these months of the year. Along with mowing frequently, it is required that you should never cut your grass less than one-third of its height. Mowing your lawn less than one-third of its height can cause severe damage to the grass. However, tall fescue does not grow rapidly during hot weather. Thus, it is recommended to reduce the time you mow your lawn based on its growth. Mowing tall fescue often during the hotter season can have high impacts on the lawn in terms of damage.

Properly mowing the Tall Fescue lawn is the most important, easy, and durable way to promote healthier turf. Your mower deck should be leveled to the highest setting available. Use the sharpest blade while mowing, and be frequent in mowing all around the year.

Final remarks

Mowing any lawn when it is under drought or heat stress can damage the grass. Properly mowing gives a clean-looking, healthy, and well-groomed appearance. Correct and effective ways to mow your lawn include doing it when the grass is dry, not using a dull blade, using the prescribed mowing height suitable for your lawn, and cut when the grass is at least 3 ½ inches tall. Never cut below one-third of the height of your grass blades.

Know your lawn, understand the types of grass that grow in there. The cool-season grass, tall fescue, is the most suitable option for lawn owners as they can enjoy many advantages from it. This type of grass is a very low maintenance type of grass. It requires bare minimum care and is durable during the hot and drought seasons. The only care it needs is that it should be mowed in suitable conditions at a proper height.

According to the weather conditions, mow your lawn according to a properly planned schedule and with the right frequency. Use a sharp mower blade, keep the mower deck at an appropriate height, and following the suitable lawn program will significantly benefit the lawn’s health and appearance. If you are a new lawn owner, you could ask an expert for more information about your particular situation. If not possible, then ask your neighbors, friends, or family who owns a lawn rather than making decisions on your own.

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