What Length Should You Cut Grass in the Summer?

measuring grass height

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If you don’t want a hideous-looking lawn during summer, you should learn some tricks and tips for your grass to stay its healthiest. More importantly, you should know the length to cut grass during the summer season because it actually makes a difference.

If you want an aesthetically-pleasing lawn all year, read our lawn care experts’ tips here:

Condition and Growth of Grass in the Summer Months

Warm-season grass growth is slow at temperatures of 59°F (15°C) or lower. Below 44°F (7°C), cool-season grasses grow slowly, and some may still grow at the freezing point. Each species and variety within a species will have its ideal temperature, moisture, sunlight hours, and soil characteristics.

measuring grass height

High temperatures and low precipitation reduce growth and induce dormancy during the summer. When temperatures drop, growth resumes in the fall, and moisture becomes more abundant.

Grass Types and Mowing Height

According to our gardening experts, different grass types have different needs, so make sure you’re catering to your specific type when you mow.  

Here’s a list of grass types and ideal heights for each:

Cool Season Grasses

If you live in the Northeast, Midwest, or Pacific Northwest of the United States, your grass is in this category. Colder climates are home to cool-season grasses and have varying ideal heights, which are:

Kentucky bluegrass

Warm Season Grasses

Warm-season grasses are the norm in the warmer southern and southwestern parts of the United States. Here are warm-season grasses and their respective ideal heights:

The Rule of Thumb in Mowing Grass

The general rule of thumb for determining the grass height on your lawn for cool-season grass is approximately 2 1/2 inches. You should only remove about the top third of the grass blade at each mowing. Thus, the best time to mow your lawn is when it is about 3 2/3 inches tall.

How Short Should I Cut My Grass in the Summer?

While the 2 1/2-inch height for cool-season grass is ideal for the fall, you should not follow this throughout the mowing season.

lawn mower

During the spring and summer months, our gardening experts recommend that you keep your lawn grass at least 3 inches tall in order to keep crabgrass [1] at bay. The tender crabgrass will be killed by frost by the time you get back to the 2-1/2-inch height in the fall.

Additional Tips and Tricks

Irrigate

The amount of water your lawn needs depends on the weather, soil drainage, and the amount of sun or shade in your landscape. A good rule of thumb is to give your lawn one inch of water per week during the summer. To determine how much water you need to supplement any rainfall, use a rain gauge or a container.

Identify and Treat

Dollar spot is a common type of summer lawn disease that can affect many different types of grass. Patch disease is another common summer lawn disease, but the infection is not visible until the plants are stressed, so preventive treatment as part of your lawn care program is essential.

a dog lying on the grass

Control Weeds

Weed control is an essential part of a summer lawn care program. Weed control begins with an inspection of your turf to detect unwanted growth early on.  

Your lawn specialist will create a program that considers your personal preferences while also incorporating carefully targeted treatments for weeds like crabgrass and other issues in your lawn.

Remember the measurements

Make things simple and easy by drawing a line across one of your lawnmower tires that is 3 2/3 inches above surface level. Draw an arrow pointing up or down to indicate which way is up or down. When it’s time to mow, just check the grass level with the line you drew on the tire.

FAQ

Should you cut your grass during a heatwave?

You should not cut your grass during a heatwave because it stresses it even more. Grass can only tolerate a heatwave if it’s in a healthy state. Weeds enjoy hot weather and will thrive, so continue to hand-pull weeds during the heatwave, but take extra precautions.

Conclusion

Finally, if summer arrives, you can begin enjoying the lawn you’ve worked so hard to perfect. But don’t stop there! Your lawn requires year-round care to look its best. 

So remember what length to cut your grass in the summer and follow our summer lawn care tips to avoid problems that could harm your lawn and landscape this summer.

Robert Johnson is a woodworker who takes joy in sharing his passion for creating to the rest of the world. His brainchild, Sawinery, allowed him to do so as well as connect with other craftsmen and women. He has since built an enviable workshop for himself and an equally impressive online accomplishment: an extensive resource site serving old timers and novices alike.
Robert Johnson