proper cutting height

What is the correct cutting height to set mower blades at to have a nice thick lawn? Seems the idea would be to have it where you can look at the yard and know it's been mowed.
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Adjust the mower as high as it'll go, except for the last couple of cuts in late fall, at which point you should mow very low.
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I cut at 2.5 inches twice a week.
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Wow, Really? I am not being sarcastic, I am just amazed. Now I live in SE N.C. and have centipede(sp?) grass and it does not get very high, so I guess I am wondering if I should let it grow more or not. I just about scalp my lawn in comparison as to how high you cut yours. I have a riding mower and set it about 3 on the hight and mow about every 9 days or so. Should I change? TIA.
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Proper cutting height depends on the type of grass you are growing. Turf grass wants to be cut higher than warm season grasses like bermuda and centipede, however no grass likes to be scalped. If you will look at a blade of grass you will typically see that the stalk that comes out of the ground is yellow or white. As you move up the blade it becomes more and more green. If you are cutting anywhere near the yellow/white part of the grass blade you are way too low and likely to severely stunt or kill your lawn. I see more lawns damaged by cutting too low than just about anything else. I hear two reasons that people give for cutting low:
1.) "If I cut it real low I don't have to mow as often." This is true, but the reason you don't have to cut it often is that you are damaging the plant and are stunting it's growth. In the extreme you won't have to cut it at all since you will have killed it.
2.) "By cutting it low I am making the lawn spread out and become thicker". I'm not a expert by any means but this just seems to be a myth. I have never seen a lawn that was consistently cut low be healthier, lusher, or fill in sparse areas versus a lawn that was cut at a reasonable height. In fact just the opposite is true by my observations. These lawns are stressed and when the first adverse condition arises (high heat, mild drought, insect or fungal attack) these lawns seem to be the first to go. I find this to be particularly true when you get into the drier summer months. A very low cut yard has essentially had much of the shade it would normally provide the ground removed and turbulent ground level air is unimpeded. This results in the ground drying out at a much faster rate than normal.
raizn4kids wrote:

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What about golf course grass on the greens? It looks pretty healthy for being scalped.
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That's bentgrass.
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Oscar_Lives wrote:

Plant bent grass, hire a crew to mow it three times a week, and replace the sod whenever it shows any imperfection, and you can replicate it. But if your lawn isn't producing income like a golf course, you'd better have a nice hunk of cash.
Different types of turf do well at different heights, but if you look around, what you'll see is people mow too short, and perhaps it's because their idea of a "perfect lawn" is a putting green. There are some consumer-level mowers that have a deck that won't even go high enough for the typical lawns in the areas they're sold.
As for it "looking freshly mowed", as another poster mentioned, that's an aesthetic choice I don't really care for. I like a dark, rich, thick looking lawn. And, like most people, I view lawns while driving by at 25 mph or more on the street. Most people will never stop, and walk to the middle of your lawn, and notice the imperfections. But those imperfections are more noticeable driving by a lawn cut too short, too. So the too short lawn is calling attention to it's imperfections while it's stressing-out on it's way to dying-out.
Mow high (taking off no more than 1/3 the blade). Water deep and infrequently. After that, there are some huge differences of opinion, but if the only thing you did was mow high and water deep and infrequently, you're going to be far ahead of the game.
--
Warren H.

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I'm in Ohio where the bluegrass grows. :)
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I've read/heard from many sources that you should only cut up to 1/3 of the length at any one time. More can be damaging. So the longer you start with, the longer it will end up. Longer/thicker lawns can also be more weed resistant. Shorter in the fall for the last cut will also help protect from winter molds/fungus and matting if you live where there's lots of snow.

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3-4 inches tall is good for healthy grass is most areas. and dont cut more than 2 -3 inches off to get it to 3-4 inches.
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