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What is the proper height to cut my lawn?

As homeowners we all desire to keep our lawns attractive by looking fresh, clean and healthy. A nice fresh cut can often spruce up the curb appeal of our homes. However, most homeowners believe that a nice short cut will produce the best looking results while also extending the time between having to hop back on the lawn mower. However, this is actually a big misunderstanding that can be detrimental to your lawn. Mowing your grass too short can cripple the strength of your grass causing it to turn brown and die. Specific mowing heights vary by grass type and can even be different for different types of the same grass. For instance, mowing height for Empire zoysia is 0.75 to 3 inches, while Zenith zoysia thrives when cut to 1.5 inches, and even those ideal heights vary by region. However, the common notion of the shorter the better is often a misguided assumption for a few reasons. As a general rule, no more than a third of the grass blade should be removed during a single mowing. Removing too much of the leaf surface affects root growth, draws on stored energy in the roots and essentially starves the grass. Scalping involves cutting turf so short that stem tissue is exposed, giving the grass a yellow or brown appearance. There is often an exact correlation between the height of a grass blade with that of its root. Therefore, by cutting the grass short you are inadvertently also reducing its root length weakening the grass.

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