The One-Third Rule = The One Thing You Need to Know to Mow

When it comes to the look and the health of your lawn, do you know the most important rule for mowing? You don’t need to be a mathematician to understand the one-third rule.

Start With 3-Inch Grass Blades

Here in Indiana, a lawn that is roughly three inches tall is a good height to maintain. Mowing your grass much shorter than three inches may result in weak, unhealthy vegetation. Start with a three-inch blade of grass. The one-third rule means that when you mow, you want to cut off the top one-third of your grass blades. So, for three-inch grass blades, you want to mow when they grow to approximately 4.5 inches tall (3 / 4.5 = 0.667). If you want a lawn that looks a bit fuller, shoot for four inches in height, and mow when your grass reaches six inches or so (4 / 6 = 0.667). Mowing more than a third of the total height of your grass can stress the plant and make it more susceptible to common turf problems.

Why One-Third?

At Lawn Pride, we get asked all the time about how often folks should mow their yards. One of the philosophies we live by is “mow tall, mow often.” Just how often you mow depends on several factors, such as your particular type of grass, how much water and sunlight it receives, whether or not you fertilize, and so forth. Mowing tall and mowing often means grass roots are able to grow deeper, which will help sustain them in times of drought. Taller grass also provides more shade cover to those vulnerable roots while also preserving moisture in the ground. The one-third rule is straightforward and easy to remember, and following it helps ensure a healthy, attractive, resilient lawn.

A Few More Tips to Remember

It’s important for homeowners and lawn lovers to remember that the one-third rule needs quality lawn care equipment and tactics to be effective. A dull mower blade leaves behind ragged, damaged grass edges that can sicken and weaken the plant. Likewise, never mow when it’s wet outside. Wet grass is harder to cut, and your push or riding mower can damage roots and soil when the ground is moist. You also never want to risk slipping and other personal injuries when mowing your lawn. Also, how efficient is your mowing path? Minimize turns and backtracking by mowing your yard in rows or spirals, and remember to switch the direction with each cutting. This will help your grass blades stand up straight and strong. Want to learn more about your lawn and become a better mower? Talk to us. Our team of turf experts rely on science and utilize the best technologies to deliver lawn care solutions that truly work. Whether your needs focus on a healthy lawn, tree and shrub protection, or effective pest control, we are here to help. Get started with a free estimate today!