Question of the Week: November 1, 2018
“Neil, should I raise my mower going into the winter? What’s the best mowing height for my lawn?”
Raising the mower’s height is rarely a good idea. Not in the summer, and not in the fall. In fact, you gain absolutely no winter protection by mowing your lawn higher when it’s cold. The grass blades shrivel and dry up after they freeze, so any blanket of insulation they might provide is greatly compromised in the process. Continue to mow at the recommended height, just as you should be doing 12 months out of the year.
Best mowing heights…
• Common bermudagrass: 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 inches.
• Hybrid bermudagrass: depends on the selection being grown. May be as low as 1/4-inch or as high as 3/4-inch. Use a reel mower.
• St. Augustine: 2 to 2-1/2 inches.
• Zoysias: 2 to 3 inches, depending on variety.
• Fescues: 3 to 4 inches, depending on whether it’s a dwarf, turf-type fescue or a taller standard selection.
• Buffalograss: 4 inches.
What if you’re mowing higher than recommended?
If you are currently mowing higher than these recommended heights, wait until late winter to adjust your mower settings downward. Scalping is best done in early to mid-February in South Texas, late February farther north.