How Lawn Mowing Can Have a Huge Impact on Grass Health. Lawn mowing tall grass

How to Cut Tall Grass: Take Back Your Lawn!

They say the only two guarantees in life are death and taxes. I argue that there is a third: your lawn will continue to grow, no matter what. The lawn doesn’t care about your vacation, holidays, or anything else that may have prevented you from mowing.

If you’ve reached a point where your lawn is overgrown, you’ll need to learn how to cut tall grass. Looking out at your lawn, it may seem like an incredibly big project, but don’t worry. By the time you’re finished with this guide, you should feel confident about taking your lawn back.

What You’ll Need

Fortunately, you’ll only need a few tools to take down your overgrown lawn. Learning how to cut tall grass is easier than you may have thought. Here’s what you’ll need:

Step I: Taking a Little Off the Top

If your lawn is severely overgrown, you don’t want to cut it all at once. Each blade of grass contains nutrients which are vital to the healthy growth of your lawn. If you cut back the lawn entirely, all at once, you’re going to end up robbing the lawn of the nutrients it needs for healthy growth.

To maintain a healthy lawn, you’ll want to trim back the lawn gradually. The first step will be to use your weed whacker to trim back about ⅓ of the total height of your lawn.

Once you’ve trimmed the top of the lawn, use the rake to remove the grass you’ve cut, and bag it.

Before going any further, you’ll want to give the lawn a few days to recuperate before proceeding with the rest of your lawn makeover.

Step II: Rinse, Repeat

Depending on the height of your lawn, you may be able to skip this step. But, if you’re still looking at grass that’s a foot high or taller after you’ve completed step one, you’ll want to trim the grass back further before using the lawn mower.

Trim the lawn back further using your weed whacker. This time, trim the lawn to about ½ it’s current height. When you’re finished, you should be left with grass that’s manageable enough for your mower to cut.

Before moving on to the next step, rake the lawn again to remove all of the grass you’ve just cut.

Step III: Preparing the Mower

Chances are, your lawn mower is set up to trim back a lawn that’s only a few inches high. If you use your mower with the blade at that height, the mower will bog down and stall as it tries to chew through the overgrown lawn.

To prevent this, you’ll want to adjust the mower to account for the additional grass height. Most gasoline mowers have two adjustment levers located near the back tires of the lawn mower.

Electric mowers often only have a single lever to adjust the height of the cut. Some companies express the height of the mower in inches, where others use a number to define the height of the mower blades.

Regardless of the type of mower you have, you’ll want to adjust your mower to a higher setting, which will allow you to manage the lawn without the mower clogging or stalling out. The height of your lawn will dictate how much you need to adjust the cutting height of the mower.

Once you’ve adjusted the mower to a manageable height, you can begin cutting.

Step IV: Mowing the Lawn

With your mower properly adjusted, it’s time to mow the grass for the first time.

Start your mower, and begin attacking the lawn. Use overlapping passes as you mow to ensure that each blade of grass is cut evenly. Most importantly, take your time and mow at a slow, even pace.

High grass can wreak havoc on a mower’s engine, so a slow and steady pace will help ensure that your mower doesn’t become overwhelmed by the large workload on its plate.

Step V: Water the Lawn Wait

Once you’ve finished mowing, give your lawn a nice, long watering session. Water is vital to the health of your lawn, and a nice extended watering session is just what your lawn needs to recover after it’s been trimmed back.

Step VI: The Final Cut

After a few days have passed, your lawn should be fully recovered from the haircut it’s received. Now, you can finally mow the lawn to its final height.

Adjust your mower back to its usual height. The best height for your lawn is largely a matter of personal preference. As a rule of thumb, a final height somewhere between 2 and 3.75” is ideal for your lawn.

Once you’ve adjusted your mower to the height you like best, mow the lawn one more time, being sure to overlap, so you have a nice, even lawn when you’re finished.

Wrapping Up

If you’re dealing with an overgrown lawn, learning how to cut tall grass is imperative. Fortunately, cutting back tall grass is a fairly easy task you’ll be able to accomplish with tools you probably already own.

It may take you a few days in total, but the tips in this guide will help you take control of your lawn, and trim it back to a manageable level that allows you to showcase the beauty of your home.

About Gus Donaldson

I built houses for over 30 years and recently retired. I’ve made lots of mistakes and hopefully teach you not to make the same ones. I still love to build and have a garage workshop that I use for hobby projects like the walnut bookshelf I made for my wife. I like to write and let people know that working with your hands and tools does not need to be intimidating.

lawn, mowing, huge, impact, grass, health

Cub Cadet vs. Husqvarna Brand Comparison | The Saw Guy

lawn, mowing, huge, impact, grass, health

How to Buy the Best Zero Turn Mower For The Money – Comparisons Reviews

lawn, mowing, huge, impact, grass, health

Best Self Propelled Lawn Mower For The Money – Reviews Comparisons

lawn, mowing, huge, impact, grass, health

Leave a Comment Cancel reply

Note: this article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase using one of these links, I may be paid a referral fee at no expense to you.


lawn, mowing, huge, impact, grass, health
lawn, mowing, huge, impact, grass, health

The Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects Copyright © 2020. Copyright © 2019 by The Saw Guy – Saw Reviews and DIY Projects. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Full affiliate disclaimer here

How Lawn Mowing Can Have a Huge Impact on Grass Health

If your lawn isn’t looking and performing its best you might assume it’s something with your lawn care program. However, the truth is, lawn mowing can have a tremendous impact on the overall health of your grass.

If you (or your professional mowing service) are making certain mistakes, it could be having a negative impact on the performance and appearance of your turf.

In order to help get you on track for better lawn care results, we’ve rounded up some of our best mowing tips.

The Frequency of the Cut is Important

When it comes to how to mow your lawn, how often you are cutting it makes a difference. A lot of people assume that they’d rather not mow as often so they’ll let it grow long and then make a dramatic cut when they finally get around to doing it. But homeowners don’t realize how traumatic this is for the grass. You’re putting it under tremendous stress by allowing grass to get so tall between mowing services.

Ideally, you want to cut a maximum of one-third from the tip of the grass blade, no matter how long it is.

lawn, mowing, huge, impact, grass, health

That can be frustrating for some people to hear as they’d rather mow less often but still keep the grass relatively short. However, if you want your grass to appear green and healthy (and not yellowed and struggling), then you need to cut less of the grass and mow more often.

Grass Should Be Cut No Shorter than 3 to 3.5 Inches

A lot of people compare their lawns to golf courses. They see that their favorite greens are cut super short and they want to do the same thing. But you can’t compare a residential lawn in Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA to a golf course for a couple of key reasons.

For one, they are constantly heavily irrigated with intensive irrigation systems that are running much more than your average residential system would need to run. They also have someone tending to the turf daily.

lawn, mowing, huge, impact, grass, health

But perhaps more importantly, they are often using different grass types, which can sustain being cut short. Most residential lawns in Northern Virginia are made up of cool-season grasses (mostly tall fescue but also some bluegrass).

During the cooler season, these grasses can be cut to 3 inches. But during the warmer months, particularly summer, we recommend raising the mower height to 4 inches in order to help the grass, which is already being stressed by heat. Minimizing the stress of mowing as much as possible will help.

Beyond the health and appearance of your lawn, by mowing too short, you also invite weeds into your lawn. Opportunistic weeds are much more likely to invade weakened lawns than dense and thriving ones. On the flip side, a thick and healthy lawn is the best way to choke out those unwanted weeds.

Dull Mower Blades Add Stress to Lawns

As you can see, the very act of mowing the lawn is a stressful event for your grass. When you make a cut, your grass has to heal. That’s why you want to make sure you’re cutting at a proper height and at the proper frequency.

Of course, you also want to make sure that you’re cutting your grass with a sharp blade. A dull blade can traumatically injure your grass. You are literally ripping and shredded the grass if you don’t have a nice, sharp blade. Without a clean cut, you leave your grass more prone to disease. It’s also likely going to appear yellow and sickly as it struggles to heal.

But when was the last time that you sharpened your mower blade? Homeowners often say “never.” Even many professional services are not sharpening the mower blade as often as they should. But at Kingstowne, we sharpen our blades daily only every single mower. If you mow your own lawn, you should sharpen the blade 2-3 times each year.

A Difference You Can See

We know that you care about your lawn care results. If you’re investing in professional lawn care services, you want to see it pay off. One way that you can ensure it does is to follow some of these mowing tips and improve your lawn’s health.

There have been times when we’ve been asked by a client why their neighbor’s lawn looks better than theirs when they’re on the same program. Many times the answer comes down to mowing habits. It has way more of an impact than most people ever realize.

Of course, maybe you don’t want to handle that service yourself, and that’s fine, too. But you deserve to find a lawn care company in Alexandria, Arlington, or Springfield, VA that is going to mow the right way so that it doesn’t ultimately have a negative impact on your lawn’s overall appearance.

At Kingstowne, we also offer mowing on top of our other services. We follow all of the mowing tips that we’ve discussed, taking the burden off of you to figure out how to mow your lawn the best way. In the end, the results are a difference that you can see. It’s an important step in helping you have a lawn that you can be proud of.

Don’t let mowing ruin your chances of a fantastic lawn—instead, request your quote, consider choosing the King Package from our 3 lawn care package options, and relax as you get the royal treatment.

Get Your Overgrown Lawn Back to its Correct Mowing Height

Have you ever gone on summer vacation to return to a garden that’s become a jungle, featuring a wild lawn?

Sometimes you don’t even need to go on vacation. you just get too busy and miss a week mowing. All it takes are a couple of decent rains while you’re not looking and a lawn will outpace you. It’s happened to all of us.

Here’s What to do if Your Grass Gets Really Tall

By “really tall”, we mean double what it should be or more. For example, if you have a Zoysia lawn that you diligently keep at 1.5 inches tall but it’s grown to 5” tall (gasp!), don’t panic!

Follow these steps for too-tall lawns:

  • Sharpen up: Make sure your mower blades are sharp. This first step is important. Sharp blades give a clean cut and reduce stress.
  • Follow the rule of thirds: Keep in mind our mowing maxim and never mow off more than 1/3 of a grass blade at a time.
  • Adjust your mower: That 1/3 rule means to fix your overgrown lawn, you’ll have to set your cutting height higher than usual. Most mowers can accommodate a maximum cutting height of 3.75” to 4”.
  • Mow off 1/3: Using the example above, if the lawn is 5” tall, raise your cutting height so the mower takes off only 1.5 inches of grass. That will put your lawn at 3.5 inches tall.
  • Bag your clippings: If you usually leave your clippings on the lawn so that they can provide nutrients back into the soil, you need to skip that until you make it to Step 9. The long grass clippings will clump up and shade out your growing turf. Once you are back to a regular mowing height and schedule, you can resume mulching your clippings.
  • Wait 2-3 days: Allow a few days to let the grass recover and get over the surprise of having 1/3 of its foliage sliced off. It will regrow a little during this time. Don’t wait the normal interval you usually wait between mowing sessions.
  • Mow off another 1/3: Adjust your mower cutting height and mow again. This should get you much closer to your end goal – in this case you will now be at 2.5” tall and close to your 1.5 inch target.
  • Repeat one more time: Wait a few more days and mow again, this time resetting your mower to its normal setting.
  • Resume regular mowing at the correct interval for your lawn.

With these 9 steps, you’ve tamed your tall grass. These tips apply to all lawns, both warm season and cool season.

Ways to Prevent Grass Getting Too Tall

Keep Up Good Habits

We blog a lot about good mowing habits and the benefits of sticking to them. Regular mowing at intervals suitable to your type of lawn is all it takes. Put mowing on your calendar or set alerts on your phone.

Add Mowing to your Vacation Planning List

If you’re going on vacation, mow the day or even the night before you leave.

For lawns that grow slower such as Centipede (with a mowing interval of 10 to 14 days) or Zoysia (with a mowing interval of 7 to 10 days), this technique will work well for you.

With Bermuda and Tall Fescue, you’ll definitely have to follow the steps detailed above even if you mow the day before you leave. These Rapid growers need to be mowed on 3 to 7 day intervals, depending on time of year and amount of water or rain.

Be Neighborly

An old-fashioned technique when you go out of town is to ask your neighbor to mow your lawn when they mow their lawn. This is what my former neighbor and I did. However, we had different types of grass so we would switch and use the mower that went with the lawn, rather than just keep mowing with our own mower.

Get a Robotic Lawn Mower

Robots don’t take vacations! Enjoy your time away and your robotic mower will cut your grass every day while you are gone.

The end game is lawn automation with robotic lawn mowers. With a robot, you can go on vacation and it will continue to mow every day, thereby keeping your lawn at the exact height you want it.

That’s a checkmate on your too-tall grass and one less thing to do when you get home from your vacay.

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth 9 Steps of Cure

Weighing the 9 steps to fix the problem in one hand, with the 4 preventative measures in the other, save yourself some time and put the regular preventative mowing steps in place.

Manage Tall Grass: How Tall Of Grass Can a Lawn Mower Cut

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made on our website. If you make a purchase through links from this website, we may get a small share of the sale from Amazon and other similar affiliate programs.

Are you a new homeowner who wants to learn more about lawn care? If so, you may wonder how tall grass your lawn mower can cut.

Knowing this information is important for ensuring that your grass stays healthy and taken care of and for understanding when it’s time to break out the clippers or buy a bigger mower.

The good news is that with some basic knowledge of the subject and perhaps even a straightforward test, you can determine precisely how tall your lawnmower can safely handle it!

In this blog post, we’ll walk through what factors go into determining maximum cutting height and talk about strategies for successfully managing taller grass.

How Tall Grass Can Lawn Mower Cut

Mowing your lawn can be overwhelming, especially for those with yards full of tall grass.

While most lawnmowers have a maximum cutting height of four inches, there are ways to extend this to accommodate taller grass.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss the ideal height for cutting grass, the maximum height your lawn mower can cut, the benefits of keeping your lawn at a reasonable height, and the types of lawn mowers that can cut taller grass.

We’ll also look at safety tips and the best time to cut your tall grass with a lawn mower. Finally, we’ll offer some tips on maximizing efficiency when cutting tall grass with a lawn mower.

What is the Ideal Height for Cutting Grass?

The ideal height for cutting grass depends on your grass type. For cool-season grass such as Kentucky bluegrass and fescue, the general rule of thumb is to cut the grass to a height of two inches.

The ideal height for warm-season grass such as Bermuda and zoysia is slightly taller, usually between three and four inches.

Keeping your grass at an appropriate height helps maintain a healthy lawn and allows more air, water, and nutrients to reach the roots.

What Are the Benefits of Cutting Grass to a Specific Height?

Cutting grass to a specific height has several benefits.

First, it helps to keep weeds from taking over your lawn. Weeds thrive in taller grass, so keeping the grass mowed helps to suppress weed growth.

Additionally, cutting the grass to a specific height can help promote healthier and more vigorous growth.

Different grass varieties have different optimal heights for mowing; however, the general rule of thumb is to cut no more than one-third of the grass blade at any given time.

Cutting your grass too short can rob it of food-producing chlorophyll, weakening plants, and possible disease.

Lastly, cutting your grass to a specific height is essential for aesthetic purposes. A well-maintained lawn can add curb appeal and value to your home.

What is the Maximum Height Your Lawn Mower Can Cut?

It is important to know the maximum height your lawn mower can cut before attempting to cut tall grass.

Generally, the top setting for most mowers gives a cutting height between 3.25 and 4 inches.

This is the ideal height for most grasses, and cutting no more than one-third of the grass at a time will help keep your grass healthy.

However, if your lawn is taller than this after the initial trim, it is possible to cut through dense grass with a mower like this Makita commercial strength set to the highest position possible.

Riding mowers like this Husqvarna below are designed to cut grass up to 8 inches tall, while robotic mowers can handle heights up to 4 inches.

Every variety of grass has an ideal cutting height; however, a common mistake people make with their lawn is thinking they have to mow all the grass down to the same height.

Inching into fall, mid-length grass is the preference. In winter, tall grass can get matted down by snow and will not suffer from being left in a slightly longer state.

By knowing your lawn mower’s maximum cutting height and familiarizing yourself with the specific needs of the grass in your yard, you can ensure that your lawn looks its best regardless of the season.

The Benefits of Keeping Your Lawn at a Reasonable Height

Keeping your lawn at a reasonable height has many benefits. Mowing your lawn regularly helps to maintain its overall health by promoting grass growth and preventing weed growth.

Your lawn will also look more aesthetically pleasing when mowed to an appropriate height, as it will appear well-groomed and manicured.

Additionally, cutting your lawn at a reasonable height helps to reduce the risk of pests and diseases taking hold, as long grass can become a breeding ground for harmful pests and diseases.

Lastly, keeping your lawn at a reasonable height will help promote water retention in the soil, reducing the need for water during dry periods.

The Pros and Cons of Cutting Taller Grass with a Lawn Mower

Cutting taller grass with a lawn mower has both pros and cons. On the one hand, it can be done in a pinch if you don’t have access to a larger mower or trimmer.

Additionally, it is easier to maneuver a lawn mower than other mowers, making it well-suited for cutting taller grass in small areas.

On the other hand, cutting taller grass with a lawn mower is more labor-intensive than with other mowers.

Then it would help if you considered that your blades may not cut through the grass evenly, and the cut pieces may be uneven and patchy.

Further, it is more difficult to make tight turns when cutting tall grass with a lawn mower, making it more challenging to achieve a uniform cut.

How to Adjust the Height of Your Lawn Mower Blades

Cutting grass to an ideal height is an integral part of lawn care, and adjusting the height of your lawn mower blades is easy and can be done quickly.

Most modern lawnmowers have a lever or knob that adjusts the height of the blade.

Check your mower’s manual for specific instructions on adjusting the blade height. Generally, you can adjust the blade height by adjusting the lever or knob on your mower.

Once you have adjusted the blade height, ensure all four wheels are on the same level before you mow. This will ensure that you get an even cut across your lawn.

Also, ensure you use the proper settings for your particular type of grass. Some grasses need to be cut higher than others.

For example, cool-season grasses should be cut at two inches, while warm-season grasses should be cut at the height of three inches.

Types of Lawn Mowers That Can Cut Taller Grass

When cutting tall grass, your lawn mower can make a big difference. Reel mowers and electric mowers are designed for cutting grass up to 6 inches tall while riding mowers are designed for grass up to 8 inches tall.

  • Reel mowers, like this Fiskars brand, are an excellent option for small yards, as they’re lightweight and maneuverable. They’re also quieter than their electric counterparts.
  • Electric mowers, like this Makita brand, are ideal for larger yards, as they’re more powerful and can easily cut through thicker grass.
  • Riding mowers, like the Husqvarna one above, are the best for yards with tall grass, as they can cut through up to 8 inches tall.

However, they are more expensive and require more upkeep than a reel or electric mower.

When choosing a lawn mower, consider the height of the grass you’ll be cutting and the size of your yard.

Safety Tips for Cutting Tall Grass with a Lawn Mower

When cutting tall grass with a lawn mower, safety is essential. Always wear safety goggles and long sleeves to protect yourself from flying debris.

Take your time while mowing, as tall grass can be challenging to maneuver. Clear any obstacles, like rocks or sticks that may be in the way before mowing.

Inspect your lawn mower blades before using them, as they may become dull over time and require sharpening for optimal results.

It’s also important to pay attention to the weather conditions. Avoid mowing when wet or rainy, as this can be dangerous and lead to slippery surfaces.

Finally, always use caution when operating a lawn mower and read the user manual for instructions on proper use.

The Best Time to Cut Your Tall Grass with a Lawn Mower

The best time of year to cut your tall grass with a lawn mower depends on the type of grass that you have.

Cool-season grasses, such as fescues and bluegrasses, need to be cut at a higher height during winter. In spring, these grasses should be mowed at a height of about three inches. Your tall grass should be cut to about two inches in the summer months.

Warm-season grasses, such as bermudagrass, St Augustinegrass, and centipedegrass, should be mowed at a higher height during summer. In spring and fall, these grasses should be cut to a height of about three inches. During winter, your tall grass should be cut to about two inches.

It is important to note that the ideal mowing height for your lawn depends on the type of grass you have and the current weather conditions.

Check with your lawn care professionals to determine the best mowing height for your grass type and weather conditions.

Conclusion: Maximizing Efficiency When Cutting tall grass With a lawn mower

When cutting tall grass with a lawn mower, it is essential to adjust the blade height and the type of mower for the best result.

Knowing the ideal cutting height for your particular type of grass is critical, and understanding the pros and cons of cutting taller grass can help you make an informed decision.

Additionally, selecting the correct type of mower and following safety tips are also important factors that should be considered.

By taking these points into account, you can maximize efficiency when cutting tall grass with a lawn mower.

Posted on Published: December 29, 2022. Last updated: April 29, 2023

Neighborhood Services

  • Most lawns that have grass and weeds over 12 inches tall are in violation of the tall grass and weed ordinance
  • Tall grass is an indicator that no one cares about their property or neighborhood, and is therefore an invitation to crime and vandalism.
  • Rats and other animals that cause health issues can live in the overgrown conditions.
  • Overgrown spaces can be a safety hazard.

What’s the Big Deal About Weeds?

“Tall Grass Weeds” is defined as grass, weeds, bushes, vines, poison ivy, poison oak, or any other foreign growth, other than trees, ornamental shrubbery, flowers and garden vegetables. Tall weeds detract from the appearance of the neighborhood. Undesirable wildlife like rats and mice use the unmown lawn as a habitat. These animals may carry disease. Lastly, unmown grass tells passers by that no one cares about the property, which invites criminal activity.

Here’s how you can help with tall grass and weed issues in your neighborhood.

If you happen to notice a yard in your neighborhood with tall grass or weeds approaching 12 inches in height covering some or most of the lot, this issue needs to be resolved as quickly as possible to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the community. You have the option of offering to assist your neighbor with their yard, or you can contact Neighborhood Services for Enforcement assistance. Contact them at 703-792-7018.


A citizen may lodge a complaint for a”weed case” violation by using the Complaint Form for Property Code Violations or by calling Neighborhood Services at 703-792-7018.

A complaint is processed and assigned to an inspector who then visits the site within 5 business days. During this visit the inspector documents that the grass is over 12 inches and issues a notice to the occupant and/or owner.

According to the law, a violator has 14 days after receiving the official notice to comply. The inspector returns to the site after the compliance date has passed to verify the lawn has been mowed (or not).

If the occupant still has not complied, a County contractor will be assigned to cut the grass. It usually takes three to four days for the contractor to schedule the job.

Once the job is completed, the full cost of the work plus administrative fees regarding the complaint are charged to the property owner and a tax lien is placed on the property.

If additional violations occur on the property during the same growing season, the 14 day compliance period is not given again, not is a new violation notice issued again. The property is mowed again and an additional lien is placed.


Neighbors don’t always talk to other neighbors, but a little awareness of your neighbor’s situation may go a long way toward a positive sense of community and the appearance of your neighborhood could very well benefit. Neighborhood Services is aware of many cases where serious family illness or physical limitations and inability to pay someone to mow the lawn are the reasons for neglect of the lawn. Think about the home where a spouse is on military assignment or where elderly neighbors cannot push a mower anymore. Look out for your neighbors and offer to mow their grass; arrange for other neighbors to take turns mowing, too. Neighbors helping each other will go a long wat to maintain appearance and foster a positive sense of community.

On residential and commercial properties with two acres or less, grass and weeds of more than 12 inches in height are not permitted. Agricultural properties are exempt from this regulation statewide.

If the residential property is more than two acres, weeds more than 12 inches in height are not permitted within 150 feet of the edge of state-maintained roads or within 200 feet of another property’s dwelling. (This does not apply to land zoned for, or in, active farming operation.)

Any citizen may file a complaint for a Tall Grass case by using the Complaint Form for Property Code Violations or by calling Neighborhood Services at 703-792-7018.

External Link

An action you have taken is directing you away from this site to the following address:

Prince William County may not own or control the contents of this link.

| Denial of responsibility | Contacts |RSS | DE | EN | CZ