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Optimum cutting height is an important part of lawn care to keep the lawn healthy and looking good. The cutting height you need to adjust the lawn mower to depends on many factors.

In a nutshell

  • Cut sports and leisure lawns to 3 - 4 cm
  • with special lawn types, the cutting height can be less than 3 cm
  • Do not set the height for the robotic lawnmower below 4 cm
  • when recultivating a lawn area in several weeks to the optimal one
  • Work towards the cutting height
  • Do not shorten the length of the lawn too much during dry periods

Sports and leisure lawns

The most common lawn type is sports and recreational lawns. This variety is characterized by its robustness and durability. The goal with this type of lawn is for the lawn to form a dense turf so that there are hardly any differences between the individual types of grass.
The optimum cutting height for this type of lawn is 3 - 4 cm. In order to be able to keep this cutting height, especially during the high season, you have to take further care measures:

  • fertilize every 6 - 8 weeks
  • mow at least once a week during the season
  • mow every five days during the high season (June to August inclusive).

The maintenance effort may seem expensive for a simple sports and leisure lawn. However, the lawn length is ideal for maintaining the health of the grass mix for that lawn type.

Notice: If you do not keep to the intervals and still shorten the lawn to this length, the grass may burn or growth may be slowed down. It also encourages the growth of weeds.

Height of cut when dry

In summer it can happen that there are several weeks without real rain. Few water the lawn, which is a good thing in terms of sustainability, but the grass suffers as a result. To protect themselves from drought and not to lose too much water unnecessarily through the stalks, plants form a protective layer. This should also be preserved.
If the drought persists, you should refrain from frequent lawn cuttings if you do not water the lawn. If it is still necessary to mow the lawn, select a cutting height of 6-8 cm. In addition, you should only mow the lawn in the early evening hours so that it has time to recover overnight.

Autumn and spring pruning

Outside the season, when the lawn is not used much, you should also pay attention to the optimal length. In autumn, the correct cutting height is the preparation for the winter, so that the stalks do not buckle and die under the snow load. In spring, the optimal cutting height ensures that growth is promoted.
Outside the season you should pay attention to the following cutting heights:

  • Autumn: 4 - 5 cm
  • Spring: 5 - 6 cm

Just before the temperatures drop below 10°C, mow the lawn one last time. Spring only starts again when the temperature is constantly above 10°C.
The lawn length in spring is still well above the optimal height for sports and leisure lawns. Only at the beginning of the main season do you slowly feel your way back to the optimal height of 3 - 4 cm.

Tip: Start by the end of April or beginning of May at the latest by gradually lowering the cutting height during mowing.

special grass types

In fact, more and more special types of lawn can be found in domestic gardens. Golf turf, for example, is becoming increasingly popular. Often this is only a small lawn area so that putting the hole can be practiced. But exactly this area is dependent on special care, so that the training at home also works.
The golf turf should not be higher than 2.5 - 3.2 mm around the hole. However, this requires special mowers.

Cutting height for robotic lawnmowers

The robot lawn mower can be found in more and more domestic gardens because it does the strenuous work of mowing during the season when many would rather enjoy the garden. Compared to the normal lawn mower, the robotic lawnmower requires a different lawn length. The reason for this is that daily mowing with too low a cutting height weakens rather than strengthens the lawn.
The optimal cutting height for robotic lawnmowers is:

  • 4 cm in mixed weather
  • 4.5 - 5 cm during hot spells

Cutting height for reclamation

Sometimes it can happen that the grass on a lawn is very high and a radical cut would cause a lot of damage. The recultivation and the approach to the correct cutting height therefore take place in several phases.
When recultivating, proceed as follows:

  1. at the maximum height permitted by the lawnmower
  2. Reduce cutting height by 1/3 (at least 10 - 15 cm)
  3. cut back to 8 - 10 cm
  4. Cutting height of 6 - 8 cm
  5. decrease to final height of 4 - 5 cm

If it is a special type of lawn that requires a lower height, add one or two more cuts to the adjustment to the optimal cutting height, in which you work towards the final cutting height. The respective cuts should be made at intervals of one to two weeks.

frequently asked Questions

Does the cutting height depend on the grass?

Yes, the cutting height depends on the vegetation. Natural lawns with wildflowers should be cut much higher - about 6 - 8 cm - while other lawn types require different lengths depending on the composition of the grass.

Can a long lawn be cut back to the optimal height immediately?

No, if the grass length is more than 15 cm, just approach the optimum cutting height again, as in recultivation. This will prevent the grass from being damaged by a radical cut.

Should the lawn be watered after pruning during dry periods?

Yes, it is beneficial to water the lawn for several days after a cut to the optimum height during dry periods.

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