Mowing Turfgrass to be Water-Wise

Water Conservation for Lawn and Landscape September 22, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

Mowing height can contribute significantly to the health of the lawn. Correct mowing height can also reduce the amount of water used by turf during the hot summer months. 

By increasing mowing height, grass roots grow deeper into the soil allowing them to survive longer without water.  

Higher mowing heights also help control annual weeds in the lawn by decreasing light needed for weed seed germination.

Mowing Tips for Water-Wise Turfgrass

  • Mow turf height to about 3 inches
  • Remove only about 1/3 of the grass leaf blade at a time
  • Leave clippings on lawn surface to return nutrients to the soil
  • Avoid "scalping" the lawn and leaving bare spots
  • Keep mower blades sharp and mow only dry grass

Additional Resources:


Utah - Basic Turfgrass Care


Missouri - Home Lawn Watering Guide

Ohio - Lawn Mowing


Florida - Mow Your Grass to the Right Height




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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.