use a 3.5" - 4" mowing height
Tall fescue prefers a mowing height of 3.5″ – 4″. This mowing height is ideal for reducing weed pressure within the turf-stand. Lower mowing heights can severely stress a lawn, causing it to burn out, and will cause your turf to thin over time. Higher mowing heights will cause the leaf blades to flop over, which reduces the aesthetic appeal of the lawn.
never mow more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at any one mowing
Mowing more than 1/3 of the leaf blade during a mowing event is likely to cause scalping injury to the turf and reduce turf vigor. A common sign of turf scalping is a white to yellow-brown discoloration of the affected turf. A white sheen near the tips of the leaf blades may also be seen right after mowing occurs.
make sure your mower blades are sharpened
Dull mower blades can cause significant physical injury to your turf, causing a multitude of issues ranging from discoloration to increased pest/disease activity in your lawn. It is important to mow your blades at least once annually, or more if needed.
to mulch or not to mulch?
When possible, we recommend mulching your grass blades back into the lawn. However, please be very careful to follow the 1/3 rule mentioned above. Short clippings will break down quickly, helping to recycle nutrients back into your lawn. Longer clippings take longer to break down and speed up thatch build-up. Thatch layers in excess of 1/2″ will likely increase levels of pest and disease activity, reduce the ability of water and nutrients being able to reach the soil layer, and increase the risk of drought and cold stress.