Mowing Fescue Grass

Mowing Fescue grass consistently and to the right height is an important part of keeping your lawn looking great from spring through the fall. This lawn care guide outlines how and when to mow Fescue grass to achieve the healthiest, most vibrant lawn possible.

The Right Height for Fescue Grass
Every type of grass has an ideal height. For Fescue, that’s between 2 ½” and 3”. This variety of grass looks its best when it’s allowed to grow into thick, rich turf you can sink your feet into. Keeping it on the short side will produce a trim, manicured look. Allowing it to grow to the full 3” or a little more will give your lawn a more robust appearance. By the way, if you’ve got a lot of Fescue in shady spots, maintain it higher – about 3 ½” for better results.

Remember the One-Third Cutting Rule
The tried and true rule of thumb for maintaining a healthy lawn is that you should never cut away more than 1/3 of the grass. If you plan to keep your Fescue at 2 ½”, you should mow it before it passes 3 1/8” in length. For a 3” lawn, you can allow it to grow a little past 4”. If you have a rainy spell just after you’ve fertilized, and your lawn grows beyond its acceptable limits, you may have to raise your mowing blades and cut it back to its normal height in 2 sessions instead of one. If you like it at 3” and it grows to 5”, cut it to 3 ¾” and then a week later, cut it to 3”.

Mow Consistently Every 7-10 Days
Mowing your lawn on this schedule should allow you to keep the height right where you want it. If you find it’s growing too fast, delay your next fertilizer application by 2 weeks.

Keep your Blades Sharp
Dull cutting blades are hard on healthy grass. They tear the grass blades rather than cut them, leaving them vulnerable to disease. Torn grass also tends to turn yellow at the tips when the damaged tissue dies. That’s not attractive, and it’s not good for the grass.

Use Mulching Blades
Mulching the cut grass is a better method than bagging it. If the clippings are not especially wet or long – if they’re not clumping up – then mulching them back into the soil is the best idea. The clippings add essential Nitrogen and nutrients to the soil, reducing the need for fertilizer.

Early and Late Season Mowing
When your Fescue lawn first starts to green up in the spring, give it a trim. Take off the top ½” to 1” in order to remove dead growth and give the roots a chance to get more sun and oxygen. Then fertilize as required.

In the fall, raise the blades on your mower ½” to 1” to allow the lawn to develop some bulk that will insulate it for winter. Watch the weather forecast and cut the grass for the last time 7-10 days before frost is expected. It will soon go dormant and be ready for a winter’s nap.

Fescue grass is really quite easy to care for. These Fescue grass mowing tips will help you keep your grass properly maintained throughout the growing season.

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