Cutting Grass Too Short Is Bad For Its Health

Sep 08, 2022
Cutting Grass Too Short Is Bad For Its Health

Why Buzz Cuts Are Bad Looks for Lawns

It’s the most dangerous lie in lawn care, and one that has spelled doom and bad health for many an American lawn.

Alas, the shorter you cut your grass does not equate to less times having to mow it.

“Forget the lawn-mowing myth that saws the shorter you mow grass, the less often you have to cut it,”’s Julie Martens Forney writes, dealing a terrible reality blow to all of us who would rather be inside watching the game and staying cool rather than cutting the grass on a hot summer day. “That misguided concept lays a foundation for a problem-prone lawn.”

In fact, a buzz cut is both a terrible fashion look for lawns and hazardous to its overall health. Cutting your lawn like Dwayne Johnson shaves his head can lead to all kind of unfashionable and unhealthy lawn looks.

“Grass that’s cut too short is more susceptible to weed invasion, drought and heat damage,” Martens Forney writes.

And buzz cutting your grass every mow leaves it drowning for essential nutrients it needs to thrive from Iowa spring to fall. Low mowing puts an enormous amount of stress on your grass’s turf.

“If the grass is repeatedly cut to short or scalped, it can seriously deplete the grass’s energy reserves, weakening or killing grass and leaving the lawn vulnerable to weed invasion.”

And the last look you want your lawn sporting is weeds.

“Here in Eastern Iowa most of our yards are made up of cool season grasses such as Kentucky BlueGrass, Rye and Fescue grasses. The ideal height for these grasses ranges from 3 – 3.5 inches,” explains Devin LeBeau, owner of Creekside Turf Management.

Keeping your blades sharpened and mower deck clean will give your lawn a nice crisp cut, helping prevent disease and increasing the overall health of the lawn.

“An extremely low mower setting causes scalping of the lawn,” Better Homes & Gardens Viveka Neveln warns. “Ideally, you should remove no more than one-third of the grass blades’ length at each mowing. Uneven ground can sometimes make this difficult to do.

“Areas where grass blades were cut too short will usually recover slowly, but the brown patches may be evidence that you cut into the crown (growing point) of some grass plants and killed them.”

As much as you’d like your dream yard to look like the 18th green at Pebble Beach or the infield grass at Wrigley Field, healthy lawns are not meant to be cut that short. Keep your mower’s blade at a high healthy setting that will keep your grass growing strong, lush and beautiful all the way to this fall.

Because you won’t be saving any time and mows by buzz cutting your lawn. You’ll only be damaging its overall health and curb appeal.

“Cutting your lawn grass short really won’t save you much on lawn chore time, and it’s not realistic to think you’re going to achieve the picture-perfect lawn you dream of,” The Spruce’s Kelly Burke writes. “In fact, you may well end up with an uglier, more labor-intensive lawn than if you cut the lawn to a proper length from the start.”