1/3rd Rule

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Old 09-14-19, 06:39 AM
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1/3rd Rule

I've always wondered, is it recommended not to cut more than 1/3rd the grass blade AT A TIME, or PER MOW? In other words, is it a clippings and thatch thing or is it a grass health thing? Sometimes I am unable to mow my lawn until it has gotten too long and I need to bring it down from 5" to 2-1/2". Is it okay to do this on the same day as long as I make two incremental passes?
 
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Old 09-14-19, 02:15 PM
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I've never cut grass to 2 1/2 lowest I go is 3 1/2 then raise to 4+ during the hot summer!
 
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Old 09-14-19, 03:32 PM
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It's both. It's not healthy for the grass to let it get so long then cut so much off. It's also bad from a clippings standpoint as you'll likely have piles of cut grass that needs to be raked up or left in place to kill the lawn.

People who don't like to mow tend to wait too long between cuttings then cut shorter than recommended thinking that by cutting short you can go longer before the next cutting. Maybe true a bit but it's really not good for the grass you want and it promotes weed growth.
 
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Old 09-14-19, 04:07 PM
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Sorry. Guess I should have mentioned I have Zoysia. I'm not one to let my grass to get a foot long then hack it. Sometimes it rains so often I am unable to get around to it until it's a little longer. Doesn't happen very often.
 
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Old 09-15-19, 06:42 AM
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Right now my lawn is going about 3 weeks between mowings because of drought. If we get some rain it can quickly shoot up to requiring mowing every 3 or 4 days. If I don't catch it in time I'm left with grass clippings that need collecting and over cut grass that looks brown and unhealthy after mowing. If caught in time there is no raking and the lawn has a nice green, manicured look. It's sorta like having a child. They still need care whether or not you have the time or are in the mood.
 
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Old 11-03-19, 07:02 PM
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Dane, I read your reply above to my wife while we were having dinner and she loved it! Said something like "Boy has he got THAT right ! ("like having a child") . My neighbor does not like to mow and sets the height almost as low as he can. And now that he has broken his Cub Cadet, (and I have been cutting it for him as a favor) the lawn has never looked better. I mow with a setting as HIGH as I can set it usually lol
 
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Old 11-06-19, 01:41 AM
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It's best to give the grass a few days to recover before cutting it again so if you have to cut quite a bit, set the blade to remove a 1/3, then wait a few days and you should be able to go over it again with the blade set lower and still only be removing 1/3 of the length.
 
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Old 11-23-19, 09:32 AM
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I would wait a week in between 1/3 cut mow jobs. BTW, do you sharpen your blade occasionally ? Look at your grass and see if there is a sharp edge or a shredded edge.
 
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