Correct lawn mowing heights are important for all lawn types, and especially a Saint Augustine lawn, the differences in lawn mowing heights can mean big differences in lawn health, thatch control and water usage for the lawn.
A Saint Augustine lawn which is regularly cut too short will result in greater water evaporation from the soil, putting the lawn under stress while also increasing water usage in the warmer months of the year. A short leafed lawn can also mean ongoing poor lawn health due to reduced photosynthesis from less lawn leaf material, although we must remember that we can keep our lawns cut shorter whenever they are growing in full sun, while increasing the lawn mowing heights according to how much shade is present over the turf.
Lawn Mowing Heights and Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is the process which plants and lawns use to power their growth and food conversion from nutrients into carbohydrate foods.
The longer the leaf of a lawn, or the higher it is mowed will directly impact on how fast or how slow the lawn grows. Longer leaf means faster growing and repairing lawn, and shorter leaf means a slower growing and repairing lawn.
Many problems which occur in Soft Leaf Saint Augustine lawns can oftentimes be due to the lawn being mowed to short. Saint Augustine lawns like to have a longer leaf, and prefer being mowed at a higher than average height when compared to other warm season grass types.
1 to 3 inches is an optimum mowing height for the new soft Saint Augustine grasses, mowing lower than this may result in an ongoing unhealthy lawn. While some modern soft leaf lawns of this type can be mowed even higher in partial shade conditions up to 4 or even 5 inches.
Shade and Lawn Mowing Heights
Shade is also a very big factor in lawn mowing heights. If you chose a Saint Augustine lawn for its great shade tolerance and the lawn is planted in an area of high shade, then the mowing height will need to be raised in the shaded part of the yard. This allows the longer leaf blade to trap more of whatever sunlight is available in order to conduct enough Photosynthesis for its survival.
Always mow lawns higher whenever shade is present.
Seasonal Lawn Mowing Heights
As our lawns approach Winter the available daily sunlight reduces, and with it so does the ability of the lawn to photosynthesise its food. In order to maintain a healthier Saint Augustine grass lawn in Winter it will be necessary to raise lawn mowing heights prior to and during the Winter season. This allows greater photosynthesis and food supply under the low light conditions of Winter.