Setting the Height of the Lawn Mower 

Understanding the settings on your lawnmower and how to properly adjust your mower deck can help you get the most out of your lawn. Mowing your grass at the proper height enhances the health and beauty of your lawn. Proper mowing can also assist in preventing weeds from germinating.

This article shows you how to identify the proper mower height for your mower (and grass type, as well as some simple instructions for changing the height of your mower deck on various mowers. It also explains why mowers have multiple height settings (and when you might need them). Finally, it shows you how to effectively use your mower deck settings to obtain the best results from your lawnmower.

The Best Setting Is Usually At Least Three Inches

One of the most important aspects to consider when choosing the correct mower height setting is the time of year. From the middle of April through the end of September, it is recommended that most people raise their mower height to at least 3-inches. This may be the highest setting on your mower, depending on the model.

Maintaining this setting on your mower may:

  • Aid the lawn in conserving water
  • Encourage the growth of deep-digging roots
  • Increase the density of your lawn
  • Enhance the color of the turf

The only times you should not use this high setting is when you are mowing for the first and last time of that season. Most cool-season lawns benefit from a 2.5-inch mowing height during the colder seasons. Many people believe that the medium setting is the greatest for their lawn, however, this is not true. Most of the time, it's too short. Generally, the highest setting on your lawnmower should be used.

Deep Roots Are Encouraged by Tall Grass

Allowing your grass to grow taller encourages the plant to produce deeper roots. The roots of your grass normally grow three times as deep as the height of the lawn. When grass is mown to a height of 1-inch, the roots normally only reach a depth of 3-inches. The roots, when grass blades are only 2-inches tall, reach a depth of around 6-inches.

The key to dense and healthy grass is deep roots. Your grass may be able to access water deep in the soil between rainstorms. They may stay greener for longer during the hot summer months and may be healthier and more resilient in general.

Mowing Schedule for a Tall Lawn

It is advisable to mow your lawn once a week and never remove more than 33% (or one-third) of the grass blade height. If you mow less frequently, you may end up removing more grass, which is harmful to the lawn. Cutting off a bit at a time is also a smart idea if you want to keep the clippings on your lawn for extra nutrients. Leaving a layer of clippings on your lawn that is too thick, might cause thatch buildup or even suffocate your lawn.

How to Adjust the Mower’s Height Settings

When you wish to adjust the height settings on your mower, the first thing you should do is study the instructions. The instructions for raising and lowering your mower's setting can be found in the owner's manual. The manner to adjust the mower and what the various adjustments mean change from one lawnmower brand to the next. A common blunder is to assume you know everything there is to know about your mower. When you take a few minutes to study the manual, you might be astonished at how many features and intricacies you can learn.

Make the adjustments on a flat surface once you have figured out how to modify the settings according to the directions in the manual. To determine how low or high the mower is, you need to place it on a flat area. This can be done on a flat pavement surface (driveway) or in a garage. Also, do not assume that the bottom of your mowing deck represents the height at which your grass may be mowed. The blade on your lawnmower is normally taller and you may not achieve your desired outcome.

Choose Your Settings Based on the Type of Grass You Have

Most types of grass grow best with the highest setting on most mowers, as previously mentioned. If you are not sure or are unhappy with the results at this level, try beginning high and gradually lowering the deck height. Do this until you achieve the desired mowing deck height. Make sure the mower is totally switched off and cannot turn back on before you begin making changes. This is an important safety measure to avoid injury.

If you have a gas mower, there is a safety catch that you must hold down for the mower to run. Make sure this is not being pressed by anything. It is preferable to take off the spark plug from the mower so that it cannot start. Many modern push mowers (and even some reel mowers) have a lever that may be used to alter the height. Some mowers may require you to adjust each wheel individually. If you have this type of mower, make sure you do not adjust each one to a different height by accident. If you do, your mowing may be uneven or you may just go in circles. To alter wheel height, you might need a wrench, a screwdriver, and possibly some other equipment.

Changing the Height Settings on a Rotary Mower wheel

As previously stated, the technique for adjusting your mower's setting varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model. If you have a rotary mower, whether it's a push mower or a self-propelled mower, there are a few things to keep in mind. If you have a low-cost or entry-level mower, the height adjustment technique is simple.

It may be easier and faster to adjust if you have a more expensive model. Axle adjustment is one of the most fundamental types of height adjustment. You can physically remove the wheels and set them to a higher setting using this procedure. A snap-in system is frequently used for this. If you have a low-cost or entry-level mower, this is most likely the height-adjustment system you may utilize.

Set Your Blade High for a Healthy Lawn When in Doubt

Mowing your lawn high can put it in a better position to deal with drought and hot weather. It's also beneficial if your lawn is subjected to shady situations. When the weather starts to cool down, you may usually cut the grass a little shorter if you wish. If you are not sure what sort of grass you have, a decent rule of thumb is to trim it down to 3 inches or a minimum of 2 and a half inches, never cutting more than one-third of the grass blade at a time.

Final Thoughts

If you want to use your lawn mower effectively, you must first understand your model and how your lawnmower height settings function. To learn how your mower's height settings operate and how to alter them, read the manual that came with it.

You can tailor your mower for the healthiest grass after you know what to do and how to do it.

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