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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Mowing cool-season grasses

Recommendations for mowing cool-season grasses
Turf species Set mower to Mow when turf reaches
Annual ryegrass 1 1/2 - 2 inches 2 1/4 - 3 inches
Colonial bentgrass 1/2 - 1 inch 3/4 - 1 1/2 inches
Creeping bentgrass 1/2 inch or less 3/4 inch or less
Hard fescue 2 1/2 inches 3 3/4 inches
Kentucky bluegrass 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 inches 2 1/4 - 3 3/4 inches
Perennial ryegrass 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 inches 2 1/4 - 3 3/4 inches
Red fescue 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 inches 2 1/4 - 3 3/4 inches
Rough bluegrass 1 - 2 1/2 inches 1 1/2 - 3 3/4 inches
Tall fescue 1 1/2 - 3 inches 2 1/4 - 4 1/2 inches

Cut on the higher end of the recommended range if you are mowing a new lawn for the first time or to produce a turf that is more tolerant of drought, heat, traffic, shade, and pests. Mow grass mixtures at the height that favors the predominant or most desirable grass.

Only remove one-third of the height of the lawn at a time.

Illustration of growth rate for cool season grasses

Mow regularly during the spring when the grass is actively growing, producing both root and shoot growth. Mow less frequently during the summer when growth slows. More frequent mowing may be necessary as growth picks up once again in the fall.


Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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