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Fall Mowing Leads to Healthier Spring Lawns

Posted on Oct. 16th, 2012
Bethany Sanderson
K-State Research & Extension News
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Continuing to mow grass throughout the fall in preparation for cold weather yields healthier grass in the spring. 

While rumors claim that allowing grass to grow tall will insulate it against the cold winter weather, K-State Research and Extension horticulturalist Ward Upham said tall grass will provide little protection against winter. In fact, canopies that are too tall may even cause damage if they become matted down and harbor snow mold. 

“The lawn will benefit more from continuing to mow at the recommended height than from trying to gain some insulation against winter cold by allowing it to grow tall,” Upham said.  

He said the recommended heights for grasses in Kansas is as follows:  Tall fescue 2.5 -3.5 inches Kentucky bluegrass 2-3 inches Perennial ryegrass 2-3 inches Buffalograss  2-3 inches Bermudagrass 1-2 inches Zoysiagrass 1-2 inches 

Mowing grass at the higher end of these ranges during early fall helps the grass store more carbohydrates for the winter, Upham said.  

For more information about healthy lawns, visit                                       

K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan. 


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