Turf 101: Optimum mowing heights for turf – Turfgrass Science at Purdue University

Turf 101: Optimum mowing heights for turf

Below is a table for the optimum mowing heights for turfgrass species in Indiana. The optimum mowing height is where the particular species will perform best, creating the thickest turf, and requiring the fewest inputs. Mowing above these heights will tend to create a less dense turf with coarser leaf blades, and potentially a puffy or scraggly appearance. Mowing significantly below this height will create a weak turf that will require more inputs like fertilizer, irrigation, and pesticides to control weeds, diseases, and insects. Can a turf species be maintained below the optimum mowing height? Yes, it can but be prepared to spend much more time, energy, and money to maintain that turf.

Table: optimum mowing heights for turfgrass species
Species Optimum Range of Mowing Height (inches)
Creeping bentgrass 0.125-0.5
Annual bluegrass 0.25-1.0
Colonial bentgrass 0.5-1.0
Kentucky bluegrass 2.0-3.5
Fine fescue 2.0-3.5
Perennial ryegrass 2.0-3.5
Tall fescue 3.0-4.0
Bermudagrass 0.25-1.0
Zoysiagrass 0.50-1.0

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