cutting grass short


LawnSite Bronze Member
Why do people always want you to cut it short? It doesnt look nice. You get weeds. The grass dies and then they wonder why. Why do most customers never listen to what you tell them is best for their lawn.

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
From what I've heard, in some parts of the world, it is cut short to keep snakes off the lawn, since they can't hide good in short grass. Some people think they are getting their moneys worth by getting it cut short. Some just don't know any better I guess. I tell customers up front, the shortest I will cut is 2.5" and that will be in the spring and fall. I explain why it is better to cut it taller in the summer and if they want it cut any shorter, to find someone else to do it.


LawnSite Silver Member
Central CT
I always cut short the last cut of the season, the grass is going dormant anyway and the leaves blow right off. As for mowing during the growing season I choose the height based on the individual lawn. The cust wants to pick the mowing height they can do so with their own mower.


LawnSite Member
New York State
The customers I have encountered who want the grass short are for the most part the ones who think that by cutting it short it will not have to be cut as often and therefore save them money.


LawnSite Senior Member
Depends on the grass type, location and climates. It even depends on what hieght the grass is use to being cut. And , it mostly depends on the customers preferences.

I had a property that they wanted it cut at 2". I like grass high, so I tried to get them to let me mow it at 3" for a few weeks as a trial. They did not like it, so back to 2" we went. I have to admit, on that yard it looks better at 2" than 3". It is a well watered yard, so it grows all the time, and higher cuts make it look out of shap too much.

I had two yards side by side that I use to try and mow at the same height. After several years, I now mow them at different heights. Both yards are different type grass blends. They look better at different hieghts.

I have a commercial property that has three seperate areas that I mow all three at different heights. It all has to due with the grass types and the locations of those types. There is a area that is always wet from drainage, another is shady from too many trees, and the last is too sunny for that type of grass.

You learn to do what you need to do to make the property look it's best or what the customer thinks looks the best to them. The old saying, "the customer is always right" is a stretch, but when it is what they like on their yard then I would say it is true. Best you can do is advise them on standard practices and back it up with some printed info like tips from Purdue's turf science department.
My 10 blade Pro-Master reel mower can cut well bellow 1 inch. On one emerald zoysia lawn my buddy and I dethatched with our T-27s - blades attached, watered/fertilized and in a few weeks started reel mowing. Thereafter, we would cut every 5 days. We had the reel set to the lowest setting (about 1/4'). Before long the lawn made everyones head turn and jaws drop/drool. We just smiled. Of course the sharpening fees are astronomical $60.00 a pop. And the mower is very unforgiving if the lawn is not level (backfill with sand as you go), but if the customer wants the billiard table perfection lawn then they must pay or the mower stays home and I use the Honda walk behind rotary. So yes, you can cut very low but it depends on region you live, grasses (usually southern turfgrass), and cutting short comes with a substantially higher price.

Craig Jones

LawnSite Member
We have had the same problem. In many cases the people think they are getting a better deal between cuttings when it is cut short. Usually , this is the same folks that have many weeds in their yard and at times, yes the shorter cut does look better on some weed patches. Usually we do not hang on to these accounts but spin them off. For some of our good customers, we give them some brochures from the Lawn Institute, Extension Service, explaining proper cutting heights for lawns and in many case will win them over since they are getting the information from another source. We do cut at different heights, hence we bought all floating deck walkbehinds for this reason.

Since we have had a drought in our area for the last two summers, we also tried experimenting with cutting at a higher level and when their yards were still green and their neighbors were not, many were won over.


Vibe Ray

LawnSite Senior Member
Slidell, LA
Hey guys. Why exactly do you guys like to cut high? What are all your reasons. I don to have have any set mowing height yet.

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