What Happens if You Cut Your Grass Too Short?

Most homeowners cut their grass extremely short in a misguided effort to reduce chores or make the yard look like a manicured golf course green. There’s nothing wrong with a lush lawn to increase your home’s curb appeal.

However, did you know that you’re potentially doing more harm than good when you mow your grass extremely short between mowing days? Keep reading to find out why your lawn pays a hefty price for excessive scalping. But first, do you have the right lawn mower?

Importance of picking the right mower for your lawn 

A woman mowing her lawn and cutting grass by the pool
A woman mowing her lawn by the pool | Found Image Holdings/Getty Images

It’s time to get a new lawn mower or repair your existing one if there are significant oil leaks around the main bearing. Unusual vibrating, surging, or sputtering noises when the engine switches between speeds could indicate internal problems that could be costly or time-consuming to remedy.

Damaged rotary mower blades are a big headache. Even a slightly bent blade will result in an uneven cut and bumpy handling that destroys your lawn and damages your mower’s engine. For durability and greater versatility, look for a lawn mower that has the following features:

  • Has height cutting adjuster to mitigate mowing the grass too short
  • Requires little maintenance and has easily replaceable oil or air filters (high-end mowers have extended warranties and better-quality parts)
  • A quieter engine that ranges between 140-cc to 190-cc has better fuel economy and is easy to change lawn mower oil
  • It has a simple electric push-button for a seamless deck engagement, unlike the pull-start mechanism, which can be stubborn and strenuous.

What happens if you trim your grass too short?

Transforming a scraggly-looking lawn to golf-course green standards involves a lot of care, including using the right mower and knowing the ideal grass height. Every variety of grass has an ideal cutting height. According to Pennington, standard grass-cutting measurements should range between 2-3 inches, with exceptions to Bermuda and Zoysia grass types that must be kept at an inch or less.

Mowing your grass too often stops it from getting too tall. However, it also robs the lawn of its source of vital nutrients. Additionally, short grass does not provide adequate shade that helps slow weed growth and soil water loss.

Cutting grass too short can damage the soil and the lawn mower, which, in turn, causes the soil to dry out and result in unsightly patches. To ensure even grass cutting, keep mower blades sharp and use a lawn mower with an adjustable base height, so the wheels are even on the ground.

The importance of lawn mower maintenance

High-quality lawn mower models fitted with advanced safety measures, drive systems, engine technologies, and mower deck engagement systems are costly. Like any piece of machinery, a lack of maintenance on a hardworking piece of outdoor equipment can impede its performance and shorten its lifespan.

You get the most out of your mower if you regularly replace the air filter, sharpen mower blades, adjust the cutting height to 3 inches, and remove caked-on grass and debris from the mower’s underside.

How to change lawn mower oil

Keep the motor of your push mower healthy and remove accumulated sludge by following these easy steps;

  • Seal the gas tank by screwing the gas cap back on over a plastic bag
  • Remove the dipstick from the oil tube
  • Tip the mower or unscrew the plug located on the bottom of the engine to completely drain the oil
  • Set the mower on a level surface and fill the engine with about 20 Oz of fresh oil
  • Change lawn mower oil after every 50 hours of use or every spring and summer

Cutting your grass within the 3-to-4-inch length range using a well-maintained lawn mower is an excellent recipe for a healthy lawn. Along with tips from Tom’s Guide, follow these steps to help combat common lawn care mistakes you’ve unintentionally made.

RELATED: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Buying a Lawn Mower