Saint Augustine grass must be mowed at the right heights to ensure our turf remains in the best condition possible. Most lawn types will suffer poor health when mowed at heights which are too short, and this is most certainly the case when proper lawn care practices are not also followed when maintaining the lawn at these low heights.
Can Saint Augustine Grass Ever Look Like A Bowling Green
As homeowners we can look upon those beautiful flat surfaces of lush bowling greens and often long for the same turf quality on our own home lawns too. There are several problems with wanting these things for any home lawn, and most especially with Saint Augustine grass.
In order to keep lawns at such low heights a lawn will need very careful management practices, of fertilization, lawn mowing every few days, very deep watering, lawn nutrient management, and pest control. For without this very careful management of these bowling greens they would fall into very poor health very quickly just from being kept at those very low heights.
As homeowners, none of us can ever manage our lawns to the high standard of quality which is required of bowling greens, so we can see a mismatch developing here, that without following those same lawn care practices: but by mowing our lawns at those same low heights, we are going to run into major problems with our lawn.
Mowing Saint Augustine Grass Too Short
Saint Augustine grass runs into major problems when cut at very low heights. Those bowling greens we just mentioned are all mainly grown with Bermudagrass or other fine leaf grasses, not Saint Augustine, and when we attempt to keep Saint Augustine lawns at these low heights we're going to have big problems.
Saint Augustine grass mowed too short will:
- develop its thatch layer much faster, especially when grown in full sun
- develop its thatch layer much thicker, especially when grown in full sun
- will be in poor health and susceptible to disease and pest invasions
- will lose much of its shade tolerance due to lack of green leaf
These are all very serious problems for Saint Augustine grass, and the difference between two neighboring lawns grown side by side with one cut at half an inch and one cut at two inches is massive. The Saint Augustine lawn with longer leaf and cut at higher heights will always be greener and more lush, and be far more shade tolerant, and more resistant to weeds, pests and diseases than the lawn cut at the lower height.
Even if one lawn is cut so short to try to achieve these low heights and that flat bowling green look, that same lawn will always be naturally browner, requiring more water and fertilizer, and will eventually increase lawn thatch.
And the problem with these short lawns is that once they get to this state of heavy thatch buildup, there's nothing that can be done to save the lawn. Cutting into that thick thatch will only kill the lawn. Whereas with a Saint Augustine lawn mowed at correct heights - the lawn owner can occasionally and safely cut lower into the thatch once or twice a year to control thatch without any major issues arising.
Mowing Saint Augustine Grass Properly
Saint Augustine lawn should never be maintained at such low heights of half an inch with reel mowers or with rotary mowers.
Pay close attention to mowing at the correct heights for the environment where the lawn is growing, shorter in full sunlight and longer in partial shade conditions, and be assured of a much healthier Saint Augustine grass lawn all year round, and for many more years into the future too.