top of page

Lawn Perfection: Mowing and Care Tips for St. Augustine Grass

Ever thought of turning your St. Augustine grass into a plush carpet that doesn't need vacuuming? Well, with these mowing tips, you're halfway there—just don't expect to bring it inside during winter!


While I'm no expert, I've picked up some invaluable tips from my neighbor Ben, a certified arborist whose advice has turned my lawn into a lush, healthy green space effortlessly and affordably. We all have St. Augustine grass here in Pinewood Reserve, and I believe this information could be beneficial to others. In this post, I'll cover the optimal mowing height and patterns for St. Augustine grass. Stay tuned for future posts where I'll dive into best practices for watering, and the use of fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, insecticides, and fungicides to keep your lawn in top shape.


Blade Heights for a Thriving Yard: Setting Your Mower for St. Augustine Success

For a healthy St. Augustine lawn, the ideal mowing height is generally between 2.5 to 4 inches (I set my mower to the maximum height available). Keeping your grass within this range helps promote a dense, lush lawn that can better resist weeds and tolerate stress. It's particularly important not to cut more than one-third of the grass blade at a time to avoid shocking the grass and potentially weakening it.


Advantages of maintaining longer grass blades:

  1. Enhanced Weed Resistance: Longer grass blades shade the soil, inhibiting the growth of weeds by blocking sunlight that weed seeds require to germinate.

  2. Improved Stress Tolerance: Longer grass maintains better root development and retains more moisture, making it more resilient against drought and other stress factors.

  3. Reduced Lawn Shock: Cutting grass too short can shock and weaken it. Maintaining a longer blade height minimizes this risk, ensuring the grass stays healthy and vigorous.

  4. Optimal Photosynthesis: Like a solar panel's efficiency depends on its exposure to sunlight, grass needs adequate surface area to absorb sunlight. Longer blades have more surface area, enhancing their ability to conduct photosynthesis and grow stronger.

  5. Prevention of Soil Compaction: Longer grass helps prevent soil compaction, as the robust root systems associated with longer blades help keep the soil aerated, which benefits overall lawn health.

  6. Moisture Retention: Longer blades of grass help preserve soil moisture by reducing surface evaporation, providing a microenvironment that retains humidity around the grass roots.

  7. Visual Appeal: A lawn with longer, healthy grass blades often looks more lush and vibrant, contributing to an aesthetically pleasing landscape.


By setting your mower to the highest setting within the recommended range for St. Augustine grass, you can maximize these benefits for a healthier, more resilient lawn.

Timing is Everything: How Often to Mow for the Healthiest St. Augustine Lawn


During the active growing season, you may need to mow more frequently to maintain this height without cutting too much at once. Additionally, ensuring your mower blades are sharp is crucial as clean cuts help prevent disease from entering the grass blades.


In the cooler months, you can let the grass grow towards the higher end of the range to help it endure cooler temperatures. Also, adapt mowing frequency and height based on rainfall and temperatures, as St. Augustine grass thrives on moisture and warmth. Proper mowing, alongside regular watering and fertilizing, will keep your St. Augustine grass looking its best.


Advantages of appropriate mowing frequency:

  1. Prevents Overcutting: Frequent mowing during the growing season ensures that no more than one-third of the grass blade is cut at a time, preventing stress and shock that can weaken the lawn.

  2. Disease Prevention: Using sharp mower blades for clean cuts reduces the risk of diseases entering through jagged grass cuts. Frequent mowing ensures these clean cuts are consistent.

  3. Seasonal Adaptation: Adjusting mowing frequency and height according to seasonal changes, such as less frequent mowing in cooler months, helps the grass withstand varying temperatures and maintain health throughout the year.

  4. Enhanced Stress Tolerance: Allowing the grass to grow longer in cooler months helps it to insulate against cold and conserve energy, improving its overall stress tolerance.

  5. Optimizes Growth Conditions: Adapting the mowing schedule to environmental conditions, like rainfall and temperature, ensures that the lawn is not stressed by drought or excessive moisture, promoting healthier growth.

  6. Maintains Lawn Aesthetics: Regular mowing keeps the lawn looking neat and well-managed, enhancing curb appeal and maintaining a uniform appearance.

  7. Supports Overall Lawn Health: Proper mowing frequency, combined with regular watering and fertilizing, contributes to a robust, thick, and vibrant lawn, optimizing the conditions under which St. Augustine grass thrives.

By maintaining an appropriate mowing frequency, you can maximize the health and appearance of your St. Augustine lawn throughout the changing seasons.


Pattern Perfection: The Art of Rotating Your Mowing Strategy for Lush Growth


As for rotating mowing patterns, it's wise to change your mowing direction every time you mow. This practice prevents the grass blades from leaning too heavily in one direction and promotes more upright growth. It also helps reduce wear patterns in the lawn, ensuring even growth and wear across the surface. Rotating patterns can be as simple as mowing horizontally one week, vertically the next, and then using diagonal patterns. This variation not only enhances the lawn's appearance but also contributes to its overall health by minimizing soil compaction and enhancing the distribution of sunlight across all blades.


Keeping to these mowing practices will ensure your St. Augustine lawn remains thick, resilient, and vibrant throughout the year.

Advantages of rotating mowing patterns:

  1. Promotes Upright Growth: Changing the mowing direction each time encourages the grass blades to grow more vertically. This prevents them from bending towards one particular side, which can occur if you consistently mow in the same direction.

  2. Reduces Wear Patterns: Rotating mowing patterns helps to distribute wear more evenly across the lawn, preventing the formation of ruts and worn patches that can result from repeatedly mowing the same path.

  3. Minimizes Soil Compaction: By altering the direction of mowing, the pressure on the soil is also varied, which helps prevent the soil from becoming overly compacted. Compacted soil can limit grass growth by reducing air circulation and water penetration.

  4. Improves Sunlight Distribution: Rotating mowing patterns ensures that all parts of the grass receive equal exposure to sunlight at different times. This is crucial for consistent photosynthesis across the lawn.

  5. Enhances Lawn Appearance: A lawn mowed in varying patterns tends to look more aesthetically pleasing. The changing patterns can create a visually appealing texture and richness in the appearance of the grass.

  6. Contributes to Overall Lawn Health: By minimizing soil compaction and promoting even sunlight distribution and upright growth, rotating mowing patterns support the overall health and vigor of the lawn, making it more resilient to stresses such as drought and disease.

  7. Encourages Even Growth: With different mowing directions, the grass blades are cut at different angles, which encourages healthier and more balanced growth across the entire lawn.


By implementing rotating mowing patterns, you not only improve the aesthetic appearance of your lawn but also contribute significantly to its health and sustainability.

Taking care of a St. Augustine lawn isn't just about cutting grass—it's about doing it smartly. With tips from our local expert Ben, we've learned how important it is to mow at the right height, change our mowing patterns, and adjust our schedule based on the weather. It's like making sure each blade of grass can get just the right amount of sunlight and stay healthy. By following these simple steps—using sharp blades, mowing more during the growing season, and less when it's cooler—we can keep our lawns looking lush and vibrant. As we dive deeper into lawn care in future posts, remember these basics to maintain a thriving yard year-round.

Your neighbor,

Denis Katkov
Executive Limousine and Car Service


Ah, St. Augustine grass—the diva of lawns. If it could, it would demand only the finest bottled water delivered at precisely the right moment. But since we're not catering to a Hollywood star, we'll have to manage with good old-fashioned hose and sprinkler systems. Let's dive into the best watering practices to keep this pampered grass looking lush and vibrant, without the drama.

bottom of page