Perhaps the single most common mantra in lawn maintenance, the "1/3 rule" is what many lawn maintenance providers both advise and live by to ensure the best results for their clients. The basis of the 1/3 rule is to remove only the top 1/3 of the grass blade while mowing, meaning if you want to maintain a grass height of 2 inches, you would mow your lawn once it reached 3 inches. If you cut too much off of your grass blades at one time, you could cause stress to the lawn. To keep your grass at the ideal height, you'll want to mow it once per week through the entire mowing season, which is roughly from April 15 to November 15 in Michigan. If you accidentally miss a week, though, not to fear! You can still follow the 1/3 rule and lower the height in small increments over the following mows to get back to your desired height.

What is the 1/3 rule?

The 1/3 rule is a commonly recommended guideline to remove only the top 1/3 of the grass blade when mowing. If, for example, your ideal grass height is 2 inches, you would mow your lawn once it reached a height of 3 inches. For people that want an appearance of a fuller lawn, they could keep their grass at around 4 inches tall, mowing once it hit 6 inches in height. The exact desired height of your grass will change depending on the grass type you have on your lawn and your personal preference.

How does the 1/3 rule help my grass?

Exceptionally healthy green grass near New Baltimore, MI.

Although it may seem like a lot to figure out at first, the 1/3 rule is helpful enough to justify doing the math. By chopping more than 1/3 of the total height of the grass, you risk stressing the plant and making it more vulnerable to issues like disease or pest damage. In addition to avoiding that stress, following this rule will encourage you to get on a regular mowing schedule so you can keep your grass at its ideal height every mow. Why is that important? For one, it will keep your property nicely manicured and tidy, so you're never dealing with a jungle outside your door. For two, regularly mowed lawns are denser and more uniform in appearance. That means that with regular mowing, you're going to have the lush, flourishing lawn you've always wanted!

Regular mowing also helps keep grass clippings minimal, reducing the chance of smothering the live grass underneath!

What happens if I miss a week and my grass grows longer than normal?

Red push mower cutting tall green grass near Troy, MI.

Inevitably, something will come up and life priorities will have to shift – you may miss a week of your 1/3 rule mowing. However, all is not lost! By still following the 1/3 rule and lowering the height in small increments you can get back to your desired height and normal schedule without stressing the grass, even when the grass has grown much longer than normal.

Give us a call today to enroll in our lawn mowing program.

Don't let your grass get the better of you – we can help get you that perfectly manicured lawn! At Big Lakes Lawncare, we have been helping property owners in Macomb, Chesterfield, Shelby, and nearby cities in Michigan maintain their lawn and landscape since 2014. As a client-focused, convenience-centered, well-run team, we prioritize your experience and satisfaction above all else. Let us show you how it feels to be priority #1! We have a full mowing program ready for you. Call us at (586) 200-0855 to get more details and enroll today!