5 tips for a low-cost, low-stress yard
Want the lawn healthier? Let it grow a little longer, says Susan Littlefield, horticultural editor for the National Gardening Association. "It doesn't give you the putting green look, but the grass stays healthier," she says.
Not only does it hold moisture better, but the taller grass also "shades out" germinating weeds, giving you natural weed control that you don't have to pay for or apply. But you won't necessarily be mowing the lawn less. Ideally, she says, "You don't want to cut more than a third of the grass blade" each time you mow, she says.
Just how long you want to keep your grass will vary with where you live and the type you've planted, she says. The cool-season grasses, popular in Northern climes, typically do best at 2½ to 3 inches, says Littlefield. The warm-season grasses favored in warmer regions do better "a little lower," often around 2 inches, she says.
But if you want to get the ideal length for your lawn, find out the exact species you're growing and do a little research. Two good sources are the National Gardening Association and your local cooperative extension office.