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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Removing one-third of the grass blade

Any time the lawn is mowed, the plant's ability to photosynthesize and to produce carbohydrates essential for root, shoot, rhizome, and stolon growth is decreased. To maximize photosynthesis and reduce turf stress, remove no more than one-third of the leaf at one time. If more than one-third of the leaf area is removed, root growth is temporarily slowed by the plant's inability to produce sufficient carbohydrates. If the lawn has been severely cut, the plant uses stored carbohydrates to produce new leaf growth. If the lawn is repeatedly cut too short, carbohydrate reserves will be depleted, weakening roots and predisposing the grass to weeds, diseases, insects, and drought injury.



Illustration showing removal of one-third of grass height

Only cut one-third of the height of the lawn at a time.

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

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