Mowing and Irrigation Tips
Sean Breckin, AOLCP

Mowing and irrigation tips to improve your organic lawn this fall…

Practical Approach


diagram showing that you should only cut the top 1/3 of grass blades when mowing We love to “Mow High – May June and July” – well, all season truthfully. PJC recommends mowing grass at a height between 3-4 for much of the growing season, except for the end of the year and before aerations and overseeds. It is critical to remember that you should only be mowing the top 1/3 of the grass blade. So, it will take a few weeks to transition from 3 1/4 to 2.5 before winter. Turf tissue can be susceptible to winter desiccation if left too long. In light of this, we want to ensure that your turf has the best chance of making it through the cold New England winter with as little damage as possible.

Mulching leaves in the fall is a great way to add valuable organic matter to your soil. For this reason, don’t lower your deck until all the leaves are off the trees (be patient and wait for those last two to three mows of the season). This also provides a stout turf canopy if you elect to use turf blankets over the winter. Turf blankets are a must have for our High-Performance fields.


Unfortunately, the growing season is coming to an end. As such, it is time to perform irrigation blowouts. Irrigation systems are major investments and valuable tools for growing organic turf. Therefore, it is critical to take the time to protect this investment. Make any final adjustments and repairs and take note of improvements you can make next year so you don’t forget over the winter! Be sure to complete this before soil temperatures drop below freezing. A few cold nights won’t damage the system while daytime temperatures are warm – so don’t fret, you still have a little bit of time. Although, be sure to have this completed before Thanksgiving.

Proven Products: Turf Blankets

             PJC offers turf blankets to help keep your grass warm all winter long. Not only do turf blankets keep your soil temperature a few degrees higher, but they also help prevent winter desiccation. Turf blankets are a tremendous tool to help bolster your turf year after year. View our turf blanket video for additional benefits of this product. 

three images of turf blanket green up on fields

… for the Next Generation

             We frequently preach that cultural practices are tantamount to your fertility program—this includes these mowing and irrigation adjustments! Mowing height is critical to the long-term success of your turf stand, and making the appropriate adjustments at specific points in the year is equally as critical. Be sure to get your turf height down to about 2.5″ before overwintering in your last few mows of the year for the best chance to beat the winter cold.