So you're looking for some space that you can use, but it's completely overgrown. Fortunately, you don't have to use hand tools to recycle it, or buy a tractor. We'll teach you how to cut large areas of tall grass using three different tools.
How to Cut Tall Grass with a Lawn Mower
If the area isn't overgrown, chances are you'll need a lawn mower. A zero-turn ride-on mower is the easiest, but you can even cut tall grass with a walk-behind mower. Methods as below:
- Sharpen Your Lawn Mower Blades
- Set mower to side discharge (if available)
- Set the mower deck as high as possible
- Cut slowly, keeping blade speed high
- If the entire deck width is bogging down the blade, try cutting half the width
Once you've mowed your lawn, you'll need to do it again for several reasons. First, you'll need to restore it to the length it held — 2 to 3 1/2 inches for most grass species. Second, you need to re-cut the clippings you made the first time and distribute them as evenly as possible. Work in a direction perpendicular to the way you cut first to help.
A second cut can be made a day or two later, just don't wait too long.
The third cut is where it all comes back. For this, choose another direction to trim (if you've already cut up/down and left/right, cut diagonally this time). The key here is to use the mulch function on your lawn mower and minimize the clippings from the first two cuts so they can feed the grass and help you avoid going to the grass. Try to make this cut within a few days of the second cut. It takes a lot of mowing a week, but it's worth it.
The big question is, "How tall is too tall?" It depends on your grass species and how powerful your motor is, but you can usually control grass up to 12 inches tall with a mower. Mowers with more powerful engines can do even more. A battery-operated lawn mower can also help, but you may need a few more sets of batteries than usual to do it.
How to Cut Tall Grass 3 Feet or Taller
Using a Trimmer Mower
Cutting very tall grass is a constant challenge for farms and ranches. Fortunately, these needs turned into solutions. One of the best ways to deal with it is to use a trimmer. It's not just a walk-behind thread trimmer. These tools use higher quality wire and more powerful engines.
It works because the grass doesn't have to pass under the deck before it's cut. The front of the mower is open so you can push right into the grass or attack it from the side.
The downside is that this will leave you with very long cuttings compared to a lawn mower. On the other hand, it cuts faster because you don't slow down to keep the blade RPM at a high level.
How to Cut Tall Grass Mixed with Brush
Using a Field Mower
When you're struggling to figure out how to mow thick grass or tall grass mixed with shrubs, that's where a lawn mower comes into play. One part self-propelled mower, two parts brush blade, they use extremely high quality blades and extremely powerful motors to plow through almost anything 2 or 3 inches thick.
While this machine won't leave clippings like a trimmer, they will last longer than a typical lawn mower. In many ways, it looks like the grass has been pushed down, even though it has been cut.
Field and brush mowers are a great place to start when you're trying to clear land that's long been a field, or simply trying to maintain pasture that's out of reach for tractors and batwings.
Like the equipment in our photos? It comes from DR Power Equipment. Click here to see them as well as a full line of outdoor power equipment.
Pro tip : For larger equipment like field and lawn mowers, consider renting rather than buying if you don't have an ongoing need.
Do you have any advice on how to trim tall grass? Leave them in the comments below!