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Cutting overgrown grasses by more than an inch or two at a time can create unhealthy brown and bald spots in your lawn - or even kill it off entirely.
But, with the right tools, it's relatively simple to tame an overgrown field and reclaim lovely turf in its place.
True grasses, some of which make up lawns, grow in response to being cut. But, they also need to maintain some green top growth in order to feed themselves through photosynthesis.
Cutting grass frequently, and only by an inch or two at a time, stimulates new growth, which keeps your lawn lush. Cutting it less frequently and by several inches (or feet) at a time may damage it irreparably.
If you are facing too-tall grass that you want to trim back to a manageable height, you may need to mow every few days, lowering the blade each time, to regain your ideal lawn. After that, if you stay on top of mowing, your lawn will probably require less frequent trims.
First, assess how tall your lawn has grown and decide how short you want to make it. Then, adjust your mower height to a setting that will trim no more than two inches off the top and won't cut all of the green growth away leaving only bare ground. Trim the entire area at that height.
About two to three days later, adjust your mower height again - this time to trim no more than two inches lower than you cut the last time. And, if this second mower height adjustment trim still didn't bring your lawn fully into check, repeat again in another two or three days, lowering the mowing height with each repetition. And, repeat as needed.
Once you have trimmed your turf to the height you wish to maintain, your mower should be set to the height at which you should mow regularly going forward.