What is the One Third Rule?


To keep a nice and healthy lawn you need to ensure you mow it at the right height and frequency. A simple rule to stick to is the “one third rule”. The one third rule refers to never taking more than one third of the leaf at any single mowing.

For example, if you have a Sir Walter DNA Certified lawn and you want to keep it at 25mm length, you would never let it get beyond 40mm in length. This may mean mowing more frequently than what you’re used to, but the result is a healthier lawn. Mowing more frequently won’t harm your lawn as long as you keep the blades on your mower sharp.

When you follow the one-third rule you actually respond to how fast your lawn is growing. During peak growing times (Spring & Summer), you will be mowing more frequently. Whereas in the cooler months you will be able to cut back. Even though you will be able to cut down mowing in the cooler months, it is important that you still regularly mow to keep weeds at bay. During winter, we still recommend that you mow at least every 14 days.

What If It Gets Too Long?

There may be some times throughout the year where you are unable to mow your lawn for an extended period of time. This may be due to holidays, heavy rain or for a whole range of reasons. If this does happen, it’s possible that your lawn can get quite tall. If your lawn has gotten very tall, mow it at the highest possible setting on your mower. It may take a little more time than if you took it all off at once, but what this does is prevents your lawn from going into stress and browning off.

You can either come back later the same day or later the next day and lower the height slightly and mow again. Keep doing this until you have gotten your lawn to the desired height you want.

Benefits of the One Third Rule

When you follow the one third rule it generally means you will be mowing more regularly which promotes lateral growth. What this means is that your lawn will grow across as well as up. When it grows laterally it will help to thicken up your lawn and produce a denser coverage. This helps to choke out the weeds and leaves you with a lush and healthy lawn.  

Another benefit of following the one third rule is the clippings. Because you are taking such a small amount off each time, you don’t need to use a catcher and can actually leave the clippings on the lawn. This helps to add nutrients into your lawn and can help reduce the need of using fertilisers, meaning less work for you!

The only time you wouldn’t leave the clippings on your lawn when following the rule is if you had weeds or seed heads. Then you would want to collect the clippings and compost them or dispose of them in your green bin.

Mowing Tips

So now that you know the importance of following the one third rule when mowing, lets go through a couple of extra tips to make sure you have the best-looking lawn on the street all year ‘round.

  • Watering the Lawn
    It is always best to mow the lawn when it’s dry. For best results try to avoid mowing during or straight after rainfall, if the lawn is moist from the night before, or if you’ve just watered it. Ideally you would mow your lawn first and then give it a water or time it before rain is due to fall.
  • Keep the Blades Sharp
    When you keep the blades sharp you stop any ripping and tearing which can cause damage and stress to the leaf. You will want to sharpen the blades a few times during the growing season, and may even want to have a second set on hand. 
  • Scalping
    You want to avoid scalping your lawn as much as possible (cutting the lawn too short). When the lawn is regularly scalped this leads to soil exposure, meaning your lawn is more susceptible to weeds, drought and high temperatures. It will also cause a poorly developed root system.
  • Time of the Day
    If possible, you want to avoid mowing the lawn during the peak heat of the day. In the afternoon or early morning is the best time to get the best results and keep a healthy, happy and nice-looking lawn.


For any questions or concerns regarding your lawn please contact our office on 02 4464 2033 or email us at sales@turfco.com.au.

Our lawn is looking, great, I'm really happy with it; I never thought I would be a lawn person but turns out I am!

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Fantastic , I bought it online Wednesday and it was delivered to my door on Friday, doesn't get any better than that. Thanks!

Warwick, Goulburn

Sincere thanks for your generosity with the recent supply of turf to Ray Robinson Oval – it's assisted immensely with upkeep and preseason preparation.

Fernhill Soccer Club

Thank you for your professionalism and attention to detail with the installation of Sir Walter. It has transformed our newly built home with the finishing touch it so desperately needed.

Tim, South Nowra

Nathan, Josh and Brendon were a delight to deal with and did a fantastic job.

Patrick, Illawong 

Jed and his buddy are wonderful. You guys are a real credit to Turfco.

Robyn, Greenwell Point 

Thanks Marcus! I have to say you and your team are one of the most professional trades I have come across and the lawn looks great!

Belinda, Greenhills Beach

The area is looking excellent – a huge improvement on the original! I appreciate your team's efforts.

Lile, Keiraville 

Please thank your guy for a great install – we had the perfect weather for laying (rained all day!) Looking a treat and I'll be in touch for more just as soon as this lot is established.

Michael, Tallong

Thanks Marcus! I have to say you and your team are one of the most professional trades I have come across and the lawn looks great!

Greenhills Beach - Belinda Roberts

Big thanks to Marcus Josh and Jed – very professional, courteous with nothing being a problem, a job well done and another happy customer – will not hesitate to recommend you guys.

Kevin, Port Kembla 

Product arrived with good grass growth and a nice root mass. Please pass on my thanks to your team.

Jim's Mowing, Kiama

Hi Marcus and Jed, thanks again for your work, we really love our lawn!

Gary, Berry

The boys who laid the lawn were awesome... very polite, worked hard and more than helpful with instructions for care.

Bronwyn, Vincentia

Very very happy with the service we received, everyone was courteous, polite and professional.
Would definitely use your company again in the future.

Karen, Mt Pleasant

Just a quick message to say a big thank you to the driver who delivered the Turf on Saturday. He placed the turf in positions that made it easier for our guys to lay the turf.

Thanks again.

Surf Beach - Ann

Thanks Joe and Marcus for everything and to the guys that did the lawn, they were fantastic and did a great job.

Melinda, Renwick

Jed and Jamie worked their butts off today and did a fantastic job turfing our front lawn. Your whole operation is totally professional and we could not be more pleased with the end result.

Tony, Sutherland

Hi Marcus , just to let you know that the boys and yourself are a credit to your company. Their work ethics are second to none. Thank you.

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These guys were awesome! Nothing was too much to ask. Thanks again.

Susan, South Coast NSW

I am amazed at the difference the turf installation has made to the backyard. You made everything so very easy, I will certainly be recommending you. If I need turf again Turfco will be the first company I turn to.

Margarethe, Shellharbour

Great product, excellent service and the most professional experience we have had so far with our renovation. Please use us as a referee to other potential clients, they won't regret it.

Victoria & Gary, Illawarra

Excellent customer service. Marcus gave good advice on what turf to use and had no problems coming a second time to help us keep in budget. The team were polite, friendly, efficient and did a terrific job on our large backyard. It looks amazing. 

Anon, Berry

The new lawn looks great! Thank you very much, the boys did a top job.

Matt, Wollongong

Marcus and Joe are very professional and know exactly what they are doing; their friendly personalities and workmanship makes them a credit to your company.

James, South Coast NSW

Thank you for the great job your guy did on Wednesday. I recommend you guys to everyone. Thanks heaps!

 Mick, Wollongong

Joe, Scott and the team did a great job yesterday and despite having all four seasons during the afternoon, we smashed the turf laying records and got the job done.

Jeff, Kangaroo Valley

Turfco did an amazing job at my place and now I want to repeat it!

Reece, Jervis Bay

Thank you for a quick and professional job at our school.

Mark, Wollongong