How to Cut Zoysia Grass With a Reel Mower


Get a healthy workout while mowing your lawn by using an old-fashioned reel mower, which first came into use in the 1800s. Unlike more modern engine-propelled mowers, reel mowers use a rotating set of blades that spin as you manually push the mower. Use a reel mower on any type of standard lawn grass, including the ever-popular zoysia grass species, to keep your lawn manicured and beautiful.

Step 1

Sharpen the reel mower's blades, as zoysia grows in dense masses that can be hard to cut. Consult your specific mower's user documentation, as blade style, size and sharpening requirements vary widely by manufacturer. Sharpening kits are typically available from the manufacturer.

Step 2

Set the reel mower's height, typically accomplished by lowering a gear or switch on the mower's wheels to adjust the rotating blades' height from the ground. The University of Maryland's Home and Garden Information Center recommends that zoysia grass be mowed to a height of 0.5 to 1.5 inches.

Step 3

Cut the grass. Place the reel mower on the edge of a patch of zoysia grass and push it forward. Your manual pushing motion generates a spinning of the mower's blades, which cuts the grass.

Step 4

Repeat as needed to keep the zoysia grass at a height of 0.5 to 1.5 inches. The frequency of your mowing varies by the speed of your grass growth, which varies according to soil nutrient content, weather and water levels.

Tips and Warnings

  • The University of Maryland suggests that most zoysia patches require mowing every 10 to 14 days, more during the summer and less during the spring and fall.

Things You'll Need

  • Reel blade sharpener


  • University of Maryland: Planting and Care of a Zoysiagrass Lawn
  • "The Lawn Bible: How to Keep It Green, Groomed and Growing;" David Mellor; 2003
  • American Lawns: History of the Lawn Mower
Keywords: cut zoysia, use reel mower, mow zoysia

About this Author

Josh Duvauchelle is an editor and journalist with more than 10 years' experience. His work has appeared in various magazines, including "Honolulu Magazine," which has more paid subscribers than any other magazine in Hawaii. He graduated with honors from Trinity Western University, holding a Bachelor of Arts in professional communications, and earned a certificate in applied leadership and public affairs from the Laurentian Leadership Centre.