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khutch
08-13-2005, 08:33 PM
I've got only about 6 bermuda accounts, I also handle the fert side, and the rain is leaching em like crazy. 2 of em I get every 5 days, cut at 2". The other 4 once a week, cut at 2.5" mostly because of the extra growth. Seems the extra 2 days of growing makes a huge difference in clippings. With the rain the growth is too much to mulch very well. Also it seems to get it to 2.5 cuts so much leaf they half green/brown. Would rather not cut any higher than 2.5"
How do you guys handle bermuda when it grows 2 to 3 inches in a week and you are left with brown stems after cutting?

grassmanvt
08-14-2005, 12:48 PM
I don't cut much (or any) bermuda but generally cut at 3 or 3.5, If mowing often with lots of water and properly fert, 2 might be ok but otherswise you are probably taking way too much off, remember the one third rule is a good one to try and follow.

Master Po
08-14-2005, 02:48 PM
Our beach house on the OBX has a sodded bermuda lawn that we have cut at 1.5-2 inches every five days. The reason for this twice a week cut is simply so it will not turn brown after it is cut. Around here I cut the bermuda at 2 inches. It turns a little brown at first, but greens up after about two days. I should add that we have a irrigation system.

khutch
08-14-2005, 03:18 PM
What about clippings? It seems I am cutting twice or bagging.....

grassmanvt
08-14-2005, 04:22 PM
What about clippings? It seems I am cutting twice or bagging.....

Then you are taking off more than you probably should.

mccloud1
08-14-2005, 05:15 PM
khutch,
If your customers won't allow you to do a weekly cutting or the preferred every three to four days, then don't worry about it. With the amount of rain we have had this season and the rate it is growing, without cutting it every 3 to 4 days your going to take more than what is recommended off it and it will turn brown. That won't last but a few days, then it will green back up. I explain this to my customers and let them make the choice, either I do it like it's recommended, weekly or every two weeks, ultimately it their choice in what they can afford or how often they want to pay. My weekly customers lawn/s don't brown as much as those who only want it done every two weeks.

Richard Martin
08-14-2005, 05:24 PM
I don't cut much (or any) bermuda but generally cut at 3 or 3.5, If mowing often with lots of water and properly fert, 2 might be ok but otherswise you are probably taking way too much off, remember the one third rule is a good one to try and follow.

In Vermont you're not cutting any Bermuda. www.bermudagrass.com has a map of the growing range. The map is a little off because we get a lot of Bermuda here on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay here in Maryland. There is a lot of info on Bermuda on this site, check it out.

grassmanvt
08-14-2005, 06:41 PM
In Vermont you're not cutting any Bermuda. www.bermudagrass.com has a map of the growing range. The map is a little off because we get a lot of Bermuda here on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay here in Maryland. There is a lot of info on Bermuda on this site, check it out.

I know I'm not, thats why I wrote that I don't cut any, so I don't know much (ok,anything) about it. But, it sounded like a very simple case of cutting too short or cutting too much at one time causing a temporary browning untill the leaf recovered, so I thought I'd offer my two cents worth.

khutch
08-16-2005, 07:36 AM
My problem with the 1/3 rule and Bermuda - if you are cutting at 2", the 1/3 rule applies after 2/3" of growth. My is growing that much in 2-3 days. Cut it at 2 1/2" or 3" it grows the same amount! I've come to find 5 day schedule is the only solution.

Tadams
08-16-2005, 11:44 AM
First of all let me say that I hate Bermuda. Let me rephrase-I hate taking care of a bermuda lawn that the customer wants cut every 2 weeks! The best way that I have found to deal with the extreme growth rate of bermuda is to start the season off by cutting the bermuda as low as you can and then you have to gradually raise the cutting heighth as the season goes. I started the season at abought 1.5" and now I am up to 3.25-3.5". I do have some that are still at 2" but the people want them short. I have told them that there might be some scalped marks and that this is not very good for the turf and that if they insisted that I cut it this low then I could not be held responsible for the way that it looks nor if any other problems arise from cutting at this heighth. As the end the season nears for bermuda you can start to lower it back to the desired heighth and get in a few extra cuts.

Shane7258
08-16-2005, 02:28 PM
Bermuda cut that short will brown... 3-4 inches is the reccomended hight or as high as your mower will cut will see minimal browning

P&C Lawn Care
08-16-2005, 11:39 PM
Cut back on the nitrogen on Burmuda to slow the upright growth, if you want to keep it green use some iron. Make sure your blades are sharp when cutting

ThreeWide
08-17-2005, 07:44 AM
Here is the way I approach mowing Bermuda....

Never, never, never leave the client with brown areas during the growing season. This normally means raising the mower height so that you don't cut the grass down to the stem. The issue with Bermuda is that only the top portion of the blade is green. If it grows to 3", sometimes just cutting it 1" will reveal the brown stems.

The best way to manage Bermuda is mowing at 1-1.5" inches with a reel mower every 3-4 days. Since that is not realistic for many, I did try something new thi s year. On the lawns cut weekly with a reel, I sprayed Primo and Iron during June, July, and August. This has cut the growth rate by 50%, allowing me to cut on a 7-day interval at 1.25" Clippings are mulched and quickly disappear since only a small amout of blade is being cut.

On lawns that are cut with ZTR, I started at 1.5" after Spring scalping. They are now being cut at 2.75" because of the excessive rainfall this year. You simply have to raise the height as Summer progresses. These lawns are not bagged, but often require a second pass to disperse the clippings left behind. Still quicker than bagging.

Also need to point out that these lawns were still being cut at 2" until the hurricanes hit the Southeast. With Bermuda, one heavy week of rain and everything is screwed up.

Even with all of this I stated, you have to manage the fertilizer program very well. Use as little quick release Nitrogen as possible. Try to use slow release forms such as SCU, MESA, or Nitroform.

ThreeWide
08-17-2005, 08:05 AM
Also need to note that most Bermuda lawns are the hybrid cultivars such as Tifway. Why do LCO's and homeowners have such trouble managing them? The reason is these Bermuda hybrids were originally designed to be used for sports fields, where high maintenance turf can be dealt with. They simply perform best when maintained at 1/2 to 1 inch.

Try to tell a homeowner that his lawn needs be mowed twice per week. Most of them won't do it, nor pay for it.

Somewhere along the way, builders decided that Bermuda was a good choice for home lawns. This is mainly because the sod is relatively cheap compared to other grasses.

You will notice that when landscapers design commercial property entrances and common areas, they normally do not have Bermuda. The maintenance folks like Fescue better because it is easier to maintain from a mowing standpoint.

I personally like Bermuda for our part of the country, but I'm also the type that doesn't mind mowing my own lawn twice per week.