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130perweek
06-21-2009, 10:41 PM
I'm having a problem cutting a few of my weekly lawns. The lawns are growing and they look really good. I am cutting them at appx 3 1/2", and at that height, I'm taking at least 4-5 inches off of them. I do mulch the grass, and a lot does fall into the grass to the ground, but I also do blow a lot of it away.

The problem I'm having is that the green lawns turn mostly brown after cutting. I heard a rumor, maybe there is some truth to it, that the chlorophyll in the blade of grass go halfway down that blade of grass, so when I cut, I'm taking off more than half of the length of the blade of grass, hence getting rid of all the chlorophyll, and the lawns are brown underneath.

Is there any truth to this theory? Anyone know how to fix this problem? The client is asking what is going on, but I truly have no idea. Maybe someone here knows something about this problem.

Thanks,


Chris
CJH Landscaping

JDiepstra
06-21-2009, 11:33 PM
You should not cut off more than 1/3 of the blade. You are taking off about 2/3. Tell them to water less, and you may need to mow more often.

STIHL GUY
06-22-2009, 12:04 AM
you may have to double cut it or cut it a few days apart just to get in under controll or ask them not to water as much. but you are deffinitly taking too much off

White Gardens
06-22-2009, 09:45 AM
Yes, when you cut too much off, the yard will have a brown appearance. Much of it has to do with sun light exposure, and the grass being tall. Your theory is correct.

Another thing is also how "lush" a lawn is. Around here, with all the rain we've had, I've never seen lawns this thick, this time of year, so it's inevitable to get some browning when mowing.

I generally have this problem in the spring, or when extremely wet. Once I get the yard under-control and mowed once a week, then the browning condition tends to go away.

Lately, I noticed it only takes about a day for a yard to green back up, so yes it looks crappy when mowing, but snaps right back.

Tell them to cut back on the fertilizer too. This will keep it a little shorter week to week.

Stingray63
06-22-2009, 07:59 PM
Are you using lawnmower blades that are sharp everyday? That can also cause grass to turn brown because it tears the grass blade instead of cutting it. Like another poster said, you're also cutting more grass than you should be taking off.

Stingray

david shumaker
06-22-2009, 10:30 PM
I've noticed this on some of my lawns. The grass has been growing so fast that I have to cut a liitle more than 1/3 off. Some yards really need cutting more than once a week if tall and thick, but it has been hard to keep up with once a week and nobody wants to pay for every 4 or 5 days which I don't blame them.

The yards green back up after a few days.

JNyz
06-23-2009, 07:13 AM
I'm having a problem cutting a few of my weekly lawns. The lawns are growing and they look really good. I am cutting them at appx 3 1/2", and at that height, I'm taking at least 4-5 inches off of them. I do mulch the grass, and a lot does fall into the grass to the ground, but I also do blow a lot of it away.

The problem I'm having is that the green lawns turn mostly brown after cutting. I heard a rumor, maybe there is some truth to it, that the chlorophyll in the blade of grass go halfway down that blade of grass, so when I cut, I'm taking off more than half of the length of the blade of grass, hence getting rid of all the chlorophyll, and the lawns are brown underneath.

Is there any truth to this theory? Anyone know how to fix this problem? The client is asking what is going on, but I truly have no idea. Maybe someone here knows something about this problem.

Sounds like you don't have them on a weekly schedule.
Thanks,


Chris
CJH Landscaping

Sounds like you don't have them on a weekly schedule.

New Image Lawn and Scapes
06-23-2009, 07:19 AM
Do you have a fungus like brown patch? It is all over the place here on the east coast right now. The weather has been perfect for it.

Whitey4
06-23-2009, 11:58 PM
As a fellow LI'er, I can tell you two things are happening here. Well, maybe 3 things.

If you are cutting weekly, even with all this rain, taking off 4 inches is way too much. These lawns have too much nitrogen. I am also cutting at 3 1/2 inches now.... for two reasons. (I usually cut at 3 inches). The red thread is just beyond belief. Saw not one lawn with it last year, and EVERY lawn has at least some this spring. I raised my deck to help hide the fungus damage.

Even lawns that have gotten the right amount of nitrogen have crazy top growth. Taking off half the top growth exposes stems, which are brown. You also expose the fungus damage.

The new top growth will hide both the stems and the fungus damage, but it takes a day or three.

Bottom line, this has been a very dufficult spring with excessive rain, top growth and fungus issues.

130perweek
06-24-2009, 07:07 AM
This is a weekly lawn cut.

Blades are always sharp (I know the difference between the grass 'cutting' and 'ripping').

As far as taking too much off, I understand that....but how am I supposed to get these lawns under control? I can only show up once a week and I'm taking off 5 inches, or more, off. If I only took off 1/3 every week, these lawns would be over a foot tall in only several weeks. Then the lawns would be so tall, it would start flopping over at the top.

I guess I would really have to ask them if it would be okay to cut more than once per week during this growing season. Then I'd have to see if I could work it in to twice per week.

So, less fertilizer....less water....cut more than once per week to get under control.

130perweek
06-24-2009, 07:10 AM
As a fellow LI'er, I can tell you two things are happening here. Well, maybe 3 things.....

....The red thread is just beyond belief. Saw not one lawn with it last year, and EVERY lawn has at least some this spring. I raised my deck to help hide the fungus damage....



^^ The red thread is just beyond belief......Did I miss something?

kirk1701
06-24-2009, 02:58 PM
Seeing the same symptoms here in Kentucky. I'm just a homeowner so it was actually good to see I'm not alone (surrounding lawns are worse)

The weeds here are greener then the lawns :laugh:

6" plus of rain for June alone but now the temps are in the 90-95 range, drying up quick and actually quiet pleased with mine, followed what you guys here said, get the N down before mid spring and STOP! :rolleyes:

Did a soil test about three weeks ago, just a little low on lime so did a light lime since then but thats it. Except spot spray for nutsedge

Not growing much, mowing once every two weeks. Thinking about putting down some compost now.

130perweek
06-24-2009, 06:52 PM
At this point in time, I wish my lawns would only take one cutting every 2 weeks.

kirk1701
06-24-2009, 07:35 PM
At this point in time, I wish my lawns would only take one cutting every 2 weeks.

:walking:

Hey, I just did exactly as you guys told me last fall and what can I say; it worked :drinkup:

Like I said, it is 90-95 here and fescue does go dormant in this heat so thats the real reason.

Whitey4
06-24-2009, 07:44 PM
This is a weekly lawn cut.

Blades are always sharp (I know the difference between the grass 'cutting' and 'ripping').

As far as taking too much off, I understand that....but how am I supposed to get these lawns under control? I can only show up once a week and I'm taking off 5 inches, or more, off. If I only took off 1/3 every week, these lawns would be over a foot tall in only several weeks. Then the lawns would be so tall, it would start flopping over at the top.

I guess I would really have to ask them if it would be okay to cut more than once per week during this growing season. Then I'd have to see if I could work it in to twice per week.

So, less fertilizer....less water....cut more than once per week to get under control.

The lawns I am fertilizing (which is all of them, less a couple of un-ferted mows) don't have that kind of top growth. Still, I am often cutting off half the top growth with all this rain. That even exposes stems at 3 1/2 inch cuts.

Not sure what to make of your next post about missing something... red thread is severe this year, and cuts expose the damage, which is brown. I've spoken to quite a few folks about this at the NSLGA meetings and while on my route. Are you legal for pesticides like fungicide apps?

alltoroformetwo
06-24-2009, 09:13 PM
Are they bermuda lawns? If so 3.5 inches is too much.

Whitey4
06-24-2009, 09:50 PM
Are they bermuda lawns? If so 3.5 inches is too much.

No bermuda in NY unless it's on a putting green.

alltoroformetwo
06-24-2009, 10:20 PM
No bermuda in NY unless it's on a putting green.

Yeah I guess it would only be green for a month or two.

Brown & Co.
06-25-2009, 01:01 AM
Everyone's got the same ideas...the only way to know for sure is to research it and learn. :) Your in an industry that's always coming up with new ways to do things to be more effective and effecient. Never cut more than a 1/3 of the blade because it has a high chance of stressing out the grass. From a biological aspect you never know how that stress will effect the grass. Could effect it in numerous ways such as the plants photosynthesis or weaking of the plants infastructure due to a lack there of...theoretically you wont know whats really causing it with 100% certainty. Remember the steps you've taken and what works to get the result you want. I also saw that you had mentioned mowing and fertilizing in the same sentance...Im just assuming you might be putting it down the same time your mowing or even a couple of days after mowing. If thats the case you may try waiting about 3 days or so after you mow to put down your fert. Its just one more thing that could be lending ahand to the brown color/stress. Heat (as well as a dry cold) also if you fertilized and its wanting to become fairly dry in your area it chould cause a burning apperance. Also not sure what type of grass it is but 3.5 IMO for a cut is too high unless its a grass like st.augustine but at that hight you should be cuting it every3 or 4 days almost maybe not quite that much but close. In those cases that its to be mowed at 3 inches your most certainly going to have to be cutting it weekly...DONT fret...just inform your client whats happening and why you think its happing (this is why doing your own research is key since its your suggestion to your client.) Charge them for the extra mows or anything you do on the property grounds. Your services are not free Im sure. Hell once you get your knowledge down on the subject charge for your suggestions afterall it was your hard work and time learning it right. Getting back to the case at hand...soil tests are great as mentioned before although the way it was mentioned is not the whole thing. They also when done through the right network (everyone has their own ppl) the report will tell you what micro/trace elements you might need. It lets you know the pH of the lawn and Lime is usually used to raise or lower it. BUT thats only part of it. As others have mentioned fungus and disease...if most of your accounts are experiencing this problem and it is a disease/fungus it chould be hitching a ride on the underside of your mower just waiting for you to spread it to the next lawn. ( if thats the case wash the undercarage of the mower and dry it after each lawn until you find out what lawns are infected and you treat them or have some one treat them and they havnt shown sinse of disease or fungus for about a full season. Just be safe. would hate to see another company get in serious trouble for infecting someone elses property expescially if its a fairly large commercial piece that the owner would then have to fix with his own money... that will piss some one off something fierce I know I would be. BUT More than likly its a combination of watering, nutrients, weeds, and if your remaing grass thats 3.5 inches is brown thats alot of thatch, Im thinking, and with tempatures raising that could become devistaing to the lawns appearance. Even more so if your clients are watering too much (which could cause your grass to go dormant early if temperatures fall and that extra moisture in combination with the thatch freezes; the same goes for the oposite weather conditions....lets say its getting hotter which is your case I believe that extra moisture could be baking your grass at the ground level. Note Decomposition favors warm dark and moisture prolly more so humidity on a microscopic scale. As you can see other problems feed off of other problems. First and for most you cant work on an over grown lawn. that would be the first problem with it. Mow it regularly and mow it often...sometime even changing the usual direction you cut at changes the way the grass stands and in turn changes how it grows. Every lawn/property is unique. Thats one reason soil tests are taken with numberous collections throughout the entire property grounds. This is only been my experience...Im more than certain people have come up with diferent and also had execlent results. My suggestion would be to get that lawn scheduled to be cut regularly when it NEEDS it. That would be when the grass has grown 1/3 of its recommended length (sorry im not being specific as I dont know what type of grass it is). That could be once a month (not likly), every other month (still not really the case year round.), I would let your client know you will need to cut the lawn every 10-15 days as you have NO idea what the weather is going to be like. If your lawn is runing smoothly and you MAINTAIN it at the proper cut height those other problems we discussed earlier will diminish enough to figure out just whats causeing it. It will eliminate the thatch (may take a rake or a thatcher.) Its hard work being on top of a persons lawn ....if you actually do care about the property grounds...theres a difference. One person is just there to cut the lawn and thats it. the other is there to figure out whats going on and fix the problems as they occur, often retracing steps. If you have some specific questions about something you want to try that might help us forum members brainstorm your situation. As it stands theres too much to diagnose with all the things listed. Im here to help as my schedule allows and my email is listed on my profile if you would like to shoot me a private message with your specifics.

MileHigh
06-25-2009, 01:28 AM
^^^Dude....Paragraphs man, Paragraphs.

nobody's gonna read all that typed in that way:dizzy:

Brown & Co.
06-25-2009, 01:49 AM
LOL Isaid to myself god damn thats a lot of crap.... lol is there a way to edit posts I will definatly format the jumbled text...was just on a typing rampage. Sorry Fellas... Been checking out your work blades, good stuff I like it all.

MileHigh
06-25-2009, 01:56 AM
LOL Isaid to myself god damn thats a lot of crap.... lol is there a way to edit posts I will definatly format the jumbled text...was just on a typing rampage. Sorry Fellas... Been checking out your work blades, good stuff I like it all.

thanks man.

you can only edit your posts within 10 minutes of posting them.

Brown & Co.
06-25-2009, 02:09 AM
Everyone's got the same ideas...the only way to know for sure is to research it and learn. Your in an industry that's always coming up with new ways to do things to be more effective and effecient. Never cut more than a 1/3 of the blade because it has a high chance of stressing out the grass.

From a biological aspect you never know how that stress will effect the grass. It could effect it in numerous ways such as the plants photosynthesis or weaking of the plants infastructure due to a lack there of (Its too numberous were the root problem lies...theoretically you wont know whats really causing it with 100% certainty. Remember the steps you've taken and what works to get the result you want.

I also saw that you had mentioned mowing and fertilizing in the same sentance...Im just assuming you might be putting it down the same time your mowing or even a couple of days after mowing. If thats the case you may try waiting about 3 days or so after you mow to put down your fert. Its just one more thing that could be lending ahand to the brown color/stress.

Heat (as well as a dry cold) also if you fertilized and its wanting to become fairly dry in your area it chould cause a burning apperance. Also not sure what type of grass it is but 3.5 IMO for a cut is too high unless its a grass like st.augustine but at that height you should be cuting it every 3 or 4 days almost, maybe not quite that much but close. In those cases that its to be mowed at 3 inches your most certainly going to have to be cutting it weekly...DONT fret...just inform your client whats happening and why you think its happing (this is why doing your own research is key since its your suggestion to your client.) Charge them for the extra mows or anything you do on the property grounds. Your services are not free Im sure. Hell once you get your knowledge down on the subject charge for your suggestions afterall it was your hard work and time learning it right.

Getting back to the case at hand...soil tests are great as mentioned before (a soil test prolly is not going to help your brown patches as I think it is related to the conditions listed below) although the way it was mentioned before in the other post is not entirly out there for you to understand. They also when done through the right network (everyone has their own ppl) the report will tell you what micro/trace elements you might need as well as what amounts and other suggestions from a biological aspect. It lets you know the pH of the lawn and Lime is usually used to raise or lower it. BUT thats only part of it.

As others have mentioned fungus and disease...if most of your accounts are experiencing this problem and it is a disease/fungus it chould be hitching a ride on the underside of your mower just waiting for you to spread it to the next lawn. (if thats the case wash the undercarriage of the mower and dry it after each lawn until you find out what lawns are infected and you treat them or have some one treat them and they havnt shown signs of disease or fungus for about a full season. Just be safe. Would hate to see another company get in serious trouble for infecting someone elses property expescially if its a fairly large commercial piece that the owner would then have to fix with his own money... that will piss some one off something fierce I know I would be.

BUT More than likly its a combination of watering, nutrients, weeds, and if your remaing grass thats 3.5 inches is brown thats alot of thatch, Im thinking, and with tempatures raising that could become devistaing to the lawns appearance (Why your seeing so much brown). Even more so if your clients are watering too much (which could cause your grass to go dormant early if temperatures fall and that extra moisture in combination with the thatch freezes; the same goes for the oposite weather conditions....lets say its getting hotter; which is your case I believe, that extra moisture could be baking your grass at the ground level. Note: Decomposition favors warm, dark, and moisture; prolly more so "humidity" on a microscopic scale.

As you can see other problems feed off of other problems. First and for most you cant work on an over grown lawn. That would be the first problem with it. Mow it regularly and mow it often...sometime even changing the direction you mow at changes the way the grass stands and in turn changes how it grows. Every lawn/property is unique. Thats one reason soil tests are taken with numberous collections throughout the entire property grounds.

This has only been my experience...Im more than certain people have come up with different and also had execlent results. My suggestion would be to get that lawn scheduled to be cut regularly when it NEEDS it. That would be when the grass has grown 1/3 of its recommended length (sorry im not being specific as I dont know what type of grass it is). That could be once a month (not likly), every other month (still not really the case year round); I would let your client know you will need to cut the lawn every 10-15 days as you have NO idea what the weather is going to be like. If your lawn is running smoothly and you MAINTAIN it at the proper cut height those other problems we discussed earlier will diminish enough to figure out just whats causeing it.

It should eliminate the thatch (may take a rake or a thatcher.) Its hard work being on top of a person's lawn...if you actually do care about the property grounds...there's a difference. One person is just there to cut the lawn and thats it. The other is there to figure out whats going on and fix the problems as they occur, often retracing steps. If you have some specific questions about something you want to try that might help us forum members brainstorm your situation.

As it stands theres too much to diagnose with all the things listed. Im here to help as my schedule allows and my email is listed on my profile if you would like to shoot me a private message with your specifics. Try posting some close up pictures and/or from a distance so that we can see first hand what your seend and not letting our imagination from our experience take over. :)

Whitey4
06-25-2009, 11:24 PM
Everyone's got the same ideas...the only way to know for sure is to research it and learn. Your in an industry that's always coming up with new ways to do things to be more effective and effecient. Never cut more than a 1/3 of the blade because it has a high chance of stressing out the grass.

From a biological aspect you never know how that stress will effect the grass. It could effect it in numerous ways such as the plants photosynthesis or weaking of the plants infastructure due to a lack there of (Its too numberous were the root problem lies...theoretically you wont know whats really causing it with 100% certainty. Remember the steps you've taken and what works to get the result you want.

I also saw that you had mentioned mowing and fertilizing in the same sentance...Im just assuming you might be putting it down the same time your mowing or even a couple of days after mowing. If thats the case you may try waiting about 3 days or so after you mow to put down your fert. Its just one more thing that could be lending ahand to the brown color/stress.

Heat (as well as a dry cold) also if you fertilized and its wanting to become fairly dry in your area it chould cause a burning apperance. Also not sure what type of grass it is but 3.5 IMO for a cut is too high unless its a grass like st.augustine but at that height you should be cuting it every 3 or 4 days almost, maybe not quite that much but close. In those cases that its to be mowed at 3 inches your most certainly going to have to be cutting it weekly...DONT fret...just inform your client whats happening and why you think its happing (this is why doing your own research is key since its your suggestion to your client.) Charge them for the extra mows or anything you do on the property grounds. Your services are not free Im sure. Hell once you get your knowledge down on the subject charge for your suggestions afterall it was your hard work and time learning it right.

Getting back to the case at hand...soil tests are great as mentioned before (a soil test prolly is not going to help your brown patches as I think it is related to the conditions listed below) although the way it was mentioned before in the other post is not entirly out there for you to understand. They also when done through the right network (everyone has their own ppl) the report will tell you what micro/trace elements you might need as well as what amounts and other suggestions from a biological aspect. It lets you know the pH of the lawn and Lime is usually used to raise or lower it. BUT thats only part of it.

As others have mentioned fungus and disease...if most of your accounts are experiencing this problem and it is a disease/fungus it chould be hitching a ride on the underside of your mower just waiting for you to spread it to the next lawn. (if thats the case wash the undercarriage of the mower and dry it after each lawn until you find out what lawns are infected and you treat them or have some one treat them and they havnt shown signs of disease or fungus for about a full season. Just be safe. Would hate to see another company get in serious trouble for infecting someone elses property expescially if its a fairly large commercial piece that the owner would then have to fix with his own money... that will piss some one off something fierce I know I would be.

BUT More than likly its a combination of watering, nutrients, weeds, and if your remaing grass thats 3.5 inches is brown thats alot of thatch, Im thinking, and with tempatures raising that could become devistaing to the lawns appearance (Why your seeing so much brown). Even more so if your clients are watering too much (which could cause your grass to go dormant early if temperatures fall and that extra moisture in combination with the thatch freezes; the same goes for the oposite weather conditions....lets say its getting hotter; which is your case I believe, that extra moisture could be baking your grass at the ground level. Note: Decomposition favors warm, dark, and moisture; prolly more so "humidity" on a microscopic scale.

As you can see other problems feed off of other problems. First and for most you cant work on an over grown lawn. That would be the first problem with it. Mow it regularly and mow it often...sometime even changing the direction you mow at changes the way the grass stands and in turn changes how it grows. Every lawn/property is unique. Thats one reason soil tests are taken with numberous collections throughout the entire property grounds.

This has only been my experience...Im more than certain people have come up with different and also had execlent results. My suggestion would be to get that lawn scheduled to be cut regularly when it NEEDS it. That would be when the grass has grown 1/3 of its recommended length (sorry im not being specific as I dont know what type of grass it is). That could be once a month (not likly), every other month (still not really the case year round); I would let your client know you will need to cut the lawn every 10-15 days as you have NO idea what the weather is going to be like. If your lawn is running smoothly and you MAINTAIN it at the proper cut height those other problems we discussed earlier will diminish enough to figure out just whats causeing it.

It should eliminate the thatch (may take a rake or a thatcher.) Its hard work being on top of a person's lawn...if you actually do care about the property grounds...there's a difference. One person is just there to cut the lawn and thats it. The other is there to figure out whats going on and fix the problems as they occur, often retracing steps. If you have some specific questions about something you want to try that might help us forum members brainstorm your situation.

As it stands theres too much to diagnose with all the things listed. Im here to help as my schedule allows and my email is listed on my profile if you would like to shoot me a private message with your specifics. Try posting some close up pictures and/or from a distance so that we can see first hand what your seend and not letting our imagination from our experience take over. :)

Other than cutting height I don't disagree with you post, but it sounds like a PHd who never mowed a lawn talking about mowing lawns.

Cornell and most other northern agricultural schools recommened 3 1/2 inch cut heights for rye-.blue-creeping fescue lawns here. Customers want a mow once a week, and most won't pay for cuts every 5 days. Ivory tower ipinion there. .......not real world.

With this kind of rain, something like 28 days out of the last 32, grass is gonna get high. I cut my own lawn as often as I can, but conditions here have been so bad, so hard to keep up with, I took about 4 inches off my OWN lawn today, and I know how bad that is.

Book smarts is one thing... being out here mowing and applying is a whole different world.

Brown & Co.
06-26-2009, 03:51 AM
Well I think your giving the books smarts too much credit. Im my area we typically have Bermuda/Zoysia Hybrid. I just understand that kind of thinking... and that above is everyday knowledge, I hope for those of you that did go to college in turf managment know WAY more than that( Im only speaking from my highschool education and 15 years of grounds maintinance.) I do take offense to the comment about never mowing a lawn before. Up to this year Ive been a solo operation servicing more than 40 contracted accounts (the same ones year after year; meaning I keep them). I love what I do. Anyways just hope anything i said prior is helpful to a person who came to us for help because he/she DIDNT know. :) Its cool though the other stuff about sounding like a ph'd, makes it a good post for me :D Im 23, and this is the first year with a crew. Should be able to atleast double my accounts.

PS 5 days is the earliest I would come back to mow again to get the lawn lower, safely. if its a foot high, mow a 1/3 off, wait 5 days or so, and then mow againto take another 1/3 off repeat as needed till the lawn is at your perfered height ;)

Whitey4
06-26-2009, 12:48 PM
Well I think your giving the books smarts too much credit. Im my area we typically have Bermuda/Zoysia Hybrid. I just understand that kind of thinking... and that above is everyday knowledge, I hope for those of you that did go to college in turf managment know WAY more than that( Im only speaking from my highschool education and 15 years of grounds maintinance.) I do take offense to the comment about never mowing a lawn before. Up to this year Ive been a solo operation servicing more than 40 contracted accounts (the same ones year after year; meaning I keep them). I love what I do. Anyways just hope anything i said prior is helpful to a person who came to us for help because he/she DIDNT know. :) Its cool though the other stuff about sounding like a ph'd, makes it a good post for me :D Im 23, and this is the first year with a crew. Should be able to atleast double my accounts.

PS 5 days is the earliest I would come back to mow again to get the lawn lower, safely. if its a foot high, mow a 1/3 off, wait 5 days or so, and then mow againto take another 1/3 off repeat as needed till the lawn is at your perfered height ;)

Mowing the grasses you have in TX is very different from what we mow in the NE, but the idea of mowing every 5 days in the spring... cutomers don't want to pay for that, and then if one has room to go on a 5 day schedule, what happens in July? Take 2 days off each week?

130perweek
06-26-2009, 04:40 PM
I understand that the way to "control the lawns safely" is to cut it twice per week, or every 5 days. My customers are definitely not going to pay me to do that. For these particular lawns, we're talking appx 30 each, so times 2 = $60 per week....yeah right! Maybe I'll tell them what this forum is saying and maybe that will weigh on their decision to pay me $60 per week for the next few weeks - or until the weather gets drier.


I agree with what Brown & Co. said in their post. There are many factors as to why this is happening to the grass. Thank you for your (as it may have been long-winded) advice. I did read the entire post, before it was paragraphed. And there was plenty of info in there, booksmart or not.

I came to this forum because I wanted to know why the lawns were browning.....and I have gotten numerous responses, more than I thought I was going to. I have been doing this for 17 years, and I'm only 32 years old. It's a family business since 1964 (Father is Owner, and still kickin it), but we all need to turn to some other professionals for opinions every now and then.

Thanks again for everyones' inputs on this subject.




Whitey4: Where are you based out of on LI? And where do you mainly work?


-Chris

Allens LawnCare
06-26-2009, 11:16 PM
Everyone's got the same ideas...the only way to know for sure is to research it and learn. :) Your in an industry that's always coming up with new ways to do things to be more effective and effecient. Never cut more than a 1/3 of the blade because it has a high chance of stressing out the grass. From a biological aspect you never know how that stress will effect the grass. Could effect it in numerous ways such as the plants photosynthesis or weaking of the plants infastructure due to a lack there of...theoretically you wont know whats really causing it with 100% certainty. Remember the steps you've taken and what works to get the result you want. I also saw that you had mentioned mowing and fertilizing in the same sentance...Im just assuming you might be putting it down the same time your mowing or even a couple of days after mowing. If thats the case you may try waiting about 3 days or so after you mow to put down your fert. Its just one more thing that could be lending ahand to the brown color/stress. Heat (as well as a dry cold) also if you fertilized and its wanting to become fairly dry in your area it chould cause a burning apperance. Also not sure what type of grass it is but 3.5 IMO for a cut is too high unless its a grass like st.augustine but at that hight you should be cuting it every3 or 4 days almost maybe not quite that much but close. In those cases that its to be mowed at 3 inches your most certainly going to have to be cutting it weekly...DONT fret...just inform your client whats happening and why you think its happing (this is why doing your own research is key since its your suggestion to your client.) Charge them for the extra mows or anything you do on the property grounds. Your services are not free Im sure. Hell once you get your knowledge down on the subject charge for your suggestions afterall it was your hard work and time learning it right. Getting back to the case at hand...soil tests are great as mentioned before although the way it was mentioned is not the whole thing. They also when done through the right network (everyone has their own ppl) the report will tell you what micro/trace elements you might need. It lets you know the pH of the lawn and Lime is usually used to raise or lower it. BUT thats only part of it. As others have mentioned fungus and disease...if most of your accounts are experiencing this problem and it is a disease/fungus it chould be hitching a ride on the underside of your mower just waiting for you to spread it to the next lawn. ( if thats the case wash the undercarage of the mower and dry it after each lawn until you find out what lawns are infected and you treat them or have some one treat them and they havnt shown sinse of disease or fungus for about a full season. Just be safe. would hate to see another company get in serious trouble for infecting someone elses property expescially if its a fairly large commercial piece that the owner would then have to fix with his own money... that will piss some one off something fierce I know I would be. BUT More than likly its a combination of watering, nutrients, weeds, and if your remaing grass thats 3.5 inches is brown thats alot of thatch, Im thinking, and with tempatures raising that could become devistaing to the lawns appearance. Even more so if your clients are watering too much (which could cause your grass to go dormant early if temperatures fall and that extra moisture in combination with the thatch freezes; the same goes for the oposite weather conditions....lets say its getting hotter which is your case I believe that extra moisture could be baking your grass at the ground level. Note Decomposition favors warm dark and moisture prolly more so humidity on a microscopic scale. As you can see other problems feed off of other problems. First and for most you cant work on an over grown lawn. that would be the first problem with it. Mow it regularly and mow it often...sometime even changing the usual direction you cut at changes the way the grass stands and in turn changes how it grows. Every lawn/property is unique. Thats one reason soil tests are taken with numberous collections throughout the entire property grounds. This is only been my experience...Im more than certain people have come up with diferent and also had execlent results. My suggestion would be to get that lawn scheduled to be cut regularly when it NEEDS it. That would be when the grass has grown 1/3 of its recommended length (sorry im not being specific as I dont know what type of grass it is). That could be once a month (not likly), every other month (still not really the case year round.), I would let your client know you will need to cut the lawn every 10-15 days as you have NO idea what the weather is going to be like. If your lawn is runing smoothly and you MAINTAIN it at the proper cut height those other problems we discussed earlier will diminish enough to figure out just whats causeing it. It will eliminate the thatch (may take a rake or a thatcher.) Its hard work being on top of a persons lawn ....if you actually do care about the property grounds...theres a difference. One person is just there to cut the lawn and thats it. the other is there to figure out whats going on and fix the problems as they occur, often retracing steps. If you have some specific questions about something you want to try that might help us forum members brainstorm your situation. As it stands theres too much to diagnose with all the things listed. Im here to help as my schedule allows and my email is listed on my profile if you would like to shoot me a private message with your specifics.

Might be the longest post in the history of Lawnsite......can't lie got 4 lines into it and lost my place.

Whitey4
06-27-2009, 01:01 AM
I understand that the way to "control the lawns safely" is to cut it twice per week, or every 5 days. My customers are definitely not going to pay me to do that. For these particular lawns, we're talking appx 30 each, so times 2 = $60 per week....yeah right! Maybe I'll tell them what this forum is saying and maybe that will weigh on their decision to pay me $60 per week for the next few weeks - or until the weather gets drier.


I agree with what Brown & Co. said in their post. There are many factors as to why this is happening to the grass. Thank you for your (as it may have been long-winded) advice. I did read the entire post, before it was paragraphed. And there was plenty of info in there, booksmart or not.

I came to this forum because I wanted to know why the lawns were browning.....and I have gotten numerous responses, more than I thought I was going to. I have been doing this for 17 years, and I'm only 32 years old. It's a family business since 1964 (Father is Owner, and still kickin it), but we all need to turn to some other professionals for opinions every now and then.

Thanks again for everyones' inputs on this subject.




Whitey4: Where are you based out of on LI? And where do you mainly work?


-Chris

First, let me agree with what you said about Brown's post, solid info, but as you said, I also don't have customers willing to pay for 5 day cuts, and then when July rolls around, my schedule would be wide open, with empty days. The reality of keeping a full schedile in July and August preclude any 5 days spring mowing accounts, especially since I can't bill for ferts and weed sprayings in those months, my billings go down in the summer anyway. That would be a double whammy on cash flow. Sure, grub contols do generate some apps money, but I only use poison when I ID a problem.

Chris, I am in Hicksville, and have a tight route, Hicksville, Bethpage and Plainview, all within the Town of Oyster Bay. No commercial accounts in my biz plan. I do maintenance, but make my money on apps and designs/plantings and those sort of extras.

Is your outfit in the NSLGA? I go to the Nassau county meetings....

RigglePLC
06-27-2009, 09:13 AM
130,
Let me add a second opinion. Not that I disagree with all of the above. However--I think I have seen fungus infection when grass is mowed when slightly wet or very humid conditions. The symptoms are white tips of the cut leaf blade such that the fungus has probably infected the cut leaf blade and worked its way downward about one-quarter or one half-inch. The fungus is probably dollarspot. Common problem when it rains on Satudray and Mr. Homeowner has to mow when conditions are still wet. Look carefully at the individual leaf blades. See if this idea matches your situation.

130perweek
06-27-2009, 11:12 PM
These lawns are a Monday cut....I might be in the area tomorrow (not working, just in the area), so maybe I'll stop by these houses and take a look.

Whitey4
06-27-2009, 11:23 PM
These lawns are a Monday cut....I might be in the area tomorrow (not working, just in the area), so maybe I'll stop by these houses and take a look.

Chris, I agree with Riggs.... the issues we are facing are from fungus problems number one, and excessive top growth due to rain, cutting down to stems. These two things together are making freshly cut lawns look bad... they look better 2 days later after the new top growth hides the damage.

I raised my decks from 3 to 3 1/2 inches, which has helped, but the cut does not look as neat and clean. I think I prefer some stringers over brown...

And did you read my last post?

White Gardens
06-27-2009, 11:51 PM
As a fellow LI'er, I can tell you two things are happening here. Well, maybe 3 things.

If you are cutting weekly, even with all this rain, taking off 4 inches is way too much. These lawns have too much nitrogen. I am also cutting at 3 1/2 inches now.... for two reasons. (I usually cut at 3 inches). The red thread is just beyond belief. Saw not one lawn with it last year, and EVERY lawn has at least some this spring. I raised my deck to help hide the fungus damage.

Even lawns that have gotten the right amount of nitrogen have crazy top growth. Taking off half the top growth exposes stems, which are brown. You also expose the fungus damage.

The new top growth will hide both the stems and the fungus damage, but it takes a day or three.

Bottom line, this has been a very dufficult spring with excessive rain, top growth and fungus issues.

Exactly, I don't think anyone could have said it any better.

GracesLandscaping
06-28-2009, 02:02 AM
Seeing the same symptoms here in Kentucky. I'm just a homeowner so it was actually good to see I'm not alone (surrounding lawns are worse)



Not growing much, mowing once every two weeks. Thinking about putting down some compost now.

wow your only mowing once every two weeks!?!?!? your only an hour away from me and if i waited two weeks my lawns would need a bush hog.... my lawns are allstill growing like its late april!;)

topsites
06-28-2009, 04:20 AM
90 degree weather will do it, 3.5" is a bit marginal especially if you're cutting off that much, I'd go 3.75"
Be aware come July it slows down even more, for those you've been cutting every 2 weeks start thinking 2-3 weeks.

Now, to a point some is inevitable too, although you're one of the few members I've met who actually appears to concern
yourself with this, most seem to care only about the money, but then this is the real reason why we're in business.

kirk1701
06-28-2009, 08:55 AM
90 degree weather will do it, 3.5" is a bit marginal especially if you're cutting off that much, I'd go 3.75"
Be aware come July it slows down even more, for those you've been cutting every 2 weeks start thinking 2-3 weeks.

Now, to a point some is inevitable too, although you're one of the few members I've met who actually appears to concern
yourself with this, most seem to care only about the money, but then this is the real reason why we're in business.

We'll actually topsites me just a lonesome homeowner :)

My lawn is my summertime hobby and learning a bit more every year :clapping:

and yea, 3.75" was this week and I can still go one more knoch up which I think was 4.02"

New Mower (http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=280659) so I'm still getting used to this beast :walking:

Heidi J.
07-08-2009, 12:53 PM
try sharpening blades more frequently and cut no more than 1/3 of grass blades

White Gardens
07-08-2009, 02:26 PM
try sharpening blades more frequently and cut no more than 1/3 of grass blades


Where does the cut no more than 1/3 rule come from. I've only heard that for pruning trees and shrubs, never for turf.

I've always been informed to keep cool season grasses between two and three inches for the best results.

White Gardens
07-08-2009, 02:33 PM
O.K., did a little reading.

http://www.sustland.umn.edu/maint/mowing.htm

bighaydenslawn
07-08-2009, 07:31 PM
You should not cut off more than 1/3 of the blade. You are taking off about 2/3. Tell them to water less, and you may need to mow more often.

Yepp, the good ole 1/3 rule.

Can't break it without consequences.