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Old 07-09-2010, 10:46 AM
ChiTownAmateur ChiTownAmateur is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Posts: 386
Does cutting height affect root depth?

I am in the midwest, curious about this element

I realize that watering and cutting height are two separate things. If I water deeply and somewhat infrequently, I should be able to encourage the grass to grow deeper roots.

I think I have also read that root depth tends to be related to how high the topgrowth grows...i.e. if the topgrowth is 3" tall then the roots tend to go about that deep

Is that true? Does cutting height affect root depth? or is it 90+% controlled by watering?

I've read repeatedly that you don't want to cut more than 1/3 of the topgrowth at any time...but I wonder -- if cutting height does affect root depth, wouldn't it make sense to allow the lawn to grow tall a few times? or is this just completely off-base?
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:05 PM
bigslick7878 bigslick7878 is offline
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It absolutely does, and that is why I try to pound into customers head to MOW IT HIGH!!
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:22 PM
ChiTownAmateur ChiTownAmateur is offline
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Location: Chicago, Illinois
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slick thank you for the response that is helpful

i use a reel mower, a small one because my front yard is only 250sqft and backyard is maybe another 650sqft, easy enough for a reel mower and i like how quiet it is.

my front is 100% pure poa supina, weeds hand picked, new growth from this spring. In the MSU study I read that 2-1/4" cutting height is ideal for this grass...but that's a study talking not a guy in the field.

Is it worthwhile for me to get a mower that will mow to 3" or higher? The back is a rye-fescue-kbg sod enhanced with some other kbg i've seeded over it a bit in bare spots.

thanks again for your help
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Old 07-09-2010, 03:53 PM
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jlbf0786 jlbf0786 is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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Turf height vs. root depth

Always remember this saying "ROOTS = SHOOTS"
It means that the Turf will only be as deep as the roots.

I'm sure that Poa would be just fine mowed a bit higher; I would just
do a bit of trial run on a 3x3' patch (or the entire lawn)... see how she reacts to it!
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Old 07-09-2010, 05:15 PM
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phasthound phasthound is offline
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Location: Mt. Laurel, NJ
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Here is some good info on mowing cool season turf.

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/4000/4020.html
http://www.turf.msu.edu/mowing-lawn-turf
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