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Old 07-14-2012, 11:06 AM
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MOturkey MOturkey is offline
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Drought Conditions and Mowing Height?

In my area, the predominant cool season grass in lawns is usually fescue of some sort. Along with a good assortment of weeds, often including crabgrass, many have bermuda in the mix, and a few of my accounts are predominantly bermuda, or at least have areas that are predominantly bermuda.

I start the mowing season cutting at least 3 inches on all properties, and on some of the rougher ones, as high as 3 1/2. As the weather warms, and it begins to dry out, I raise to at least 3 3/4 and on most properties, go a full 4 inches.

Now, with the drought worsening, and being more prolonged, I find that trying to cut on 4 inches leaves a very shabby appearance. Mostly, I'm cutting weeds, and in some cases, bermuda, but only the occasional green stem of fescue. I tried dropping back down to 3 1/2 inches, and found the finished look to be much better. My thinking is the fescue is basically dormant anyway, so cutting it a bit shorter isn't going to hurt, and bermuda could probably be cut even shorter without hurting it. Is my thinking flawed?
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:10 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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1) if it were dormant you wouldn't be cutting it
2) higher cut = better drought tolerance .... but you already knew that.
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:26 AM
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Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is online now
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I wouldnt cut it short but thats your call
We been running decks all way up at 5-6'' marks and only been cutting weeds even the weeds isnt growing to well
But there guys I know has not stop mowing each week they drop in down 1/2 '' each week
They are money hungry
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:30 PM
Jimslawncareservice Jimslawncareservice is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snyder's Lawn Inc View Post
I wouldnt cut it short but thats your call
We been running decks all way up at 5-6'' marks and only been cutting weeds even the weeds isnt growing to well
But there guys I know has not stop mowing each week they drop in down 1/2 '' each week
They are money hungry
well that's only going to last so long and they can't go any lower.
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:04 PM
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DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
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My 2 cents: even if lawns are in full drought you still have to mow them every 2-3 weeks to knock 'the rough' off. Otherwise they really look like junk. And there will be trimming to do. I stay mowing at 3" regardless. No way I could cut anyone's lawn 4" tall, to me that looks like unkept hairdo. If your gonna mow, you have to balance proper cut height with aesthetics and to me 3" is it.
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:30 PM
herler herler is offline
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I never cut "shorter"

Last edited by herler; 07-14-2012 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 07-14-2012, 04:46 PM
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Snyder's Lawn Inc Snyder's Lawn Inc is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimslawncareservice View Post
well that's only going to last so long and they can't go any lower.
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Well was in town today and set watch a crew at this one store there wasnt a thing to cut and they mowed it last week Starting see more bare dirt they mow same path all year
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:09 PM
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THIESSENS TLC THIESSENS TLC is offline
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I cut 3.5" all year round except for the last cut of the year which I'll drop it down to 3", I skipped a few last week. And this week I'm skipping all of them & probly next week too. Then I'll go out the following week and clean em all up, and then probly skip again. We are supposed to get some rain this week, but even that won't do much. Never seen lawns so brown before! Lol
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:41 AM
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MOturkey MOturkey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiril View Post
1) if it were dormant you wouldn't be cutting it
2) higher cut = better drought tolerance .... but you already knew that.
Well, yes and no. I suppose there has to be some growth for the tops to become uneven, that is just common sense, but over most of the lawns, the visible portion of the fescue blades are brown. I agree that a higher cutting height probably helps "shade" the ground to some extent, but 3 1/2 is still not exactly short, and I wouldn't even consider going any lower.

In the case of lawns being mixed with bermuda, the bermuda is growing more than the other grasses at this point, and just doesn't look right mowed a full 4 inches.
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Old 07-15-2012, 09:54 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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1) If it dormant it is not growing
2) Higher cut = better drought tolerance ..... didn't say anything about better water conservation
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