Bermuda mowing height

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by George777, Jun 6, 2001.

  1. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    My question is this, I understand that they say to maintain Bermuda 1.5" - 2" high. It seems that here in the south when you cut the turf at the suggested height it looks like crap. My partner and I have been maintaining Bermuda between 2.5 - 3". After cutting it looks good and you can tell that it has been cut.

    Can any problems arise be maintaining Bermuda at 3"? , And if so what? It seems that the mentality around here is to cut so short that you can see the circles from the blade imprinted in the lawn. I could see on a lawn that has been prepared right, but with the dips it seems to me that cutting that short just does not make sense. My partner and I will not cut less then 2.5". any comments would be great.
     
  2. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    i don't think that the actual height is as big of a deal as is how much you cut off at once. i think one third of the total height is what is recommended. this doesn't take away as much of a percentage of water and leaves the grass darker instead of that brown scalped look. fwiw most of our stuff is cut at 3" though.
     
  3. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    Mike, I understand about the 1/3rd rule. I got a few bi-weekly customers whose turf is growing about 2" per week. Today I cut a lawn that was 6" high. Man I tell you it was a mess. Had the deck on my snapper all the way up and it was ugly, It took awhile but when we left it was looking pretty good.

    the reson I asked this question was because I could not find anywhere the reason why Bermuds has to be maintained at a certain height.
     
  4. CSRA Landscaping

    CSRA Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,232

    I've seen a previous poster that said that Bermuda looked pretty bad in his opinion if it's cut too high. I think it looks fine cut at 3".
     
  5. jasonp

    jasonp LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 147

    I think that if the ground is not level with a big mower it will look like crap. If you use a 21 inch mower that would make it look good at 1.5.
     
  6. NateinAtl

    NateinAtl LawnSite Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 121

    Here is what I have learned about bermuda over the years. It looks absolutely best when it is maintained at a height less than 2 inches. The key word being maintained. For whatever reason, if bermuda grass is long, the stalk of the plant is a brownish yellow color. Therefore, if you cut the lawn to 1.5 inches, it will look brown or yellow when finished. You will also see the brown or yellow circular scalps left behind by the blades. If you are mowing high now, it really is too late to change. What I would highly suggest for you to do is next March, when the lawns are in the transition stage, scalp down to 1 inch--taking up the clippings.(you should always begin your mowing season before bermuda comes out of dormancy). After that, mow on a weekly basis at 1.5 inches. I promise you, the bermuda grass will be green all the way to the ground. And even when you have scalp marks because of uneven turf, it will just cause a lighter color green scalp as opposed to a brown scalp mark. Give it a try next year. I promise it works.
     
  7. jasonp

    jasonp LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 147

    Now you have to remember what the bermuda looks like at the sod farms and I would think they mow at one inch. My last post was just meaning that bermuda is easy to scalp and thats the last thing you wont to do if you want it to look its best.
     
  8. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

  9. Tropical Trim

    Tropical Trim LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Here in Hawaii we deal with a lot of Bermuda lawns. When Bermuda is cut at a height exceeding 2", the lawn tends to become leggy. We cut our lawns with reel mowers from 1/2" to 1" depending on Bermuda variety. Hybrids 328 and 419 are cut at the 1/2" mark and common Bermuda are cut at the 1" mark. When cutting Bermuda at a short height the lawn tends to become a tight carpet therefore eliminating a lot of weeds. Just check out any warm reigon area and look for a golf course with Bermuda laid out on the fairways...looks like a flat piece of green carpet!
     
  10. George777

    George777 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 305

    In my area I would say ¾ of Bermuda lawns are looking burnt up. Maybe the lco’s are cutting more than 1/3rd of the plant. We have been getting plenty or rain, in fact I think my weekly accounts are getting about 1” of growth per week.

    I think next season I’m going to start top dressing. Most residential lawns have to many bumps and dips in them.

    Those of you that top dress what do you charge? I have also been wondering if you use just sand or a mixture of sand and compost. Looking for some ways to maximize profit with existing accounts.

    My bi- weekly accounts I was thinking about a growth regulator. I think Lesco sells a product that will slow down the growth rate. I don’t have much info on this product but, it is suppose to allow the turf to grow outward instead of upward thus giving a thicker lawn. Has anyone tried that product? I think the Lesco guy said it costs about 400.00 per gallon and will treat 23 acres.
     

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