Best way to cut tall grass down

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Aug 30, 2006.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,427

    Being no expert at how other do this I am wondering what the best way to cut tall grass, lets say 7-8" down to 3.25". Should I cut the grass at 3.25 and then go over it at a higher setting. Or should i cut just a little off at a time, say 2" the first pass and 2" the second pass. I mow alot of overgrown lawns and would like the method that leaves the least possible clipping problems. I know I have read post where they cut it with a side discharge the first pass at the lower height and them go over it with a mulcher deck at a slightly higher setting to make the clippings disappear. I will be side discharging only. What works best for you. I have been cutting it to 3.25 on the first pass and then raising the deck to spread clippings the second pass on nicer lawns. Grass is growing extremely fast right now due to high amounts of rain. All comments welcome.
     
  2. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    for that slight amount of overgrowth, I would cut on the first pass at 4.5 inches or something close in a N - S pattern Then lower it to 3.25 and cut again in a E - W pattern. I find this gives a much better final appearance. The first cut is a little ragged, but you know you are gonna come back and fix that. Also the clippings are already at a max of 2 inches, so on the second pass they are more finely chopped and will disperse Better. Then as a final, if it needs to be great quality (which I doubt if they are overgrown to start with) I use the blower to disperse any remaining clumbs or winrows.

    On small properties 1/3 to 1/4 acre that are seriously overgrown. +12" to be cut off. I first cut it down to about 5 inches with a brush blade, then come in with the mower and mow slowly. Does 2 things. One I get to walk the property and find bricks, cement posts and the like with a $300 peice of equipment, not a $9000 one. Second, the most difficult part of high grass is getting the first cut down and a brush blade will go through it way faster than a mower. No deck to clog.
     
  3. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,427

    Thanks, cut some tall wet grass the way you suggested today and it seemed to work well. I'm having to mow between and during showers.
     
  4. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    Use a scythe.
     
  5. srl28

    srl28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,176

    Use a machine that has a higher Horsepower! Cut a little at a time in one direction and then lower the deck and go in the opposing direction. Like Precision said!
     
  6. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,427

    I have enough hp to cut it down the first time. Its the clippings and the look of the final cut I'm interested in. I'm getting picky, which is a good thing in this business.
     
  7. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    yes being picky is a good thing. but only so long as it doesn't interrupt profits.

    Marginal lawns will look marginal no matter how picky we are.
    doing marginal work on great lawns shows very poorly on us
    doing great work on marginal lawns is just a waste of time, unless they are paying for improvements.
     
  8. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    your welcome. we do alot of that down here in Florida.

    Next week I am gonna be cutting alot of tall grass.
    Ernesto coupled with a broken mower have sidelined me Wed, 1/2 of thursday and all of Friday.

    So next week is gonna suck. Double cuts everywhere.
     
  9. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,427

    Sorry about the bad luck. My luck is not that bad its just raining every day and I want the lawns to look as good as possible because they are growing fairly fast (faster than spring). I guess that's good luck with all the rain, just a little harder to keep up. I like to send the guys in OK an TX a little of it.
     
  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,995

    They could certainly use it.
     

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