Cool Season Grass and Fall scalp mowing.....?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Sep 22, 2013.

  1. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    That comment was a notion used for trees and shrubs,,, years ago... it really wasn't a good mental image for thinking below the soil level even then,,, but certainly doesn't apply to grasses whatsoever...

    Grass roots go where the food and water is... in fact many lawns have so much food and water sitting on the surface that roots actually grow UP... It's called Thatch... :)
     
  2. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    I was taught that proper watering is what made for a deep root system on turf?
     
  3. Mike A

    Mike A LawnSite Member
    Posts: 74

    And the mowing height (on cool season grasses). The taller you keep it mowed, the deeper the roots will go
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  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    I think that a closer look at what roots respond to, when they grow and how they grow would benefit this forum immensely...

    In reality what would happen IF the roots actually stopped growing???
     
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Mowing height does matters. Taller grass is mowed at 4.5” with my Quick 44 at max height. The lower mowed sections are mowed at 3.25”. So the extra 1” + even this late in the season 10/10/2013...the grass is still growing faster due to more photosynthesis. Growth on the lower mowed turf is much slower for some reason....? :) That 3.25" grass has been kept at this height for 3+ weeks.

    :waving:

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  6. Mike A

    Mike A LawnSite Member
    Posts: 74

    Awesome!

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  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,919

    I give you credit for running that test in your own yard. My wife would send me back out to finish mowing :rolleyes:

    Interesting, but I would not call that lower area scalped. It would also be interesting if you could pull samples, gently wash off the soil, and show difference in root length or mass for the two different heights after a month or so of mowing them differently. The side-by-side test definitely has value.
     
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Looks full but not very lawn-like with those ragged stripes... are you going to leave it that long for the winter???
     
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    I rarely drop the mowing height below 3.5" even for winter. Last mowing of the season on this lawn is late November.

    I'll have to retake some pics today after mowing again at 4.5" 4.25" and repost and show the taller mowed areas not looking as shaggy. Even with low overnight temps and shorter considerably cooler days the tall 4"+ grass is still growing and far from dormant. Also before frost takes out my dandelions...they need to be aggressively spot sprayed.

    Since this lawn is 1/3 of a mile off the main road not many folks see except for the neighbors who share the road.

    I'm mowing my commercial account today and I also have been mowing it at 4.25"/4.5" range. Thinking about dropping it down to 3.625" with my Q32 with G6 gators.

    I will fully admit that mowing this high does cause it to grow faster and stay greener even when many lawns struggle to maintain during the summer heat.

    I have two residential accounts that I also mow at 4.25/4.5" and after 5 days they do look shaggy. Any delays past 7 days [rain]...they flat out have to be double cut.
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  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    I will continue to maintain these test strips for 2014. Then I will dig down in mid season and see if there is a detectable difference in root depth. Today I'm going add more test strip down to 2.25" and 2.75". Height adjustment with the TimeMaster 30 is insanely quick and easy.

    A few of my clients insist on mowings below 3.0". I really cringe at anything below 2.75". As I have said before for those who don't dictate the "mow it lower" drill I shoot for 3.25" for KBG mix. Nicer color less struggles... just easier to manage.
    :waving:

    Special bonus offers are going out for all application clients who can maintain 3.25"+ most of the season and extra special offers for those who can handle 3.5"+. :)
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    Last edited: Oct 13, 2013

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