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Cutting height for striping (best cut height for fescue/bluegrass)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by tacoma200, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,426

    Just a question for those who stripe Northern grass such as fescue. What height gives the best stripe for you? What type of grass stripes best? I keep reading that fescue and bluegrass should be cut shorter than I usually do. We don't have a very high quality of turf here so some of you guys further North in the cool grass zone should have more experience. I have always thought the Midwest and North East had some of the best stripe pictures.
  2. bighaydenslawn

    bighaydenslawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 516

    I am interested to hear the answers as well.....

    BTW those are some great cut pics you have been posting with your Scag TT!
  3. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Blue stripes the best. Fescue..sometimes will stand up by the end of the day. As for the height...doesnt matter. What matters is how often you cut. The more often you cut, the lower you can keep it. If your weekly the reality is probably in the 3.5 - 4.5 inch range (mid summer). The height of the blade within the mowing deck is a huge factor in how much layover you can get. Grass that lays over a bit is actually cut higher resulting in greener grass.
  4. pplm

    pplm LawnSite Member
    from Va
    Posts: 61

    I cut my fescue at 3.5 to 4.0 inches. When I start I cut the same way for about 3 weeks then I alternate directions. I have learned the higher you cut it the more it lays down giving you a more defined stripe!
  5. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,443

    Generally Tall Fescue should be cut a lil bit higher. Very dependent on variety though. Fine Fescue wont be too happy under 2.5 cutting weekly in mid summer. I have just reconfigured my mowers today. I removed one blade washer (1/4)so i can get a bit more layover. To compensate, I lowered the front wheels by 1/4. The overall effect has been a 1/4 inch RAISE in cutting height. To add to the last post...shade is a bit different...you can go lower. Bottom line is most guys cut too low..it is however situational to every property. As long as its not too shaggy..you sound like you already kinda know this stuff.
  6. SfTD_service_CENTER

    SfTD_service_CENTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 868

    anything 3 inch and up will make a good stripe, i always seem to get a good strip with the dixon and exmark at those heights.
  7. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,896

    I personally don't have many pure fescue or pure KB lawns that I mow. I do have one primarily fescue lawn that stripes up pretty good. I think the mixed lawns stripe up almost as nice, though. Here is a pic of a lawn I striped up with my Quick the other day. Cut at 3", and I think that stripes best. Gonna put it on my future website:)

    Lawn & Landscape 2009.jpg
  8. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    i do the same thing. my minimum is really 3.5" but do some at 4.5 and in crazy growing conditions(pure all day sun, unlimited sprinkling due to broken sensors that never shut them off when raining, and over fertilized) i leave the deck all the way up
  9. Blood Bought

    Blood Bought LawnSite Member
    Posts: 67

    I'm cutting all fescue with a ExMark Lazer Z 60". Last year I was cutting at 4 and it strips well. This year on 2 main lawns I've been cutting at 4.5" and the strips are more defined and show longer. We cut four patterns, with and against the buildings and two diag. You can still see the pattern from 4 weeks previous.
  10. supercuts

    supercuts LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,785

    the taller you cut the healthier the grass and stays growing longer in droughts. 3" is almost my minimum. dont forget that all mowers are not equal at 3", out of our 4 ZTRS 3" is different on all mowers including same brands

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