do you ever cut it shorter? part 2

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by bobbygedd, Aug 30, 2004.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i asked this question a while back, and everyone said no, never, under NO CIRCUMSTANCES do u have to cut it shorter for the well being of the turf. i disagree, STRONGLY, and i'll tell you what MY EXPERIENCE has taught me: this is for my grass types in new jersey, i don't know anything about that crap you boys grow elsewhere. i picked up a group of lawns, all neighbors. tuff, tuff area. most of the yards were sunny in the front, and shaded in the back, MOST, but not all. reguardless of the exposure, they all had the same story. this was for the back yards only: " we seed in the fall, the lawn comes in nice, in spring it looks nice too, but by june it's shot, and we have to repeat the proccess every year. we have been through numerous services, and learned to accept this, so just add thatching and seeding into the program on a yearly basis." i didn't buy the "there is no answer" explanation. so, year one, did programs as usual, the result was just as they had said. lawn in back was dead, all of them, by june. now, not all of them were shady, some had partial sun, and the front lawns, some were shady, some full sun, but in the front, they all held up nicely all season. i don't get it, same soil, same fert program, same exposure. i have succesfully maintained lawns in heavy shade areas, so i wasn't buying the "too much shade" crap that the others told them, and once again, not all of them had heavy shade in the back. what on earth is causing this? one hot muggy day, i was there mowing on one of the yards that was sunny in front, but shady in back. after mowing the front, i went in the back, OH MY GOD, it's sooo much hotter back here, but why? this is shady, and the front is sunny, shouldn't i feel cooler in the shade? i felt like i was standing inside a box, suffocating, no air. WAIT, I WAS!! all of these properties had the same thing in common. the house was blocking all air movement from one side, wooden fences bordered the properties on the right and left side, and a hedge for privacy along the back. it was like i was standing inside a cardboard box, there was no air movement whatsoever. so, i started noticing that, because there was no air flow, these lawns would be wet, all the time. even if the client didn't water, ever, as late as 2-3 in the afternoon, the lawn in the back was still wet from the morning dew. this caused the grass plants, even at hieghts of only 3 inches, to be top heavy from the never drying moisture, and "fold over", and slowly suffocate itself. i started noticing more and more lawns that had this "boxed in" situation, having the same problems. the problem was LACK OF AIR FLOW. how did i correct it? number 1: tell the client not to water these areas, EVER. the lack of air flow combined with the dew in the morning, and whatever rain we got, was more than enough to give the grass whatever moisture it needed. number 2: i mowed it at a height of 2-2.5 inches, and mowed much slower in these areas to get some lift. in some cases even cut these areas twice a week. that's my story, and i'm sticking to it
     
  2. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Makes sense to me...

    Did it correct the problem.. 100% improvement?
     
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    absolutely. problem solved
     
  4. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Though I will probably not run into this situation.. thanks for sharing your knowledge with us. :)

    How does it feel?
     
  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    terrible, i feel, so, well, violated, i can't explain it
     
  6. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Don't worry... it'll get easier
     
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    BG

    What happends if ya can't mow that short cause you will scalp alot in trying to mow that low??? I agree with your assessment of the "cardboard box" syndrome, but I have lawns thay if I go lower than 3", crap (turf, etc.) will be flying everywhere...not to mention the damage to my blades and possibly breaking a window.
     
  8. EastProLawn

    EastProLawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,110

    U are Da Man, Bobby :D
     
  9. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,905

    Very informative Mr. Gedd. Thanks...
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ahhh, that's another can of worms rod. on my properties around here, they are tiny back yards, i grab the 21", lower it, and do the job. those football fields you mow, that's a different story
     

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