Grass height cutting for bermuda

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Bennett scape, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. Bennett scape

    Bennett scape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 201

    Hi all just was wondering what cutting height is Bermuda and hybrid Bermuda cut at i live in MS and have been cutting it at 3" and it works well but some people have told me to cut at 1 1/2 or 2 in just want to know what everyone thinks about this any info welcome thanks. :usflag:
  2. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 649

    Shorter the better. We have some @1", but most lawns are too uneven to allow that short of cut. There is a guy in Az who says he is cutting below an inch.

    Cut them as short as possible, but don't bring it down all at once or you'll have some brown lawns and pist customers!
  3. wheels910

    wheels910 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but seems like I read for hybrid, you can cut a lot shorter. Just plain Bermuda, I think 2.5"-3" would be best expecially when it gets hot.
  4. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 649

    From Univ. of Florida:
    Proper mowing practices are necessary to keep any lawn healthy and attractive. Both height and frequency of cut need to be adjusted for the level of turf management and season of the year. Under low to moderate levels of management, bermudagrass should be cut at a height of ¾ to 1½ inches, which may require mowing one to three times per week. Common bermudagrass should be mowed at the highest recommended heights. This will help the grass develop a deep root system and give it a better appearance. Under higher levels of management, bermudagrass can be maintained at a height of ½ inch if the turf is mowed daily during the growing season. Mowing at this height and frequency requires more fertilizer and water to maintain an attractive and durable turf. It should be noted that low cutting heights and high maintenance levels predispose the turf to many weed and pest problems. Under low to moderate management practices, mowing frequency should be adjusted to the amount of growth. Remove no more than 1/3 of the total leaf blade with any mowing."
  5. mjlepak

    mjlepak LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Over the past 20 years of mowing bermuda I have kept my lawn between 2" some years up to 3.5" in other years. For me it depends on how often I am able to mow, how smooth my lawn is, and the weather conditions.

    For instance last year was an exrtremely we year and I did not have time to mow often. By the end of the year my yard was 3" in some spots and 3.5 in others (I have just over an acre).

    My neighbor on the other hand (no kids) mows twice a week and his bermuda is always a lot shorter than mine and looks wonderful. Personally if the yard is smooth (to prevent scalping) I prefer the look of the shorter cut.
  6. cccmachine

    cccmachine LawnSite Member
    from memphis
    Posts: 38

    Bennett scape just down the road from you.(Hernando)

    2" is as low as I can cut on my common bermuda.(rough yard)

    Hybrid loves it low low low and twice as much fertilizer as the common.
  7. dave k

    dave k LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,178

    I cut 419 as low as 1/4" with a reel, but with our drought here in Hotlanta I cut it at 2" to help shade the roots.
  8. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 556

    It all depends on factors. without knowing anything I would say cut at 2 1/5 to 2 3/4. Now with that being said I know that if Sahara bermuda is what you have and it is watered daily it can be safely cut at 1 1/8. I also know that I think 419 can also be cut that low. It is not advised because you are not promoting good root growth cutting the bermuda's that short but some can be done. I guess what you need to ask yourself and your customer is what do you want out of the turf. and if their is a drought and watering restrictions are you willing to loose some turf if you cut it at 1 1/8 and only water 2-3 times a week with extreme heat you do run into heat stress problems
  9. jkingrph

    jkingrph LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 807

    My country yard has a mixture fo grasses, meadow grasses. with some bermuda. During hotter, dryer part of year I cut at about 4" shorter during spring and final short cut in fall.
  10. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,403

    You can cut it at 2.5-3.5" and it will look dense but have a ton of stems just below the green leaves up top. Looks ok but a little puffy. They can look pretty good this way. But it's not even close to the textbook height.

    You can cut it (with a rotary mower) 1.25"-2" over the summer and get a different look that is neater and many customers prefer it. But it will show flaws in the ground more. The plant will grow denser when mowed low. It will get "leggy" when mowed higher. But it is still thick and on some lawns is the way to go.

    As for common vs hybrid, I always thought common needed to be mowed higher, but I had one customer insist I cut his common bermuda low after he brought it back from a complete weedpatch lawn where you could barely see the bermuda amongst the weeds. He got rid of the weeds, I cut it low, and it looked really nice cut at 1.5". But it was also very flat in most areas and a big 1.5 acre chunk of turf. I'm not sure how it'd look on a small lot.

    If you hate clippings mow it low. Obviously they grow in proportion to the plant size so mowing higher you'll get more clippings. Since I started mowing them all at 1.25"-1.5" as much as possible I can mulch them all with minimal windrowing. In the past I'd show up at a thick bermuda lawn mowed high by the previous guy and it'd be a nightmare. I certainly prefer mowing off .5" max vs 1-2" of thick grass.

    Bermuda is very unforgiving of skipped cuts. If you're cutting it high and miss a cut, then try to return it to the original height, you're likely to wind up with a lawn full of stems. Customers seem to frown on this. I think low mowing is a little more forgiving of delayed cutting as a higher percentage of the plant is green leafy material.

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