height of cutting grass

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by tajn84, May 17, 2012.

  1. tajn84

    tajn84 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 83

    Is there a schedule that you guys follow to determine when to raise the blades and to what height you should be cutting?
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  2. doyles

    doyles LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    cut short in the spring and fall 2.75 to 3
    and cut higher in the summer 3.5 to 4
     
  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Cut 3.5" all spring-fall.

    Weeds need to be choked out all season.
    Full height conserves watering all season.
    Thick healthy lawn is not harder to clean up in the fall.

    If you train the grass to grow one height for optimim results why change the cut height during the season?
     
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Springtime cutting short is good to warm the soil and it looks better... we are already in Summer heat and dry for the next 10 days so I'll skip mowing this week on unirrigated lawns and start the long cut next week, so at least it looks nice for MD weekend...
     
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,359

    Cool season grasses do sooooo much better cut long 3.5” to 4.0” even longer. The problem is a healthy thick stand of cool season grass cut tall keeps the roots cool, uses less water, less fertilizer, more photosynthesis and deeper roots thus more health and best of all it grows faster in my experience even in hot weather since the roots and crowns stay nice and cool. :)

    Then the client complains you just cut it...a day or 2 ago...it needs to mowed again....what wrong with your mower...it looks shaggy already....can you mow it lower next time...? :hammerhead:

    So then it gets mowed down nice and short less than 2.5” in the summer heat. Then the next thing you know the sprinklers are set to come on 3 times a day most every day in the summer, grass is loosing it’s color. They are cranking out more Scott’s and forcing top growth and over watering thus producing more TRUE thatch. Necrotic Spot Ring pops up, lawn starts loosing it’s battle with weeds........Stuff like that.

    In the early Spring in dry weather I will do a low mow below 2.5” maybe 2.0” and bag. I am not a fan of scalp mowing in the Fall. Scalp mowing early Spring for cool season if dry enough and a scalp mow before an over-seed.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to diplomatically educate clients on proper lawn care practices. :dizzy:
     
  6. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,203

    Anything lower then 2.5 is "stupid short" or aka "Homeowner Short". I cut between 3-4", 2.5" is minimum.
     
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,708

    Unless it's a warm season/hybrid meant to be cut short, Such as certain cultivars of Bermuda, Zoysia and Centipede.:usflag:
     
  8. Puddle of Oil

    Puddle of Oil LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,203

    Yeah true. ^^^
     
  9. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    Even though cool season grasses may be cut low in the Fall I continued cutting it long as we went into Winter... Fortunately it was long because w/out snow cover and dessicating winds and a dry period in Mar/Apr, it may have been stressed had it been cut short...
    Our grasses never browned this Spring...
     
  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    If it's yellow when you cut it it's too short. If it's all laying over and matted it's too long.

    My lawns are usually cut in the 2.5 to 4 inch range. I don't really have a set schedule for them...I just go with what looks and feels right for the particular lawn at the time of year. My first couple of cuts are on the short side then they go up to their "standard" height. As it dries out and heats up (Mid July through Mid August typically) I keep them as tall as I can. In the fall they get cut shorter, largely to facilitate cleanup and allows any leaves that fall after my last visit to more easily blow off the lawn. The lawns that I cut the shortest are the crappy ones...crappy lawns look like hell when cut long.
     

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