Long or short before the snow

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lotamow, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. lotamow

    lotamow LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 9

    This questions is for those of you living in the North West region. Is it better to cut the grass shorter before the snow falls, or leave it long. I have heard both sides of the argument for this. The side to cut it short says that you will have less mice, and snow mold problems. The side to leave it longer says that it is less stressful to the grass.

    In my area we usually have snow on the ground from Nov. thru Feb. My usual cut height is 3.25" this is on Kentucky Blue, and Kentucky Blue blend with Rye and Fescue. Should I drop down a half inch or more before the snow, or leave it at the regular height? Just wanted to know what some of the rest of you thought.
     
  2. Gnyus

    Gnyus LawnSite Member
    from Canada
    Posts: 33

    I mow the same type of grass as you in similar condition. I mow at 3,5 in summer and drop it at 2,90 in for october. It is better to cut shorter because the roots will get more air in the spring and will be easier to dethatch.
    I don't think keeping the grass long has any advantage at all
    hope this helps
     
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I go shorter...if nothing more it makes it easier to do Fall and Spring Cleanups. Secondly, I have noticed the shorter lawns green up and start growing faster in the Spring than those left long shadowing the root zone. Just my opinion...
     
  4. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    shorter, worked down in half inch increments each week you cut now until it goes dormant or snow piles on. I usually want grass in the 2" range for the final mowing even though we want 3.5 the rest of the year. For all the reasons you mentioned, snow mold, mice, etc. and for the one rodfather mentioned, in the spring, the shorter grass will allow the soil to warm faster. That first frost was the signal to slowly work it down. That will keep the stress fairly minimal.
     
  5. lotamow

    lotamow LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 9

    Thanks for the info. I kind of figured like the rest of you, but I wanted to check and make sure that I wasn't missing something.
     
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Longer grass can handle the snow and ice better because it helps protect the grass roots from getting frozen and the damage caused by that.So I disagree with the above statements but whats new??
     
  7. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Posts: 866

    snow actually acts like an insulating blanket, holding moisture and keeping drastic drops in temp from affecting your root zone. It's why a snow cave works, for those who have ever slept in one. He'll have snow on his turf the majority of the winter and when there is not, he'll benefit from solar heating of the soil, which is slower to release it's absorbed heat than laid over grass exposed in the wind would be. In Utah, the majority of moisture we receive comes during the winter, so fungal problems can rear their ugly heads, even under the snow. Wet, laid over grass is not going to help.
     
  8. alwaysgreener

    alwaysgreener LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    Always, Always, Always mow your lawn short for the winter, especially in the northern areas of the country. If the grass is left too long, it will lay over on itself from the pressure of the snow cover. Air circulation around the plant is reduced, and Snow Mold, a destructive early spring disease, can become a problem in your lawn. It can cause large areas of grass to die, or at least weaken in vigor.
     
  9. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    LOL, you're from CA and everyone does things differently there.
     

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