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Mowing Taller Grass

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Aug 28, 2002.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,660

    how do you guys go about mowing taller grass. not like 8 inches or anything, but maybe 10 days worth of growth with lots of rain.

    i can't decide which works better.....mowing it at 4.5 then cutting it again at 3.5, or mowing att 3.5 first,then at 4.5. i have this problem with one lawn impeticular. lots of clippings, and the lawn is uneven. its hard to leave this lawn without taking the time to mow it 3 times. i'd like to cut that down to 2.

  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    I personally would double cut at the height you want it at. Keep it the same for the first cut, and then mow perpendicular at the same height. You'll catch any stragglers, and really chop up the clippings. A double cut lawn will look better longer after the cut.

    If its REAL high, (ie. bogging the engine down) mow at mowers highest setting, and then down to where you want the final height.

    Always cross hatch pattern to chop up clippings better.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    One thing I learned is that if you have to mow it twice and there´s a bunch of clippings after the first cut, raise the blades for the second cut. This way you´re only cutting the clippings.

  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    Then your going to suck up any long stragglers that didn't get cut the first time, and now they'll be cut an inch higher and stick up like the kids hair on the Little Rascals!

    The benefits of a double cut are not gained when you raise for the second cut.

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    I think we need to ask ' Are you double cutting to get the grass at your desired height, or are you double cutting to make the yard presentable without alot of clippings left??' From my experience, you can triple cut, quadruple cut,etc... a yard with tremendous growth and still not have it clipping-free unless you raise the blades. This way you are only cutting the clippings.

  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    I just dont agree with you here. The clippings cant tell whether your cutting at 3.5" or 4.5". By raising the deck after the first cut you are simply scattering the already cut clippings, and totally skimming over the 3.5" grass height. Any blade of grass that did NOT get cut the first time around will now be SUCKED back up and cut off 1" higher. Now you have a lawn with 98% cut at 3.5" and 2% of it with 1" taller blades sticking up here and there. Not to mention you'll be missing out on the improved cut of equal double cuts.

    The grass clippings will get choped up just the same (if not better) the second time at 3.5" as they would your way at 4.5". If the mower blade cant "touch" those clippings, it isn't going to disperse and chop them up as good .

    I've never had a lawn get so out of hand that a double cut at 3.5" wouldn't leave it looking perfect.

    Now, if I had to double cut a lawn due to excessive clippings, and did it YOUR way (higher the second time) I would have complaints, and I would NOT be happy leaving the two tiered height lawn. Yes the clippings will have been chopped up the second time (most of them) but the end result would be less than perfect.
  7. gorrell

    gorrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 536

    From time to time we have lawns get a shade ahead of us. We usually mow at 3.5". When this happens we continue mowing at the 3.5" level, but if the clippings are excessive we make the second pass at 4" to disperse clippings and we leave a very nice finish job. We do however run Dixies which have an extremely wide discharge chute which will allow this. With most other machines this would not be possible. I don't know how Dixie does it, but there discharge volume is hard to surpass.......Lynn
  8. m&m

    m&m LawnSite Member
    Posts: 169

    expert, if ya gonna change height, i owuld go 4.5 then 3.5

    me personally, id rather cut it at no lower than 4 inches and double or triple cut if ya want...as for raising the deck to cut just the clippings, this is true but u do miss that even cut

    if ya doublecut at same height, you will make sure that all is even and nice and neat.......then if ya wanna cut just the clippings do it on a third cut, but i would rather do the first two cuts at same height so i make sure no grass is higher than the other

    just my opinion and preference

    LAWNS AND MOWER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,129

    Maybe we're dealing with different grasses. I don't raise the blades 1 inch on the second cut. If the front and back settings are on 3 inches, I'll raise the fronts to 3 1/2 inches. Seems to work great for me. Since I've switched to double blades, I can count on one hand how many times I've had to double cut a yard this season.

    Where's Garry when you need him??????

  10. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,940

    Well, I guess its just the fact that it takes the SAME amount of time to "double cut" at original height as it does your way.

    And the clippings are cut up the same if not MORE, my way.

    And, by "double cutting" my way, you'll get a much, MUCH better cut.

    Here's a little test!.....

    Regardless of grass type, double mow YOUR way, and take a rake (simple plastic leaf rake) and rake a 10 sq/ft section of grass vigiorously. What do you have? A bunch of stringers and stragglers raked back up. Especially were your tires push it down.

    Now, do the same test on a 10 sq/ft section of MY area......Notice the difference :eek:

    This is what I am getting at.

    NOW, if all you want to do is simply "knock down" a few big furrows of clumpy clippings, and just disperse them, then YES , your way would be best, as you couldn't tell then what part was mowed twice. Raise it up and run over the few rows of clumps and disperse them.

    For a better looking job, though, I'd still lean towards a complete double cut if it needed it.


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