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Scalping

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Landscape89, Aug 13, 2005.

  1. Landscape89

    Landscape89 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 237

    Over the past couple of months I have noticed more and more landscaping companys cutting their lawns way too short. I mean some were done so short as so the entire lawn after it was mowed was all brown. I mean, a lawn is supposed to be nice and green but looks horrible when its scalped. Wheres the beauty in that? :rolleyes:
     
  2. ProLawns

    ProLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 476

    Sometimes the customer will request it to be cut short. I guess their idea of a nice looking lawn and ours are different. They must like the " it's short so it's really been mowed" look over the green. I cut one zoysia lawn at 2.75 inches, others are taller and I actually cut some at 4" this week.
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    This is one reason why I *NEVER* change the cut-height on my mower, even if it means losing the customer.

    Here is why:
    - Shorter grass promotes growth of weeds, for one... But this is minor.
    - Lower blades considerably increases scalping risk on ALL wide-deck mowers.
    - FORGET only once that you lowered the blades and you are likely to cut several (and possibly NUMEROUS) yards on that low setting until you figure it out, by which time it is too late: Brown yards at worst, longer interval until it needs cutting again at best. I only screwed myself ONE time like this and I said Never again to changing blade height.
    - As a general rule, most any customer might ask for this but only a pita will insist on it.

    If they WANT to save money by not cutting as often, I'll gladly let it grow a few extra days as my mower can handle taller grass than a pushmower. TOO tall is not good, but certainly a few extra days don't hurt. 2-3 or 3-4 extra days between cuts saves them more than a few cuts over a year's time... Now if they want to save money to the point where it hurts my business, it is time to find another customer.
     
  4. Eddie B

    Eddie B LawnSite Senior Member
    from gone
    Posts: 859

    Our neighborhood entrance was mowed and scalped 2 months ago and they haven't had to cut it since with the dry weather. I can't believe the community pays 13k for this crap of a job.
     
  5. AdamCByrd

    AdamCByrd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    We mowed a very high-end residential yard one time and were cutting so low that we completely destroyed a plastic water meter cover that was pretty much flush with the ground in the first place -- at least, if it was sticking up, you couldn't tell....I called the homeowner after that happened and we replaced it. A week later, he said he wished we'd cut a little LOWER....he pays good and on time though.
     
  6. shortgut

    shortgut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 185

    I have this one PITA customer who asked me to lower my deck to 2" I dod not like to but did it any how and he does not have any grass and wants it cut every Fri you have to hunt your tire tracks to see where you just cut then he was complaing about us not weedeating close enough in the frt yard along the walk the reason being we did not want to chance of puting a rock through his front windows as there is more rocks than grass it seems that you end up chunking them no matter how you try not to
     
  7. jtrice11

    jtrice11 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 380

    I think mowing height is a tough call, I've got a large accont that requests it be cut short, of course this summer has been hot and dry, so consequently they've got brown patches and some scalped areas, not to mention WEEDS. But that's what they want, so that's what they get. I've snuck the deck height up a 1/4 inch to try and help the problems a little.
     
  8. Scotts' Yard Care

    Scotts' Yard Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    :D We refuse to grind a lawn down and we tell our new accounts right up front that we will cut a lawn no lower than the proper height to prevent browning and scalpling. Our work is our main advertising and doing a poor job could cost us much more than the loss of one customer who doesn't understand just how bad too short a cut is for the turf.
     
  9. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,954

    Some of the new grass types like Tif Bermuda has to be cut low, all year long. Most of the nice yards have Pre-M to keep weeds down and large amounts of liguid nitrogen and water to keep them looking like golf courses. Residential homes are now starting to use those grasses. It generally is Walker time for those yards.
     
  10. iluvscag

    iluvscag LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 740

    MY deck stays at 3 1/4 or 3 1/2 no higher no lower. :)
     

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