short or tall you make the call

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by unclejoe, Mar 21, 2005.

  1. unclejoe

    unclejoe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    3 years ago i planted a new lawn Bluegrass, Fescue,Perennial ryegrass,3% Bentgrass. I used 19-19-19 and milorgonite for starter fert. Lawn came out great each year i over seed about 150 to 200 pounds on 5,500 sq ft. Last year i decided to hire out the lawn care to a pro. He told me to increase my heigth to 3 or 4 inches when cutting.I usually cut it at around 2 or 3. ( I like the fairway look)He also used lesco fert. throughout the season.It seems once the grass got taller the condition of the lawn went down hill not as green and lots of thatch. Should i do a major de thatching and plug it and overseed again and go with the shorter cut or continue at 4 inches as he recomends.Now that the snow is melting i am devistated with snow mold. Any opinions would be helpfull.this picture is at 2 inches in early july.

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  2. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Bentgrass is typically mowed short because when cut long it can produce thatch and "crowning". There are different bentgrasses, but the typical mowing heights are in the order of 1/2" to 1". One type of bentgrass, SR-7100, has more of an erect growth habit and can be mowed up to 2".

    At any rate, it sounds as if the mowing height is too high... not because of the bluegrass, the rye, or fescue, but because of the bentgrass. Not all grasses have been created equal.

    Increasing the mowing height does offer more drought protection, but guess you just can't have everything, eh?
     
  3. unclejoe

    unclejoe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    thanks for the info. I'm using Tiger Colonial Bentgrass. Water is not an issue as i do have an irrigation system.
     
  4. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    By the way, I'm sure that the snow mold is common up in your area, like it is here. It can really help to put down a fungicide, or combination of fungicides, in the fall. Some are very affective at preventing types of snow mold all winter long, even with just a single application. Unfortunately, applying fungicides this time of the year after the symptoms have already appeared won't do any good.

    Go ahead and dethatch and aerate your lawn. Watch the amount of nitrogen that is being put down, because excessive amounts can lead to increased thatch, and increased thatch can lead to more problems other than just snow mold. Your snow mold (sclerotia) will oversummer within that thatch, and then it will begin to germinate in the fall and grow beneath the snow. It may kill the grass blades, but generally not the plant.

    Good luck. Your lawn in the picture look very nice.
     
  5. PaulJ

    PaulJ LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Around here Bluegrass is best at 2.5"-3" and fescue is best at 3" -3.5" I usualy set at my mowers a 3" for all but the first and last couple of cuts. Some get cut at 3.5-4" but never below 2.5"
     
  6. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    Well, I also cut most turf out here at 2.5 - 3", but the main reason being that this area is prone to get hot and dry during the summer.

    Statistically, a few types of fine fescue will tolerate mowing down to 1/2", others won't do well less than 2". Your ryegrass can be mowed as low as 3/4", and kentucky bluegrass will accept cutting as low as 3/4". That 3% Tiger is similar to the SR-7100 that I mentioned and looks best at 1/2" up to 1", but also reasonably good up to 2".
     
  7. unclejoe

    unclejoe LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    I started to rake out alot of the dead blades today but there are sooooo many. After i'm done with the raking would it be wise for me to give it a close hair cut to get rid of more then de thatch? Thanks again for your input.
     
  8. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,654

    It sounds as if you should dethatch your lawn. Scalping is a poor substitute for dethatching, and can actually kill certain types of grass with above ground stolons, such as centipedegrass or St. Augustinegrass. Scalping in early spring may - however - delay your need for vertical mowing where you have minimal thatch.
     
  9. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i have one thing to say...airflow
     

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