St. Augustine, edging and cutting it high

Discussion in 'Florida Lawn Care Forum' started by williams lcm, May 20, 2012.

  1. Solid looking turf...I've never had a problem with a customer questioning my HOC. When they see the result of a highly mowed Floratam lawn, well, res ipsa loquiter(sp?).
  2. mjlcare2

    mjlcare2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 200

    It's not the homeowner questioning the HOC, its their inability to care about their yard to stick to a proper watering/ fert/pest control schedule that the yards are only as top notch as I can make them. I can't mow at 4" plus because the turf will not allow for it and maintain a good look. If I ran over a couple of them at 4" it wouldn't look like we mowed at all and obviously the "newer" customers will question the service as they didn't see my guys there in person. I've never been questioned other than by the cust.'s who do care, asking us to not "mow it to the ground" as the last lawn boy did.
  3. sorry, my post was for mike i accidentally quoted your post....i hear ya man...some people are just cant fix stupid.
  4. mjlcare2

    mjlcare2 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 200

    here is U of F's recommendation on mowing height.. they recommend 2.5-4" on St. Aug, ONLY dwarf varieties at 2.5 all others 3.5-4'
  5. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    The fence you are referring to actually allows me to get through with the 48 inch Hustler which is the largest of the two mowers I carry. The 36 inch Mini Z is my smallest and there are not too many gates out there that it can not fit through. There is one lawn that we have that the opening is exactly big enough for the Mini Z to get through....but we have to remove the wooden door in order to do so....which sucks but the guy is a decent little customer paying a premium for mow and go service essentially so I have kept him.

    The little mini Z has been a good little money producer for me as on the smaller lawns which do not allow a 48 through the fence I let the customer know that I have a machine that will fit through but charge a small premium because I have to unload another mower. Many customers have not accepted by proposal at first because I demand more but many times after they have called back I ask why they choose us and the answer has been that no one had a machine that would fit back there. This is when the noobies on here ask what Z should be there first I always answer a 36 inch or smaller as when you are first starting out you have to be able to take on every client, you can not afford to turn customers away because you do not have the correct equipment. Sure it may take a little longer to mow the lawn, but when you are starting out you are not working on a full schedule so why not take the time.

    The 36 inch also allows me to not create ruts from where in tear on lawns where changing patterns is not always truly possible in some spots. Some times I mow with the 48 and sometimes with the 36 allowing for the ruts to not form as much in those areas.
  6. Tri-City Outdoors

    Tri-City Outdoors LawnSite Member
    Posts: 152

    We have always cut on the high side we feel over time all of the grass will end up at the final cut height. we measure are cut height from the shop floor to the mower blade. We find with z-turn the height number dose not always equal the cut height. example 4" could be 3.75" but the 4.5" setting may be accurate. Also cut height also can be changed by the blade or tire air pressure. I feel the wavy mulching blades lower the cut height a 1/4". We will air down our tires when we mow retention ponds and large fields. A little trick for the Bahia seed pods is to lower the blade inside the mower deck.
    Cutting turf high has generated a lot of business. We also try to do as little weed whacking as possible. We edge the hell out of everything. We feel our good lawns are very healthy because of the high cutting. We do not have any lawns that are all dwarf S.A. However some have dwarfs mixed in and we mow the same height.
  7. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    See you are cross cutting Mike, good for you!

    We cut @ 4". Recently we have raised our decks to 4.25" and in some cases 4.5 to allow for the mowers sinking into the wet ground. We don't have any Bermuda, Zoyesa, Bahia or other cheap inferior Northern fescues and Blue grasses ( :p ) to cut, and I'm grateful.

    Still not so sure about 5" though, the grass looks a little shaggy to me, but it could be poor picture resolution.
  8. jvanvliet

    jvanvliet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,939

    Our 52" mulching decks (Exmark) measure to 4" when set @3.75... go figure :dizzy:; one of the 60" decks measures to 4" when set to 4.25" the other 4"= 4".

    The only other variable is the tire pressure, we maintain it at about 13 lbs. The Metro decks are fixed @ 4" with 15 lbs in the tires.

    I hate messing with tire pressure in the field. Before I do that, I'd rather raise the deck. We only carry 5 glns of air on a truck.
  9. Landscape Poet

    Landscape Poet LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,638

    I cross cut as much as possible to avoid any ruts and honestly do my best to ensure that they do not occur. Some properties have areas where there is simply not a option to avoid running over the same area week after week and it is frustrating to say the least but I have learned to accept it.

    5 inch is not that much over 4.5 - you will not notice the difference at first I would guess except that you might have some peaks and vally's in the turf where some leaves have not caught up. They will though so do though so just be patient. IMHO I think allowing it get this high allows for the leaf/stolon to grow up and lay over and keep running, creating a denser turf in the long run.

    This picture was already in this thread ( and yes I am sure the resolution does not do justice as they are from the camera on my phone) but look at the density on this lawn...the Home Owner is the HOA president and hired us because I promised I would never cut it below 5 inches, a request that he had put in a number times with the previous LCO and he simply would not comply, we have had this lawn a little over a year now and this is Floritam, tell me if you think this looks shaggy for Floritam.

  10. Burnie

    Burnie LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    This is printed on the back of all my business cards

    From the University of Florida Website



    That way I can SHOW customers where the information comes from on Mowing Height and Irrigation. They still don't seem to listen. :cry:

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