Bermuda mowing heigth

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Promow Professional, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. Promow Professional

    Promow Professional LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    Everything I've ever read about mowing height for bermuda say's to mow @ about 1.5 to 2.0 inches. It seems mowing at these heights leaves my yards looking scalped does anyone have any advise.
  2. SouthernFried

    SouthernFried LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    Depends on type of bermuda.

    Tif can handle low mowing heights, with proper care/maint/mowing techniques. They use it golf courses, after all.

    Other types of bermuda can handle lower mowing heights, then say St Augustine grass. But, again...proper maintenance/feeding/watering/aerating, etc., become more important the lower you get with the stuff.

    I mow Common Bermuda at the same heights as I do St. Augustine lawns...since it's so often mixed in. 3 1/2 to 4". It does just fine. If it's just a Bermuda/zoysia type of lawn, I try to get it around 2 1/2, mebbe 3". Much shorter and it becomes more difficult to use rotary mowers without some scalp damage. Unless you sodded a nice, smooth parking lot.
  3. dcgreenspro

    dcgreenspro LawnSite Senior Member
    from PA
    Messages: 688

    topdress and keep mowing.
  4. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,016

    We cut most of our Bermuda at 2.5-3 inches.
  5. dwc

    dwc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    2.5-3" here. save the low mowing height headaches for the golf course.
  6. mbricker

    mbricker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    I scalp it early, before it starts to green up, and remove the clippings. Not quite a true scalp, but about 1 to 1 1/2". (Some operators call this dethatching) Then as it starts growing, first cut will be at 2" usually, in this area that will be about Apr. 20 to May 1. Second and third cuts might not be needed more often than 2 or 3 week intervals. By the 4th cut will be at 2 1/2", probably cutting weekly, by mid June cutting at 3".

    Irrigated lawns usually continue at 3", non-irrigated wll probably raise to 3 1/2" if it gets dry earlier in season than usual. First half of Sept. will probably cut 1/2" lower, and may finish season with a cut at 2". Both of these reduced height cuts will be bagged, even if lawn normally isn't bagged through the season. Fyi, I treat the Zoysia varieties that are found here the same way. I'm in south half of Zone 6.

    I have customers that want it cut much shorter than I want to cut. Usually try to convince them that the lawns will look really green much longer in the heat of the summer if it is not cut short. Also, will require a lot less watering (if non-irrigated and they are inclined to water) to maintain green.

    I have a selfish reason for cutting longer, too. If cut short and beginning to go dormant in the heat of the summer, I will be asked to skip cuts. If I am cutting at my preferred height, the growth will continue at least 3 or 4 weeks longer in a dry spell, and the customer will see that cutting is justified, and I will be spared the hassle of customers trying to get me to skip cuts.
  7. Perfect Lawn

    Perfect Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 170

    Bermuda likes to be cut often in the summer, if you cut Bermuda and it gets brown areas then it needs to be cut more often. We used to cut ours every 4-5 days in the summer.
  8. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    I dont cut bermuda shorter than 2.5 inches...most of them I cut closer to 3 or 3.25 especially as the summer gets hotter. The only grass I cut really short (2") is a customer with zoysia grass...I cut it on fridays and he cuts it once in between my visits. Plus he waters and fertilizes like crazy!!
  9. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    The only way to adhere to the university guidelines on bermuda cutting height, 1.5" max, is to mow at least 3 times per week, striping the lawn in the same exact pattern with each cut.

    The reason you ask this question is because you want your bermuda lawn to green after it's mowed, instead of white or yellow, right?

    When you cut a bermuda lawn, if you cut stem, you will see white and yellow coloration. When you mow every other day and crush the stems down in the same direction each time, only the leaf blades (the green part of the plant) are standing up by the next cut. The stems haven't had enough time to fully recover and stand straight up, so they don't get cut. So when you mow, you are cutting only the green part of he plant (the leaf blade) and the lawn looks green when you mow it instead of white or yellow.

    This is how golf course fairways are mowed. Next time you play golf, you will notice that the fairways are striped and every other stripe is combed towards the tee box and the ones in between are combed towards the green. Your fairway shots will be a lot easier when the ball lands on a stripe that's been combed towards the green.

    Striping kits will help a lot, but you have to be able to mow at least 3X per week.

    Another thing about striping bermuda this way is, it looks best if you are staring down the length of the stripe with the sun to your back. When the sun is in front of you or you are looking at the stripes perpendicular, it doesn't look as impressive.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  10. Villa Lawn Maintenance

    Villa Lawn Maintenance LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    We start out with a double scalp (mow at 11/2" in one direction and then turn around and mow at 1" in another direction) then we move it up to 2.5" or 3" by mid June we are at 3.5" to 4". Our tiff yards we mow low but we also mow them twice a week.

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