'Bummed-out' time of year

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Oct 7, 2006.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well, the 'bummy' time of year has began for me here in the transition zone.

    Lots of lawn here are a mix of warm season (common bermuda) and cool season grasses.... and it's not technically warm enough here for most warm season stuff to stay prime during the whole season.

    It's already starting to receed into dormancy (really slowing down) and it's now to the point that I personally think the lawns look better when I show up to cut them than they do when I finish.

    What I mean is the cool season stuff is far outgrowing the other stuff, and is standing above it nicely prime and green. But when I cut that off, you can see the dulling warm season stuff and it's browning base stems.

    This bums me out.

    Does anyone else here service "mixed" lawns?

    If so, let me run this thought of mine by you guys....
    I'm seriously thinking about trying/starting a FALL semi-scalping program similar to what I do on warm season lawns in the spring.

    What I'm thinking of is really starting to work the cutting heights on these mixed lawns down as soon as cooling off is forecast... and then really cutting them back good the first time they look shabby.

    The idea being to cut the slowing bermuda way back, then letting the fescues and stuff grow well above that level... like skipping one week after the cut-back and then resuming normal cutting heights.

    I'm thinking then the lawns would look better and the stuff entering dormancy wouldn't show as much after a fresh cut. Make sense?... and with the skipped cut, I could maybe implement this without increasing the maintenace costs to the customer.

    Any thoughts?
  2. 1PRO

    1PRO LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    You are going about the right way,also spray round-up in August then start with a total reno,seed with lesco team mates-has perrinal rye or the transition blend.
  3. WildWest

    WildWest LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 384

    Everyone here has been scapling their lawns and overseeding with Rye grass for the winter... the Bermuda goes dormant in the cold weather and the rye takes over till next summer. It's really weird to see all these lawns chopped down to dang near dirt. but the rye really looks like carpet once it's growing well. I hear alot of people scalp, overseed, and then take a couple of weeks off to let the rye germinate and get rooted. Plus they charge for a double cut to scalp it (usually takes 2 passes and you have to bag it) then charge for the overseeding. $$
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well, I overseed some of the warm season stuff with rye.
    But these are not the "mixed" yards.

    These that are mixed were not that way intentionally. Most of them have been invaded by wild bermuda. Or they are warm season lawns that have been through the whole "spray with roundup and sow fescue" routine. That works for a while, but the Bermuda is like the Terminator... it will be back.

    I'm not really thinking of literally scalping these mixed yards way down...
    Just down far enough to seriously cut back the Bermuda that's slowing down. The fescue should jump right back during favorable weather... and in two weeks I return back to the 3"-4" mowing height. The idea being that when I give a fresh cut, the Bermuda would not be as visible and unsightly as it is now.

    I dunno, just a thought I've had....
  5. vincent c. gomeyac

    vincent c. gomeyac LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    i live here in the transition area (north Ga. & southern Tn.)
    i service a lot of mixed grasses yard(fescue & bermuda)
    that's what i do, lower the cutting height when the bermuda starts their
    dormancy period. the fescue will gradually grow back to your preffered
    cutting height(fr. 4" down to 2" and then back to 3"-4") yes, you have to
    skip a cut to let the fescue grow higher than the dormant bermuda.

    I always have a great result with this practice,I also make sure to fertilize
    after doing this since yuo've stressed the fescue. Never have problem doing
    this to this date.

  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Thanks vinz... I thought this strategy might work.

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