Can I cut KBG/Fescue at 1" to 1 1/4"?

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by katoomer, Sep 27, 2013.

  1. katoomer

    katoomer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hi Guys, Newbie here, first post. We recently redid our entire yard and I have started cutting my own lawn again. We sodded with a 60%KBG/ 40% tall fescue
    mix and after one season it looks great. I have been cutting it with my Honda rotary but I am really wanting to go the reel mower direction. If I cut it lower than 2" with the rotary it looks yellowish, loses it's dark green color, and appears splotchy colorwise. If I go to a reel mower ( it's between the Tru Cut and Cal Trimmer) can I cut it shorter with good results? I don't mind cutting 2 times a week.
  2. turfbuilder

    turfbuilder LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from WI
    Messages: 554

    What do you have a golf course back there ? Raise the deck to 3 - 3 1/2
  3. knox gsl

    knox gsl LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,256

    The shortest I would go is 2.5" unless you get over 85 degrees or 29 for Canadians.
  4. agrostis

    agrostis LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,545

    If you cut it that short, even in Canada, it will probably die. If you want cool season grass at 1" you need hybrid bentgrass.
  5. katoomer

    katoomer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Thanks for the advice. Now I am cautious but still confused. I'm reading where a lot of the baseball stadiums in the Pac Northwest incl. Safeco Field cut their KBG at !". If I get the Caltrimmer it cuts at 1 1/2" or shorter while the Tru Cut does 2 1/4". There are a lot of lawns in Vancouver that are cut short but they don't look like bent grass. I need to try and talk to some local gardeners to find out more from them.Thanks again
  6. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,138

    There is a big difference between a reel cut and a rotary cut. A reel cut mows without pulling on grass roots or tearing the leaf tips. A rotary with its vacuum action and blades that get dull the second the mower is started not so. This was illustrated to me on bermuda grass sports fields. One was cut with a reel mower at 3/4", the other at 2" with a rotary. The rotary cut field has basically been converted to coarse grassy weeds because of the bermuda being yanked out of the ground at every mowing. The coarse weeds have no trouble growing because their roots are stuck in the ground hard. If I am not mistaken, most of the fine turf in Europe and the UK is reel cut. Their grass is a mix of fine fescues, bent and rye. You might have a shift in grass population where the KBG is favored by the low mowing.
  7. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,763

    IFF your KBG can survive at this short of a cutting will need more water and full sun to live. Short KBG in shade will not thrive, and may not even survive.
  8. katoomer

    katoomer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Quick update
    I have been cutting with a Cal Trimmer 7 blade mower for 3 months now and the yard looks fantastic. Started at 1 1/2" and now cutting at 1 13/8. Lawn is very thick and lush. Cut at least twice a week. I have a few small bumps and dips from irrigation lines trenches settling from last year. What is the best way to fill those low spots gradually?
  9. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,506

    Big difference between your yard and a baseball stadium too. Most athletic fields use custom hybrid varieties bred for short growth and grow their own sod patches to repair areas as needed. Irrigation and fertilization is also closely monitored .
    Posted via Mobile Device

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