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Cut grass low in fall?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by rgn2001, Aug 19, 2007.

  1. rgn2001

    rgn2001 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I have a lot of thatch and I was told by someone in the landscaping business that I will have less thatch if I cut my grass lower in the fall, like with one of my last couple of mowings. Is there any truth to this?

  2. lawnprosteveo

    lawnprosteveo LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,930

    Ive always heard it was best to leave it tall. Down here anyway, we leave the bermuda tall and then scalp it at the first of the year.
  3. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    For Northern grasses that you cut at 3 or 4 inches, it is good to cut lower for your final mowing of the year. Reason being that tall grass will fold over during the winter. This usually results in areas of folded over dry grass that need to be raked out so that new grass come up in the spring. It can also contribute to mold, etc.
    I am not sure how exactly this would affect true thatch (the layer of roots and grass stems between what you see and the dirt). A common misconception is that the dry grass in a lawn is thatch. This is not the case.
    Aerating is a very good way to keep thatch down. If you have a couple of inches of thatch, you can use a power rake to take it out early spring.
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    all valid points...we mow lower in the Fall to make leaf clean-up easier.
  5. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    True thatch is remedied by a very destructive practice of using a vertical mower with cutting knives that basically destroy the thatch. True thatch can be thought of and visualized as having some grass growing thru a thick wool blanket (by thick I mean a tight weave of over 1/2") Can you see the soil surface? True thatch can also be thought of as digging your fingers into thick matted material and not being able to pull anything up. The soil surface is smothered by a tangled thick mess of stolons, twigs and organic material.
    Many people believe a spring tine mechanism will properly dethatch a lawn and that is not true. The spring tines in the typical WB Bluebird machine will slap the surface but do little to break up true thatch.
    I am not able to see your lawn but if it is truly thatched then you have major problems and need a renovation. If you have a lawn that needs to be fluffed up then the Bluebird or Ryan or JRCO will work for you and will make your lawn look visually attractive again. It is not saying that these machines waste your time as it does remove debris from the lawn and helps the lawn in some respects. It is like giving the lawn a good raking.
    Sorry for the long post and I am not trying to come off as mr know it all but there really is a difference between true thatch and what many call thatch. I am hoping you don't have a thatch problem.
  6. Sammy

    Sammy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    Nope................ :laugh:
  7. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    Just don't expect any green for 4 months.................
  8. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    If you lower the mower height to 1/4 inch...you will have no thatch at all....LOL
  9. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    your in NY. yes cut it short but it will do nothing for the Thatch issue. it will reduce the threat of snow mold and other crap. power rake or dethach, but also core aerate you can also topdress with a super high quality compost
  10. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    WHAT? this is total BS

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