cutting @ 3"

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 1stclasslawns, Apr 17, 2002.

  1. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Ok guys I have some apartments that I mow and I have to meet with the properties manager tomarrow. They are wanting me to mow lower. The apartments have alot of weeds in them and do not want to be mowed weekly, they want 16 mowings per growing season. I can live with that.

    How ever cutting lower then 3" is tough as some of them are a little rough. The guy who did it last year cut too low and removed his clippings so there is no lawer to keep seeds from the dirt.

    I am going to give them some reasons that I mow @ 3". tell me if I miss any. Some bramuda, mostly fescue.

    Fewer weeds by shading the soil so less germination of weed seeds.

    By reducing the number of cuttings you also need to rais the cut height so you don't take off more then 1/3 of the grass legnth.

    Grass does better with less water.

    Builds heather roots systems, resulting in healthier grass.

    Did I miss any.

  2. jeffyr

    jeffyr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 876

    You could add better moisture retention in the soil


    ....It just looks better.

    Download a piture of a scalped lawn and one of a nicely cut striped lawn for comparison..

  3. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    double blades might help disperse without bagging ,if u are lucky.
    sounds like they want to tell the mechanic how ti fix the car to me.
    just explain what the possible results might be going in.
    they ll still blame u ,but at least u let them know u know what u are doing.
  4. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 469

    I think mowing any lower as going to allow for more weed germination, also cutting lower will only "showcase" the weeds more due to the fact that the weeds always seem to grow faster than the turf. I think 3" would be the shortest you could "safely" go. just trying to help.
  5. BigJim

    BigJim LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 382

    Good luck with your meeting,might be easier to negotiate peace in the Middle East than change the mowing height,Ive given up arguing the point if people want their lawns short that what they get,although you know its better to mow higher,in the end the customer pays the bill and there always remains a element of friction if your not mowing how they like it,if its not the height they probably find something else to complain about.All the best..
    Heres a low cut photo to scare them with,ask if they want 1/4 of an inch.............

  6. groundsguy1970

    groundsguy1970 Banned
    Messages: 166

    Where I live if one mowed @ 3 inches one's lawns would rot out from all the rain. I mow @ 1.5 inch- 2.5 inch all summer...even shorter some months.In winter I mow around .5 depends on allot of factors.
  7. toby

    toby LawnSite Member
    from ontario
    Messages: 66

    Perhaps if you used a reel mower you wouldn't have such problems. I assume it also depends on how much Sail Ale you've consumed.
  8. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Gosh, don't show 'em THAT picture! That will only encourage them, and they'll be wanting to go for that "golf green" look!:D Just simply tell them that at THIS time of the year is the only time we get real, actual GROWTH of the turf plants, as they are establishing root system, and it's a simple rule of thumb - the longer the leaf, the deeper the root can establish. This of course also happens again in the fall, but not to as great of extent. That takes care of THIS part of the year, so that should pacify them for awhile. THEN, in the summer, you can tell them that you are cutting higher to help it be more tolerant to the heat and drought stress. (It keeps the rhizomes shaded out of more hours of the day). As far as the strategy of cutting it higher so you only are taking about a rthird of the blade off, well, without regular cutting, this only works about once. You really have to be careful, or else you'll be forever behind with overgrowth. If it's rally growing, sometimes you HAVE to just really cut into it. Sometimes, 1/4" can equal 2 to 3" difference by the end of the week in the spring growth. You have to find a medium for the growth of that particular grass. Moisture and fertilizer, of course, are certainly determining factors in this equation, esPECially with heavy nitrogen. Good luck with it, and remember, YOU run the business, THEY run theirs! ;)
  9. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    Heard of Photosynthesis? Due to photosynthesis the shorter you cut it the faster it will grow.

    To sustain its life it must get the leaf blades back up quickly so that it can have more leaf area for sunlight.
  10. Fantasy Lawns

    Fantasy Lawns LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,913


    Green as a $100 Dollar Bill :->

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