Cutting shorter for last cut?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by ALarsh, Nov 13, 2004.

  1. ALarsh

    ALarsh LawnSite Silver Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 2,412

    So, I'm cutting an account today and I was just finishing up with the mowing, getting the trimmer ready. The customer comes out and asks me to cut it shorter. I told him that I have just finished cutting, but I will do it for an extra charge however I will not scalp the lawn. He says ok so I fire up the mower again, drop the deck down 1 inch and start cutting.

    I'm cutting the lawn, grass flying everywhere, neighbors looking at me thinking "What the hell are you doing?". I look forward and go as fast as I can. Finish up, lawn looks terrible so I take the blower to spread some clippings out to make it look nicer, clean his driveway and his neighbors driveway since they both have grass clippings on it from me. I'm in and out in 45 minutes, I charged him $75. He accepts and pays me on the spot.

    Now, my main question is do any of you cut shorter for the last cut? This is the first time I’ve done it and was wondering if it benefits the grass at all...

  2. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Former Moderator
    Messages: 6,073

    Yes, on the last cut we definitely cut it shorter. On lawns that we normally cut at 4 inch, we take it down to 3 inches. Lawns that we normally cut at 3 inches, the final cut gets 2 1/2 inches.
  3. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    I always do.
  4. jwholden

    jwholden LawnSite Member
    from CT
    Messages: 218

    'Shorter', yes

    'Scalp', no
  5. GrassBustersLawn

    GrassBustersLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 981

    REALLY NOT SUPPOSED to do that with cool season grasses. Never cut more than 1/3rd of blade. It is important to not let grass get too long prior to snow fall, so it does not get "snow mold" from being smashed down & damp for a couple of months. However, it is equally bad to cut too much of blade off. Don't believe me? Go to PURDUE TURF web site. This is what Dr. Zac Reicher says!

    Now that being said. ALOT of clients will REQUEST that yard be cutter shorter on last cut. I will maybe knock it down 1/4 an inch from normal. Definitely will not scalp it!

  6. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    Most lawns in the summer get cut around 3-3.25. Normaly a month or so before I will stop I start lowering the blades down .25" each cut. I will not cut shorter than 2" and will not scalp.
  7. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,384

    I do it pretty much like Stevesmowing dos it.

    TURF DOCTOR LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,138

    No .............
  9. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 607

    Ditto here. I start lowering my height every week starting about three weeks before my estimated last cut. I have found that it comes back nicely in the spring and blowing of leaves is much easier.

  10. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 976

    Absolutely not. It's unhealthy for cool season grasses. Not only that but the shorter the grass the more likely you'll have problems with weeds/crabgrass germinating in the spring before the lawn comes out of dormancy.

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