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Cutting St. Augustine at two inches.

DennisF

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Florida
I had a potential new customer ask me to cut his St. Augustine at 2 inches. I had a long talk with him and tried to convince him that St. Augustine should not be cut shorter than about 3 1/4 inches. I had a circular with me on St. Augustine grass from the University of Florida School of Agriculture that states that the grass should be mowed to 3 1/4 to 4 inches and he read the circular but still wanted me to cut it at 2 inches. I refused his request and told him that I wouldn't cut it unless he accepted a minimum of 3 inches, and I would have to have him sign a waiver stating that I would not be responsible for any resulting problems from cutting it at 3 inches. He refused the waiver idea. He said if I wouldn't cut it at 2 inches he would ask for other bids. I encouraged him to do so and left.

Has anyone had requests for this type of service on St. Augustine. It beats the he// out of me why someone would insisit on ruining a lawn by cutting it too short.
 

mowerman90

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Spring Hill, FL
There's all sorts of crackpots down here. He's probably the type that would spray 2-4-D on the weeds in his Floratam. Better to just leave him to his own demise. But, hey, look on the bright side......maybe you'll be the one to win the bid for re-soding or plugging after he kills it!


P.S. For you Northerners that don't know, 2-4-D will kill Floratam
 

TJLC

LawnSite Bronze Member
Originally posted by DennisF
I had a potential new customer ask me to cut his St. Augustine at 2 inches. I had a long talk with him and tried to convince him that St. Augustine should not be cut shorter than about 3 1/4 inches. I had a circular with me on St. Augustine grass from the University of Florida School of Agriculture that states that the grass should be mowed to 3 1/4 to 4 inches and he read the circular but still wanted me to cut it at 2 inches. I refused his request and told him that I wouldn't cut it unless he accepted a minimum of 3 inches, and I would have to have him sign a waiver stating that I would not be responsible for any resulting problems from cutting it at 3 inches. He refused the waiver idea. He said if I wouldn't cut it at 2 inches he would ask for other bids. I encouraged him to do so and left.

Has anyone had requests for this type of service on St. Augustine. It beats the he// out of me why someone would insisit on ruining a lawn by cutting it too short.
I have also lost bids because I refused to cut lower than the proper height. Call me crazy too, but I will not go against what I know to be true. Good for you for doing the right thing.
 

Lakefront

LawnSite Member
Location
Central Texas
St Aug does fine when cut at that height. An agronimy profesor from TX A&M told me this would not be a problem 3 or 4 years ago. Being very skeptical, I decided to try it out in my own yard, and have been keeping it short ever since. It is very hard to maintain if you have really thick turf, most of my lawns will not stay at that height during the summer, they grow to thick and to fast. My house thrives on neglect, and I don't have a problem keeping it low all summer. If you sell a lot of fert, or topdressing, it will be hard to keep it low without double cutting.
 

MTR

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Florida
There are so many varieties of St Augustine, but the Floratam type you are right. I have never cut Floratam shorter than 4", it looks green and beautiful. At 2 ", the customer is ignorant, the heat in summer will torch and dehydrate the lawn within hours and you know the result...weeds poping, roots weakened, and yellowish looking & ant mounds all over, etc.

I walk away and let him deal with the consequence himself. You don't want the responsibility that comes with taking care that lawn at 2". You never know when you gonna chop off those Hunter/Rainbird sprinkler heads and cables or water meter/sewer pipe cap setup!

regards,
 

brucec32

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
The dwarf varieties the book says you can mow that low, but around here it looks be mostly or all Floratam. The idiot who sold me my house mowed everything at about 2" or less and nearly destroyed an otherwise nice lawn. It has taken a few months to get it to decent standards, but there are still dead spots on rises where he scalped and where disease and insects did their thing. I like the look at 3.5", since mine still needs thickening in spots and sparse grass looks better cut lower, but I hear you need to raise that as the summer heat hits.

Some idiots out there don't even know that there are different grasses, they go see a golf course they play on and want it to look like that. I avoid those type customers.
 


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