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Grass Height in Drought

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by East Coast Lawn Choppers, May 26, 2006.

  1. East Coast Lawn Choppers

    East Coast Lawn Choppers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    We started the year cutting at 3" all our grass looked beautiful... now we are getting less rain than before... Most of the people around here are cutting at 2 3/4" and dead grass. What is a good cutting height ? is 3 1/2" too high ?
  2. chuck bow

    chuck bow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    when it gets dry i go to 3.5 on most lawns and some i have are cut at 4 in ( normal cutting height in spring is 3 in )
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    we do exactly the same
  4. wrtenterprises

    wrtenterprises LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 331

    Here in Central Pa., I have been at 3.75" for most, and 4.00" with properties that have full sun. The only properties I am cutting at 3.00" are 7-8 that are in very shady areas..... It's been a dry Spring here too.
  5. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,508

    4 and we never cut below 3.5 only in the fall we cut real low to help with leaf clean up.
  6. East Coast Lawn Choppers

    East Coast Lawn Choppers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Thanks, we are definitly raising it again, but I still have one customer that wants it cut at 2 3/4" I'm asking them to sign a waiver for us to cut it at that... I guess we'll just be topping it this coming week. We haven't had good rain in weeks. It's amazing that all of our lawns were still so nice and green. This week was the first week that I noticed a slight browning down in the grass. I hope the little bit of rain we get tonight helps it grow enough to raise our cut and get them all back to a nice green again...
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Well, I had pretty much been cutting most stuff at 3"-3.5" which is a bit out of character for me. But I was feeling comfortable with the cool temps and weekly rainfall.

    Turns out I was too comfortable and not really doing enough tracking of actual rainfall totals. We were getting barely enough with the good winds we have had. So one or two dry weeks and things started frying.

    Had I stuck to my normal way of allowing the cutting heights to climb as the season progresses like I normally do... well I wouldn't have as much of a problem. Out of these lawns, a little more than half of them are showing drought stress. But NONE of the lawns with 4" and above cutting heights are having any issues at all.
  8. D and H Seasonal Services

    D and H Seasonal Services LawnSite Member
    from SE, Pa
    Messages: 68

    Not sure what lawns you are cutting, they must have a cover over them if they are browning. I have been cutting at 3" and every lawn looks just fine. I am in Phoenixville, Pa. and I have seen no signs of browning.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Same here out of virginia, I am not changing my cut height, it took months and months to set it several years ago, 3" is the best height for my machine because too high it just streaks and really, any higher than 3" is too high for my machines.

    By the way, what is the reason to run a lawnmower over a lawn that does not need cutting? Oh yeah, raise the height, is that the answer? In my case, if it doesn't grow, I don't cut it... omg, who would'a thunked it.

    I see what you guys are doing and it is tempting to go your routes so that I, too, can get 28 cuts / year in, but then I don't think my customers would tolerate such nonsense, besides the fact that they trust me. Not saying yours don't, but they must be some awful dumb mofos that they can't see the crap is being pulled to get that extra cut, nevermind, extra 6-8 or 10-12 cuts / year out of them.

    Now I get my extra cut here and there, nobody is perfect but I watch it, ONE extra cut and that's enough, my customers are not stupid.
  10. East Coast Lawn Choppers

    East Coast Lawn Choppers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    It's not to get more cuttings out of a year... We have customers that want a golf coarse lawn all the time. They don't want brown spots in their lawns. One of the areas we cut at the houses are all mansions and they compete for best lawns... or at least it seems like it. We are in a drought and the higher you cut the deeper the roots go and the healthier the grass is. Myself I'd rather have a green high lawn than a brown carpet yard. That's why I was wondering how high others are cutting...
    P.S. we have a few people that I recommended we cut every other week because it was a waste of my time to unload and cut air... So it's not for the extra cuts...

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