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how tall to cut grass??

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Scenery Lawn Care, Apr 19, 2008.

  1. Scenery Lawn Care

    Scenery Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    im new to the bussiness and my quick 36 got here last thur, i got it all togather and ofcourse it has not stopped raining so i can test it out. but i have been looking over it and noticed the blade now is set up at 3 1/8 inch. Does anyone think that is to high? should i go down to 2.5 or 2? and then during the drought season should i go back up to 3 inches? thanks for any input
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    What kind of grass are you cutting?
  3. doubleedge

    doubleedge LawnSite Senior Member
    from ND
    Messages: 911

    Im almost positive they do that to prevent the deck from hitting during transport :). They do not necessarily intend you to mow that high. Right after winter, I usually mow at or under 2". When it starts to grow, I up it to around 2.5".
  4. Paulup

    Paulup LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    Different grasses should be cut at different heights. Do a little research on them.
  5. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    I mainly cut St. Aug and i have it set at 3" now
  6. 44DCNF

    44DCNF LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,523

    Conditions being ideal, the root growth is proportionate to the top growth. Mowing higher well before the summer heat will better enable it to endure a stressful period by allowing establishment of deeper root systems. Mow according to the grass types requirements. I cut at 3 1/4" or higher most all year on our cool season turfs. A little shorter looks better in early spring because of the time variance in different grass varieties kicking into gear. Lawns look lumpy for a couple weeks in the spring if they have a mix of grasses waking up, so 2 1/2" gives a more manicured look then. Fall clean ups go down to 2 1/2 also. That's just how I do it. Not saying it is the only or best way.
  7. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I guess it never occured to you to maybe work just a season for someone already in the business and actually learn about what you're doing before going into "business" for yourself? My guess is your employer could have taught you enough in just 3 months about this to actually figure out proper mowing heights and enough other things to avoid making huge mistakes later. I'm wondering that if you don't know that, what else don't you know that you should before showing up at a customer's lawn?

    I guess the concept of obtaining training and paying your dues to become at least marginally competent, even in a simple business with low barriers to entry, is too slow and old fashioned for folks these days. "show me the money!" beats "show me how to do this" as a credo. Is it any wonder the industry's image is so bad? It's also reflective of the new American business model of getting the revenue flowing first, and only then worrying about how to do the job.

    Nobody's against you becoming self employed and working hard. Just take the time to become competent at it first. It's not like you need 7 years and a medical degree. But you do need to learn the ropes before you rush out there.

    The silver lining is that I get called out to a lot of these lawn disasters later, and they're so happy to have someone knowledgeable and reliable doing it they don't quibble on price.
  8. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 686

    All this heights per grass type sounds good on paper but does not normally fly in the real world. Most my customers insist on lower cuts. If I tried to cut one of their lawns at 3 1/4 they would call me back over to cut it again. If you have a lot of lawns that are a mix of clover and several other weeds they need to be cut short, if not they look horrible. I have tried several times to tell the customer about proper heights, but most want it shorter than it should be. I have had several calls over the years saying next time when you mow can you lower it some.
  9. IN2MOWN

    IN2MOWN LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,993

    Stay at 3- 3.5 all spring and summer and then in late fall go down to 2 - 2.5.

    If you cut at 2 - 2.5 all year long the turf around here wont be able to handle it.
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Does shorter fall mowing weaken the turf?

    I've been reading conflicting info on this when it comes to fall mowing. It's my understanding fall grass is trying to store energy into the roots for the winter so . . . if you drop the mower down lower than normal it will weaken the turf since the grass will use up some of it energy to recover from the low mowing. Is this bunk or is it a fact for cool season grasses?

    Any input

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