How to cut Bermuda?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by beaver29, Sep 27, 2005.

  1. beaver29

    beaver29 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 279

    I'm new to the lawn buisness and I have a question for you all. When I cut bermuda grass I leave behind some yellow spots. Is it because I'm cutting it to short (2.5")? Ifso what height do you all cut bermuda?
  2. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,398

    Bermuda is green only at the top of the grass. This is especially true on certain types and on those that use fertilizer (causing it to be very dense). When your mower takes off that extra 1/4" when it hits that small uneven spot, then you get to see the brown spots. It will probably green up within a day or two in most cases. The height that you are mowing has nothing to do with it. You can cut bermuda at 1" if you want to - but not after you let it go to 2.5".
  3. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,899

    It depends on what type of Bermuda you have. Common Bermuda can be cut from 1" to 2.5" I think the yellow spots are either humps and bumps and you have a scalping issue or the growth is too much between cuts and you are removing more than 1/3 of the leaf. I am in Phoenix and we cut hybrid Bermuda's from 3/8" to 3/4" and common at 1" Others cut it higher but but we like it tight. This time of year pearl scale rears its ugly head here, I don't know about your neck of the woods. You may want to get on your knees and do a bit of investigating. Look for small pin head sized pearls off white to a light pink or yellow color just below the thatch layer. I try to do this when the customer is looking out the window. :waving: Even if I can't figure out the problem they appreciate the effort.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    It is avoidable with proper management.
    I've posted the technique before.
    When I feel better and have time I'll attach it here.

    For now though, raise the cutting height to 2 3/4"-3" next cut.
    As PTP was saying, bermuda has a very short canopy of green that can be cut back to the stem easily. This is probably something you are experiencing due to all the rain you have had down there in the last bit. Surge growth raising the canopy higher.
  5. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    with common bermuda, good luck. unless you cut the grass at 3" or higher, it will look like that. but after 2.5" you start to have problems with broadleaf weeds. bermuda can't handle grassy weeds at any height.

    imo, everybody would be better off without having to deal with pure bermuda. I especially like a 40% hybrid bermuda to 60% seashore paspalum mix. the bermuda repair faster than the seashore, but the sheashore provides a dense canopy of green, that if very weed resistant.

    the yellow spots will grow out in about two days though. I would raise the cutting height to 3", and make sure you keep the weeds under control.
  6. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    i cut bermuda at 4"
  7. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    The problem is,you're cutting the bermuda too high.The taller leaves are shading the undergrowth.No,bermuda doesn't just green out on top.This is simply a result of cutting it too high.Cutting lower allows more sunlight in to the stolons,which in turn allows new roots,leaves, and stems to grow.Shading this area results in a thinning of that layer and less leaf growth,so when you cut,you see areas that have no new leaf growth.You want lateral growth with bermuda,not top growth.
    Now,what to do?
    Begin the season mowing bermuda 1.25-1.5" and keep it at that height as long as possible.(Usually July here) When you start getting less active growth in the bermuda(late in the season),raise your cutting height by 1/4".This will "hide" the slower growing undergrowth.Leave your mower at that level until you start to see the thin patches again.Then raise your blade another 1/4".By the end of the season,you'll be about 2-2.25".
    Hybrid bermudas are generally worse at this than common.Reason being,hybrid bermuda grows thicker and more lateral(what you want it to do) than common.Common tends to stay green at lower stem levels simply because it doesn't grow as thick as hybrid,and in turn doesn't shade the undergrowth.
  8. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    we always call these helicopters....

    When there is an uneven place in the ground the mower will force it self down and give it that 1 spot of yellow and sometimes just a blade looking effect, when the season ends we always scalp. when the season starts we cut as low as possible for as long as possible, raiseing the mower up as needed, by the end of the season we go no higher than 4"..

    If you notice these yellow spots will be in the same place every cut. you can make the earth lever in this area, go slower and more level over these spots. Or Just live with it...
  9. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,567

    Nick has stated the correct way to mow bermuda. A little liquid fertilize really helps brown spots green up guick.

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