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Mow lower before first application of fert/pre or not?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Rose, Mar 4, 2010.


Mow short before first fertilizing

  1. Always

    5 vote(s)
  2. Never

    7 vote(s)
  3. Only if there's leaves and debris from winter that are in the way

    3 vote(s)
  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    It's that time of the year here... And it's always a debate. Should I get out this early and mow all my lawns, clean up the few leaves, cutting lower than usual, BEFORE going around and applying the first round of fertilizer? The reason for the debate is simply that it's still almost a month before things really start to green up and grow, give or take, depending on the weather. Some people (customers) may frown upon the lawn guy being there so early to mow, and assume I'm coming every week there after, which I don't plan to cut again until they need it. I've seen a few guys out already mowing and then spreading their fert, but certianly not every one or every lawn. I know there's always the few that just have to wait until the grass is tall before mowing the first time, and I'd have to avoid those either way or risk them dropping me...
  2. FourTrees

    FourTrees LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 6
    Messages: 310

    Where is the option for mostly no unless it is a new client and the last guy did not cut the grass low enough before snow fall. I put Never but there are some instances, were maybe.

    I always make final couple of cuts for the year lower than normal. Going lower each time. Last cut is usually right around Thanksgiving, the grass is not quite dormant but going and therefore is at a good height now (in spring) for things like aeration/fertilization. Though new accounts are often higher than I'd like so the may get a cut, once they are showing some green, before I begin spring work on them.
  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    That's about the same here. We use our mowers to pick up leaves, and cutting a little lower makes it easier to pick them up, the mower picks them up cleaner. So most of my lawns are still shorter still, though there's always a little growth over winter. Some of mine that don't really have leaves to clean up are taller though.
  4. cmlawncare99

    cmlawncare99 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    Dont mow your yards short ever!! I dont care if it the last cut or the first. Your yards will be thicker and more full if you dont mow short. 3.5 is the lowest you should ever mow a yard. The higher the better!! Your yards will be healthier, greener, and more disease tollerant in the long run.
  5. dishboy

    dishboy LawnSite Fanatic
    from zone 6
    Messages: 6,109

    Not true. You might check your local University recommended cutting heights. Many compact new varieties will do worse if you cut above the recommended cutting range. Grass left at 3.5" is much more susceptible to snow mold, a LAWN DISEASE!

    My last cut last fall was 2.5", and my first 2.25", my lawn is thicker, greener than ANY lawn within 5 square miles, how can that be?
  6. FourTrees

    FourTrees LawnSite Senior Member
    from Zone 6
    Messages: 310

    With our snow pack here, it is highly recommended to lower height. I see is all the time lawns not cut late in season to about 2.5" look terrible and have a tougher time coming back. So my normal is above 3.5+ over winter it is 2.5". Snow mold can be a big problem here.

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