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Mowing Heights

jnjnlc

LawnSite Member
Location
Charlotte, NC
I think I have seen this before but I was not able to find it. <p>How high do you typically cut? I thought I was cutting three inches but measured my blade and it was almost four. I think that is to high but it does yeild a great looking lawn. <p>Any suggestions.<p><p>----------<br>Jeff<br>
 

HOMER

LawnSite Gold Member
THE RULE OF THIMB HERE IS TO CUT IT HIGH AND LET IT LIE! THE POINT HERE IS THE TALLER THE GRASS IS THE LONGER THE ROOT IS AND THE COOLER THE SOIL WILL STAY. THERE ARE RECOMMENDED CUTTING HEIGHTS FOR ALL GRASS TYPES BUT LEAVING IT TALL IS BEST FOR THE OVERALL APPEARANCE AND IT ALSO SHADES THE SOIL, THEREFORE PROHIBITING WEED GROWTH. I CUT ALL OF MINE AS TALL AS IT WILL GROW REMOVING ONLY THE TOP DURING THE GROWING PERIOD.
 

NeilG

LawnSite Member
Location
Hayden, Al.
I agree, it all depends on the type of grass that is being grown. The warm season grasses will gererally do better at shorter cutting heights, 1 1/2 to 3&quot; (Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede) When allowed to grow too tall, it puts a strain on the root system, making them work harder to maintain the taller growth. That is the case for the grass types that I have in my area. Others I am sure require different growing and cutting heights. <p>
 

Retro67

Banned
Location
Springfield, IL
I agree with the posts that state, essentially, to cut the grass as high as possible while maintaining a finished look. I experienced drought conditions in Central IL last season, and only lost one full weeks mowing because of the drought. Others in my area were doing nothing while I was cutting grass. Although there was a question in my mind about whether to cut or not sometimes, nobody complained. Much of my competition had no work then, because the lawns were dormant. I didn't have green, lush, beautiful grass, but it kept me working. I'm unfamiliar with the warm season grasses discussed, but my recommendation is go as high as possible, while still maintaining a nice finished look.<br>P.S. This year, I am changing my procedures and charging on a monthly basis. This way, I can still get paid during tough times, and can always do maintenance work at those accounts that don't need mowed. Bottom line, everyone needs to eat, rain or no. <p>John<br>
 

Cannonturf

LawnSite Member
Location
minneapolis
Here in minnesota most grasses are Blues,rye and fescue. 2.5 to 3 inches is the best overall height.Cutting promotes growth and if left to long the bottom of the blade will begin to turn yellow.It also doesnt allow sunlight to the new grasslings that are coming up.<br>One other thing that i've learned is,having it to long and you have a week of rain you have one hell of a mess to clean up.It's not to bad with a small residental but if you have 5 acres your profit just turned to a big negative.<br>I'm sure it's different all across the nation so what applies here might not there.<br>
 

Keith

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
Central Florida
Here in Central Florida we pretty much have only St. Augustine and Bahia grasses. While there are several varieties of St. Augustine, Floratam is the most common we run into. In the spring we will cut some at 3 1/2 and most at 4. By the end of summer we are cutting most at 4 1/2. Mid to late summer is the heavy growing season. By that time they are growing 4-5 inches a week. Some will even be cut every 5 days or so. Mowing the heaviest growers up to 4 1/2 just looks better. I try to get most back to 4 inches in the fall, but if they don't look quite as good I will keep them at 4 1/2 til spring. Even the Bahia grass seems to do better cut high. We used to cut most of it at 2 1/2-3&quot;. Bahia is a blade destroyer, it should not even be considered grass. It grows even faster than St. Augustine when watered and fertilized on a regular basis. By the end of summer Bahia is pretty rough looking, it get overly thick (like wire) and yellowed. The best thing for it, is during a dry period, to turn off the sprinklers. If it is allowed to burn it will come back greener and more lush than ever. I have found that cutting it at 3 1/2&quot; seems to keep it from getting too thick and sticking with that level keeps weeds to a minimum during the cooler months.
 

Charles

Moderator, Friend, Angel
Location
South East
Around here I cut zoysia at 2-1/2&quot;. Fescue at 2&quot;. Centipeed at 1-1/2&quot;. Bermuda at 2&quot;. Sometimes if the customer request. I cut fescue higher than that
 

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Location
Chicago, IL USA
Around the Chicago area, we have bluegrass and fescues. I cut most lawns at 2 1/2 to 3 inches in the spring and fall, but during the hot months I cut from 4 to 5 inches to help hold the moisture. So far in my guest book on my website, nobody has said my lawns look bad and my customers are all happy, so I will continue to do it like this. The higher you cut during rapid growth, the more room there is for clippings to get hidden. If you cut at 2 inches when the grass is growing 4 to 6 inches a week, you have a mess like in the picture on page 7. <br><p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html&quot;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>
 

Lazer

LawnSite Bronze Member
Eric,<br>Of course is you were using an eXmark, you would have perfect results every time regardless of mowing height. :)<p>But seriously, Eric's got it right. We mow at 2.5&quot; in spring & fall and 3 or 3.5&quot; in the summer. One note on appearance: The larger the lawn area, the longer you can mow and still have it look nice. If you mow a large 2 acre open area, a 5&quot; HOC will look very nice, as in Eric's pages. On a 4,000 sq.ft. house lawn, it would look shaggy.
 
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