mowing in the pacific northwest

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by brucec32, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    I was doing some reading about turf in other parts of the country and was surprised to see that in the NW they use Tall Fescue like we do down here in Georgia. I saw perennial ryegrass used also.

    I checked at the weather channel and man, the weather there never gets hot! No wonder it's all cool season turf.

    I never see many posts from the Pacific NW, so I'm curious about the following.

    1. Do you really mow at 1.5" like the university says to?
    2. Do you HAVE to bag it all?
    3. Does it really rain all the time? Y'all actually get less total inches by far than we do. I note it's very dry there in the summer, though.
    4. Do you mow year round? Our Fescue shuts down mostly when it gets cold, though it stays green. We might cut a Tall Fescue lawn 32 times if it's fertile and doesn't shut down in a summer drought. But less fertile unirrigated ones might go every 2 weeks.
    5. Are you able to use ZTRs if the turf is wet much of the time? What IS the mower of choice out there?

    After time in Florida and being a Georgia native, I could get used to the idea of 76 degree highs in July. That'd be a nighttime temp here.
  2. tacoma200

    tacoma200 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,426

    They have lot's of rain days but as you say not as many inches as we do in the South East. I have heard good reports from Scag and Deere there but I'm not sure if they were bagging. Actually the North West is a big grass seed producer. They grow a lot of fescue and other cool season grasses for the seed. It rarely gets very cold near the coast, in fact there are a few palm trees scattered but it never gets very hot in the Summer. Of course the state gets drier the further from the coast you get. MJB lives a little further from the coast and his lawns are irrigated so he might be a good one to ask. He double cuts and mulches.
  3. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    It rains all the time, you don't want to move here!
  4. JFGLN

    JFGLN LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,071

    1. We cut at 2.5"
    2. We always bag, it too wet to mulch most of the time.
    3. Again, the rain never stops.
    4. The mowing season is from the middle of Feb to the first week of December.
    5. Our company uses Honda 21" mowers, but others use the bigger mowers
  5. Frontstreetlawns

    Frontstreetlawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    im about a mile from the border and 8 miles from the coast, yes it rains alot here but its not the huge downpore that i here about in other places. we do have to bag alot but under the right conditions we can do it, sometimes some lawns can handle it real well, but the nieghbors cant. we normally cut down to about 2.25 or 2.5 but i do reel lawns and we cut those probably down to an inch, there not as good as some golf greens but there close to it. no we dont have palm trees growing speradically around, there like in the touristy gardens and they take alot of care, ive seen 1 at a customers house and she has to wrap it up for the winter and its on the south side of the house protected. they do grow the cool season grasses in oregon. we dont mow year round its about 36 mowings a year for the irrigated lawns and about 30 for the none irrigated. we mow from around early march to about november. we are able to use zero turns but you need really good operators on certain lawns, and on occasion you need to pull the push mower out. right now i can fill up the back of my truck in one day with 10 lawns
  6. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    Sounds like a clippings nightmare. Ive had single medium/large lawns here fill a pickup bed with clippings, though that was one in overgrown condition. I really hate dealing with clippings. As I figured the real life mowing heights are a little higher than "by the book", since even improved Tall Fescue types start at about 2.25" and are mowed higher during warmer months.

    We start early/mid March depending on the temps and mow Through mid December, again depending on temps and again coming less freqently as growth slows. We have a dip in the summer usually, as the temps shut down tall fescue pretty good, especially on non-irrigated turf.

    No plans to move there. But it seems very pleasant if you don't require a lot of sunny days.
  7. Frontstreetlawns

    Frontstreetlawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 168

    the sunny days do come, irs ususally in june thrue sept, its just fall winter and spring seems bad
  8. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,869

    I live roughly 150 miles from the coast, and I never see much rain. In fact we only mow about 28 times per year, compared to their 36. We rely on irrigation to keep everything green. The grass is a mixture of fescue, rye, and kentucky bluegrass, cut at 3" to 4" during the heat. Quite a difference from Seattle, man I couldn't live in that wet climate.
  9. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    This is pretty close to the way things are for me as well.

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