Mowing too short

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Twotoros, Jun 30, 2000.

  1. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    I live in a a dry, hot desert climate. Most everyone in our area wants their lawns mowed short (11/4-2") . The lawns suffer and I am frustrated. People won't listen . The first good heat wave just hit and it is getting ugly here . Is there a good way to keep a short lawn green ? Every lawn is a kentucky-rye-fescue blend. It seems that all otherservices are mowing short .
  2. All Green

    All Green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    Water the hell ont of it ?
  3. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,009

    I have a minimum height that I'll cut. period.<p>it isn't scientific but the height of cut on my machine is determined by the number of spacers over the front caster wheels. there are a total of four.<p>the minimum I'll cut is two spacers. if the grass is tall or there is crap in the grass, I cut as high as it will cut, four spacers. no discussion.<p>GEO
  4. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 394

    Present them with facts from reliable sources,(magazines, ag extension services) that explain the benefits of proper mowing height for the types of turfgrass you deal with. (correct height should be 3 inches). Higher mowing heights reduce watering, decrease weed invasion and improve drought tolereance. Sometimes people dont believe you the contractor, because they just think you want to mow it more to get their money when in fact you want their lawn to look and grow its best. By educating your customers with these facts you gain in two ways. One you get to show your professionalism and intelligence, and two you build client confidence that you have expertise in your field and just because thats what everyone is doing doesnt mean its the right way to do it.
  5. OP

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    Thanks CMer. I do know these things . I have discussed it with other services but the owners all seem to fight us on it . I give out my home address to customers to show them what their lawn should look like and I have a few that are showing interest . I think the market here is pretty screwy in a number of ways . You would have to experience it yourself . I should maybe start a lawn assc. here and we could gang up on the homeowners. Thanks to all for the comments.
  6. eggy

    eggy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,314

    I have to say this has been a big issue with me...This year I have the ok from most all to do what is needed to keep the turf green during the dry hot summer...and I find three inches too short even!!I raised several for the summer to 4 inches..they are looking great!!!! And the strips you can put on look great at the higher cut.....Plus we keep cutting!!!!!!
  7. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,261

    Most of my fertilized lawns are cut at 3.5&quot; weekly. I do have one customer who insists on 2.5&quot;. This creates grass clippings everywhere. After about the fourth cut she had me go to 3&quot;. It's not quite as messy now.
  8. TurfMan

    TurfMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    There is something we all must remember. Lawns are like A$$ho!e$, everybody has one and everybody thinks they know how to take care it. I run into this problem all the time with new customers. First I should say that I am not a mower, I only grow the grass. I have a great deal of respect for the people that mow. I am very lucky, my client base trusts me implicitly. The one way that I get my point across is pointing out my yards have a consistancy that is unmatched in my area. When the going gets rough my lawns always look the best before, during and after. I get to call the shots, my way or the highway. If they want to mow the yard short during hot, dry weather they need to find a different lawn man. My retention rate is 99.5 percent per year. I do not take new customers without a tie to current customers. I do not advertise, have my name on my truck, or in the phonebook. My father started business over 50 years ago and this is one credo we live by,&quot;The longer the leaf, the longer the root.&quot; By letting the grass grow longer you give it the opportunity to reach moisture. If you get that across, you have made a big impression. I hope I don't sound like a jerk, but this is one thing I really feel passionatly about. <p>----------<br>thats my 2 cents, <br>mike
  9. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Turfman Mike: Your post looks like something I wrote, word for word, except for the fact that my father didn't start my business 50 years ago. I started it 15 years ago, but everthing else fits our company. It's nice calling the shots on a lawn and having no complaints.<p>----------<br>&lt;a href=&quot;;&gt;Eric@ELM&lt;/a&gt;<br>
  10. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    I think I've just been doing it wrong for so long (i.e. the *customer's* way), that I'm not used to the look of a longer lawn. I took my Exmark Turf Tracer HP into the field last week for the first time and mowed everything twice with it. The first time on the height I *thought* it should be, and the second time probably far too low. It just didn't look *smooth* with the first cut, to my eye.<p>I think what I'm going to have to do is trust my instincts, and my new mower, and cut the stuff a little higher than I have in years previous, particularly in the summer. I think that way the lawn will 'fill in' better and the higher cut *will* look smoother.<p>Sound about right?<p>-TGC

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