The grass was beautiful green, then I mowed it off...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Jason Rose, Apr 8, 2005.

  1. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Ok, this is really agrivating to say the least. I show up to mow, set at 3" and the lawn that was nice and green is being cut down to the brown at 3"! Some lawns are doing this, some aren't. Most all of them I cut about a half inch shorter for the first cut, but now i'm regretting not going at least an inch shorter. It's too late now to cut that much lower here, 3rd cut this week at most places. I just hate to raise my deck up to 3.5" already because as the season progresses by july it will look scalped again every time I cut due to the grass "panning out" at the cutting height.

    If you never see brown when you cut, then you are probably wondering what i'm talking about, but those that do, and I know I can't be the only one, what do you do? My mowers only raise in 1/2 inch incriments and the tallest I ever cut anywhere is 3.5" and I bag almost everything.

    I guess next year I know the lawns that will need a good old fashioned scalping in the spring. (Ok, I knew that this year, but I had hoped that fertilizer and ample water would make it all green up. About half of the dormant grass didn't re-green, the tops evidently died and it grew back from the roots leaving all the brown on top.)
  2. LALawnboy

    LALawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 457

    I know exactly what you're talking about. This has happened to me a couple of times on a few yards. Like you, I bag a lot, but only when I have to. I like cutting my yards on the lowest possible setting without scalping, but sometimes when I bag everything, the grass is brown at the end like you said. Try mulching the yard a couple of times if you can, this has always worked for me. A few mulchings after that initial bagged cut always seems to make the grass look greener for me the next time. That's just my 2 cents.
  3. HOMER

    HOMER LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,183

    Bermuda does that just about every week down here if it's fertilized and growing fast...........ain't much you can do about it. Looks ugly for 2-3 days.......greens back up.........I cut it after 7.........browns up and the process starts all over. I hate it. Give me centipede or St. Augustine any day!
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I was just going to ask what kind of grass you're cutting here. Like Homer says a lot of grasses will be off-color down lower. Also Burmuda quits earlier in the Fall and starts later in the Spring than fescues and ryes do. It may just be that you have cut down to some dormant Burmuda. I absolutely, positively do not endorse scalping grass. It only makes the grass weaker and promotes crabgrass growth.
  5. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Fescue here mainly... Bermuda is a WEED! I'm not trying to cut as low as I can get it, I cut all about 3 inches, some 2 1/2 this time of year. That gives me room to bump them up usually one notch (1/2 inch) when the weather starts to get hotter and dry and/or the growth each week is more than I can take off.

    I'm sure grass has to grow about the same everywhere, or is it just here that we can actually get 6 to 8 inches of growth in a week??? You tell me how to do anything but bag that! I know berbuda turns brown when you cut it, but a spring scalping helps push that till later in the season i have found. As for scalping fescue, I say that, but I'm never going lower than 2" anymore. Iv'e done the "set it as low as it will go till you see dirt" scalping on fescue before, many years ago it was common practice. I used to know a homeowner that would scalp in the spring and then again mid-summer when the grass started to look brown when it was mowed. A heck of a lot of work and it looked awful for a few weeks... I'm not about to do that, ever!

    I guess the brown is all the grass blades that never greened up from over winter or that have turned brown from the grass being too thick over the summer. Maybe that's it... The grass is too thick! These are all well established lawns.

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