What height Do You Mow At "Northern Grass Only"

Discussion in 'Industry Surveys & Polls' started by Dylan's Lawn Care, May 25, 2013.


What height do you cut northern grass at?

  1. 2"

    1 vote(s)
  2. 2.25"

    1 vote(s)
  3. 2.5"

    10 vote(s)
  4. 2.75"

    12 vote(s)
  5. 3"

    40 vote(s)
  6. 3.25"

    17 vote(s)
  7. 3.5"

    29 vote(s)
  8. 3.75"

    14 vote(s)
  9. 4"+

    15 vote(s)
  1. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,137

    3.0 to 4.0. Only have one at 4.0 and it looks awesome when done.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. Lawn132012

    Lawn132012 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 175

    I generally mow at 3.5 height but during the early Spring and late Fall I drop it down to 3.25. Just to get a another cutting in since the grass is not growing as much usually.

    The Spring I tend to start at 3.25 to get moving and then go to 3.5 which tends to work out for me since I usually pick up some mulch jobs and get behind on cutting and having that extra .25 inch tends to help when i fall behind on cutting
  3. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    I have a Scag and can't figure out how you guys with similar machines accommodate different customers and heights. I have to change the spacers on the blades to change the height and I sure as hell aren't going to do that for different customers. The stupid customers think I have a Sears mower where I can just move a lever to change the cutting height.
  4. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Here is the reason most cool season lawn are mowed too short. Most push mowers just don’t leave a nice cut at the highter settings.

    So....most home owners prefer a less shaggy look. So....mow it lower next time. :(
  5. GMLC

    GMLC LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,345

    You need a full floating deck. It allows easy deck height changes. I use to have a fixed deck Scag WB and it was a pain to add or remove spacers. Wish the Scag Ultimate was still available...
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. TwoTinySprouts

    TwoTinySprouts LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Ideally, it should vary based on the growing season. It should be longer when the conditions are dry and hot, and shorter when its cool and wet. You should also ask your client about their tick concerns and cut shorter if the ticks are a problem. of course, then there is also the type of the grass that's growing - some grass types do not easily tolerate a short cut, and neither will lawns planted in a rocky soil (they get fried).
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Based on the growing season....?....?

    Grass will always do better longer....?
  8. GreenUtah

    GreenUtah LawnSite Senior Member
    from SLC, UT
    Messages: 866

    For vertical growing cool season grasses (bluegrass,fescues,rye, etc) the deeper the cut;
    A) the more leaf surface showing, meaning more green (and less crown), more/better photosynthesis, etc.
    B) more shade to the soil and roots translates to less water loss and better weed competition and drought/heat tolerance
    C) provides more cushion underfoot with greater plant material, meaning feels softer to walk on and can ease soil compaction pressure from walking
    D) gives a better vertical profile to disperse mulch clippings into
    E) Hides dry spots and pet damage better, particularly viewed away from the spot (think curb appeal)
    F) Provides a slower, safer turf for children sports (like baseball or soccer..the longer turf slows the ball dramatically..football groundskeepers can play a part in a game whether their team is big and slow or small and fast and truly give a home field advantage with a cut height).

    The downsides, it takes a few cuttings with proper irrigation and feeding to move upward to a uniform cut. Those who don't know how to edge properly can have their "ramping" even more pronounced at taller heights. Some clients will believe that if you cut it short, it will stay looking like a fresh cut for longer. That, of course, is dependent on stressing the turf. Water and fert rates can manage growth patterns far better than mow height other than in a negative way.

    When a client asks why we're so high, I just pick the benefits for them, better color, fewer weeds, less water, softer walkability and less problems visible from the street when they are there. That translates to less costs and better performance, particularly in the heat. Have yet to have one tell me that they like higher costs and weaker turf...lol
  9. btlg 440

    btlg 440 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Agree with Green Utah. Grass, when cut longer, will take a stripe better and will grow to be a uniform height. Longer is better except under snow cover. During the season, mowing higher prevents weeds and builds a healthier plant. Retains moisture better, too.

    Some older folks insist on 'scraping' the turf- I usually let these accounts go to someone else. I don't want my reputation connected to that kind of work. These same old folks usually don't like to pay anyway!

    On LawnSite because we are getting a BUNCh of rain here in OH right now. Maybe it will dry out soon!
  10. HappyGuy

    HappyGuy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    none shorter than 3". Most at 3.5"

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