when to cut new grass?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by kacj777, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. kacj777

    kacj777 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    I recently planted my 1st lawn (red creeping fescue) for a customer. My question is when can I get my ZTR on it? Or when should it be cut for the 1st time. The grass has been standing for about 3wks and is about 4 inches tall. I have no push mower (should I buy one to cut this). This is all new to me I usually cut established grass. Just planted for a favor to a long time customer. Thanks:confused:
  2. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    Did you seed it or sod it?
  3. kacj777

    kacj777 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 26

    seeded it.
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    If you think it looks like a good stand then go ahead and mow it. The sooner you do, the greener it will get, and the roots will establish themselves better. Many people make the mistake of waiting way too long before they mow their new seeding. I mow mine as soon as I can.

    With a commercial mower-- If you think the roots are shallow, just idle down your mower when going over that section so you don't get too much lift.
  5. jkilov

    jkilov LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MS
    Messages: 1,415

    It should be OK to mow by now. Just go slowly and with less rpms than usual.
    Bring it down to maybe 3", no more the first time.
  6. MassSteelerfan

    MassSteelerfan LawnSite Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 45

    If it's not to big of a lawn what I will do is go over ot a couple of times with a weedwacker before cutiing with mower.
  7. Grits

    Grits LawnSite Silver Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 2,994

    I agree with all the other responses to this post. Not to sure about this one though. "Weedwacking" it would cause a torn grass blade, making it susceptible to disease. Not a good idea, especially on "new" grass.
  8. brucec32

    brucec32 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,403

    It'd probably be better for it if you used a 21" or even a midsize wb the first time out, to minimize damage on the delicate turf. This is a fine bladed grass to begin with, I imagine seedlings are pretty delicate. On any sort of slope a ztr could do some damage. If you use the ZTR, go slow and make wide 3 pt turns. This is likely a shady area, these are already prone to wear damage, so just be careful. If it's simply thickening up a good stand, you can probably get away with the ZTR with few problems on relatively flat ground.

    Mowing when it hits 4" is about right. Waiting too long causes its own problems as the seedlings fall over and turn yellow.

    Also make sure your blades are very sharp with seedlings to avoid yanking some out.

    Tip for the future. Be sure to factor in the extra time to make the first cut or two with a smaller mower in your seeding quote and put that in the specifications to the customer so they know you care about it after the seeding and can compare the cost with competitors. That way you can give it the best care and not worry about it putting you in a hole.

    Doing a good job on seeding and then damaging the lawn is counterproductive as well as bad for the odds of continuing to have that customers' business. Sometimes you just can't be sure what the lawn will do with a heavy ztr on it.
  9. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I agree with Bruce. Man, you really ought to have a 21.... mine stays in my backyard shed, (a home-owner type) and only comes out for newly seeded lawns. Very light weight push mower... perfect for new seed jobs. For the first cut, could you just borrow one? I would not suggest renting, as the blades would likely be all sorts of screwed up. Even with great care, and not turning, you will damage the new seedlings with any commercial machine over a 21". You can pick up a home owner push 21 at Sears pretty cheap.... and use it rarley, but knowing the blades are sharp. Dull blades, as bruce said, will unroot some new seedlings.

    On the upside, sounds like it came up nicely.... what seed did you use? did you topdress, and if so, with what? Use a starter fert? just interested.... I did 3 new seeding jobs this spring. Same materials, same soil amendments, same basic soils.... 2 came up great, the third, not so good, and from what I know, watering wasn't the problem.

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