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Your Killing Me

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by perfection lawn care, Apr 30, 2002.

  1. perfection lawn care

    perfection lawn care LawnSite Member
    Messages: 30

    I feel like a complete and total moron, after doing quit a bit of searches on this site and reading the input. In regards to mowing height, blade types, and different set ups. I also know that you have to do what is best for your operations.

    Here is what I have always went by:

    spring mowing 2.5in

    summer (when things slow down) 3in

    I have always used gator mulching blades (never considered anything else)

    Never considered doubles (tried them today did alright, probaly be better if I wasn't cutting so much grass at once) mower only has a 14hp

    I have always tried to mow my customers on the same day every week, no rotation, buisness on mon., residental on thur., weather permiting, odd jobs between.

    So which is true the shorter the quicker it growies, or if ya leave it longer it growies less, and looks better.

    I am part time at this with only 15 weekly accounts, solo been into it for 3 seasons know!

    Any help with stuff would be great, for I still have alot to learn obvousley.

    It's not that I have upset customers, they all love me & my work, I just want to get better!! thanks for the help
  2. Toroguy

    Toroguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,075

    I also cut at 2.5" for the last cut in Fall and the first cuts of Spring, then raise deck to 3" for the Summer.

    The rule I follow is the shorter cut in Fall helps prevent snow mold from developing over Winter. By cutting shorter in Spring the roots develop faster. But I have begun to doubt this theory when I see evidence that points to taller grass has deeper roots.

    In Summer the grass grows more and looks better longer. This is apparently due to the shading effect of its nearby grass buddies. If you cut low, the sun will dry it out and growth will slow.

    Cant blame you for improving.
  3. TGCummings

    TGCummings LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 773

    I cut at 2.5 most of the year around. The landscaper training manuals, and other professioinal books I purchase, all say to raise the setting a notch in the summer (3") to cut down on drought stress.

    They say the most important thing is to not cut off more than 1/3 of the blade at any given cut. I try to adhere to that as much as possible...
  4. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    letting grass grow a little taller will help develop a deeper root system. You're going to have a larger plant, therefore larger (deeper) roots.

    It won't make a difference whether you mow at either height, it will grow according to how it's fertilized, rain, temp, frequency of mowing, presence of weeds, and the overall health of the turf in general.

    What makes a lawn look neat is not how short it gets cut, but a uniform height of grass. As long as you mow a type of grass within it's recommended heights, and take care of the other things, it will usually look OK.
  5. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    My lawn is pretty nice and i've never overseeded or used any fertilizers or chemicals on it at all. It's nicer than one neighbor's of mine, and he puts all kind of junk on his. He just yesterday put down 120 pounds of fert. for his 1/2 acre lawn. He cuts around 2" and his grass is fairly green, but his mower and his mowing techniques do not make it look really pretty. My other neighbor I mow for has as many weeds as grass in the front, and about the same with side and back yard. They have me cut at about 2.5" which doesn't make it look great because it's a rough yard and it has so many weeds in it, etc etc I would like to mow it at 3" as I have before and it really looks better but they don't want that. I think that at 3" the grass has more control over it that weeds. My opinion. My lawn is at 3" and like I said it is better looking than both my neighbor's, and they are all cut weekly. The neighbor that fertilizes and all does it sometimes about 4 to 5 days but if it gets much taller he bags it. If I mow about every 6 to 8 days mine looks great. I stripe it of course, but I don't do anything else to it. It still looks better. My lawn is lower than both these neighbor's though and it holds water pretty good in some areas, but even the higher, drier parts aren't too much worse. I think most of it is in the height of the grass, type of grass (gotta change height for the type of course) and then your region and general weather all this and much more determines the 'green-ity' of the lawn. Oh yea, in the fall I drop to 2.5" to lessen blowout when bagging leaves, and the first cut on my lawn in spring is usually 2.5" but within 2 weeks it's up to 3".
    Sorry if I bored you, but my point is that it varies on the conditions.
  6. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I started out at 3inches all year, but last year I decided to go to 3.5 inches late spring and during summer when heat and humidity was higher and less rainfall. I noticed a real difference last season when we didn`t get rainfall. All of my lawns stayed green and actually needed cutting more often, even without much rain. I will be cutting at 3,5 from now on. All of my customers liked thre fact that their lawns were green throught the summer. Well all but 1 which I fired this year.:D
  7. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,354

    i accept all the positives about 3 or higher. the biggest advantage IMHO
    is that the higher grass, shades the soil, thus protecting it somewhat from the sun.which intern helps the soil hold moisture better.
  8. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 4,771

    I live in midwest and cut mostly all fescue. 3" in the spring, then summer and fall at 3.5". I have one customer that request for me to cut his shorter all year.....2.5". He is bi-weekly and this will stop this year, or he can find someone else.

  9. Hillsman

    Hillsman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I agree completley with Premo, in the spring and early summer cutting at 3.5 while rotating a cycle for picking up clippings will add more life to a lawn and make it less prone to turning brown. And also mix up the pattern, lan customers like designs, but not matted down tracks from constant mowing. This may sound a little bold, but not cutting every week in the extreme will save the lawn and demonstrate to them that you are not just out for their money. Respectfuly Josh

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