The ideal cutting length question...
Posted May 26, 2011 - 08:48 PM
The experts advice was to increase my cutting height. I typically mowed the lawn around 2 1/4" thinking if I cut it short I'll buy time between mowings. I found out I was wrong and here's why...
1) Grass cut at 3 - 3 1/2" grows back more slowly and evenly thus the lawn stays looking good longer. Apparently the natural, mature length of a blade of grass is near the 3 - 3 1/2" height and any addtional growth above this height is much slower and more even than with grass cut shorter. This buys you additional times between mowings.
2) Grass cut shorter than 3 - 3 1/2" exposes the roots to more damaging wind and sun which stresses the lawn and requires more watering. A taller cut grass protects the roots and requires less water through out the year.
3) Grass cut higher can put less food and energy into the re-growth of its stems and more into the growth of a deep root system. The deeper roots will promote a healthier grass that is less prone to dry periods and that will require less watering to stay green year round.
4) Grass cut higher better protects the roots from disease and pests. It also makes it tougher for weed seeds to germinate down near the more shaded ground area.
After learning all of this I gave it a try last year. I set my mower deck up an inch to 3 1/4". My goal was to see if I could decrease my number of required mowings each year plus get a healthier, more attactive lawn. I feel this method accomplished all of that. Another benefit was that I was also cutting less grass so I had less to pick up. At this new height my lawn grew back more slowly and evenly which allowed me to change from weekly mowings to mowing just once every two weeks. I soon saw my grass become healthier, greener and have fewer weeds.
Give it a try, what have you got to lose? With fewer mowings you'll have more time to tinker on tractors and/or drink more beer!
- NUTNDUN, Bolens 1000, Gtractor and 7 others have said thanks
Posted May 26, 2011 - 09:08 PM
Posted May 26, 2011 - 11:06 PM
Posted May 27, 2011 - 07:34 AM
Posted May 27, 2011 - 09:52 AM
I have been in that camp, but learned my lesson 30 yrs ago when I started a mowing business to supplement my income for about 5 yrs.
Mowing other peoples lawns, you do it their way. And not many people want to pay you to scalp their lawn.
In theory you should not cut more than 1/4 the length of the grass blade, any more shocks the grass and causes browning. Remember sharp blades cut, dull ones pulverize and damaged grass blade tips brown.
And I believe it is better for the lawn and equipment to not be dragging the blades through the dirt.
Most of my customers wanted the clipping bagged and carried off. Others will say the grass breaking down adds nutrients to the soil. I can see both sides of that arguement.
On my own lawn (3 acres) I mow at 4" and use a power bagger on my 318 because I use the clippings for mulch in the garden.
This gives me a lush green lawn, that looks nice and is easily maintained with the least wear & tear on my equipment. And I have never fertilized or used chemicals for weed control on any lawn I have had.
Edited by JD DANNELS, May 27, 2011 - 09:58 AM.
- Aussiedog said thank you
Posted May 27, 2011 - 09:57 AM
Posted May 27, 2011 - 10:29 AM
Posted May 27, 2011 - 10:38 AM
I don't know if it is because of me getting older or what but the only thing I don't like about mowing with the grass being longer is I have a harder time seeing where my last pass was LOL.
Right there with you on that, last night driving into the setting sun was hard to see the line to follow.
Posted May 27, 2011 - 11:48 PM
Just for what it's worth, George
- Aussiedog said thank you
Posted May 28, 2011 - 12:12 AM
Edited by Aussiedog, May 28, 2011 - 04:23 PM.
Posted May 29, 2011 - 06:26 AM
Posted May 29, 2011 - 06:45 AM
Posted May 29, 2011 - 05:34 PM
AUSSIEDOG, thought you might like to see a pic or two of what I mow and What I mow it with.
That hill in the background gives you a real thrill if you go about it wrong, or if it is a little bit wet.
Best regards, George
- Texas Deere and Horse, KennyP and Aussiedog have said thanks
Posted May 29, 2011 - 05:49 PM
I raised the deck yesterday , not sure how high it is now but we'll see how this works out . Just need to figure out why the deck didn't stay level when I raised it , thanks , Al
Loose parts, pins in rong holes, or the name on the tractor, take your pick.
You could try running taller wheels on your mower deck so that it rides the terrain in the lowered position instead of dangling in midair.
Posted May 29, 2011 - 08:08 PM
- dryrun and Aussiedog have said thanks