Ask a Question forum: Saving water question, truth or myth? "would not mowing the lawn save water?"

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ivanhoe421
May 17, 2016 1:13 PM CST
Our landscaping company told us that instead of mowing the lawn every week, as our contract says, they would mow the lawn only every other week to save water? (we are having a drought in Sacramento, Ca)
The science reason was something to do with the root water retention, is this true or just an excuse to do less work?

Thank you.
Ivan Veran
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 17, 2016 1:47 PM CST
Mowing at the maximum recommended height for the grass species you have helps shade the ground and allows the plants to grow longer roots so they can survive the drought better. The rule of thumb for mowing is to not remove more than 1/3 of the grass blade height at each mowing, so that would dictate the frequency of mowing. You'd need to check the growth rate to see whether that point still comes every week or is extended closer to two weeks because of slow growth during the drought. Hope this helps.

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Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 17, 2016 3:02 PM CST
I agree
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ivanhoe421
May 17, 2016 3:59 PM CST
I don't know what you meant, was it true or not?
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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sooby
May 17, 2016 4:13 PM CST
As I said in my reply to your Tree-Mail, you will need to monitor the speed of growth. If mowing at two weeks takes off more than 1/3 of the leaf blade length then two weeks is too long. If mowing every two weeks cuts off 1/3 or less of the leaf blade length then two weeks between mowing is fine. So it could be true but we can't tell without being there because it depends on how fast the grass is growing.
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
May 17, 2016 4:19 PM CST
Essentially, sounds like they do not want to keep it too short, because you may feel the need to water the lawn if it's too short. It will stay greener longer if the grass is longer. If it is shorter, with the CA sun, it turns brown easier.
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
May 17, 2016 5:41 PM CST

Plants Admin

In short, yes, that is true.
Name: Linda
Southern NJ (Zone 7a)
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wheetie67
May 17, 2016 6:27 PM CST
I'm not an expert however it is true. If you allow your grass to grow longer, more effort is going to the development of the roots which in turn will make your lawn healthier by being able to sustain water as well as fight off any diseases. As I said, I am not an expert! I know that when it gets very hot and humid here in NJ, my husband and I put the level of the lawn mover blades up so that the lawn is cut but the sun won't torch it. Therefore, our lawn is greener and healthier! Smiling Welcome!
Name: Cheryl
Kingwood, Texas (Zone 9a)
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ShadyGreenThumb
May 17, 2016 6:41 PM CST
Yes, true for the reasons sooby gave. Keep your lawn longer to save water.
Life is short, Break the rules, Forgive quickly, Kiss slowly, Love Truly, Laugh
uncontrollably, And never regret anything that made you Smile.
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
May 17, 2016 7:39 PM CST

Plants Admin

http://garden.org/ideas/view/Xeramtheum/1345/Mowing-Tip/

be sure to check out this article and the comment section after it. Lots of good lawn advice in there.
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 17, 2016 9:50 PM CST
They can mow every week but need to set the mower so it mows higher. Taller grass uses less water for the reasons listed above. I am the VP of our HOA and we just went through this with our landscaper. If they plan to mow every other week, you should be paying half the price. But next they will be telling you that they need to raise the sprinklers because after two weeks, the sprinklers will not clear the grass.

Landcaping companies know all the angles and will use every one.

Daisy
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
May 18, 2016 5:02 PM CST

Plants Admin

DaisyI said:They can mow every week but need to set the mower so it mows higher. Taller grass uses less water for the reasons listed above. I am the VP of our HOA and we just went through this with our landscaper. If they plan to mow every other week, you should be paying half the price. But next they will be telling you that they need to raise the sprinklers because after two weeks, the sprinklers will not clear the grass.

Landcaping companies know all the angles and will use every one.

Daisy


Mowing is usually charged per mowing...you should not pay 1/2 price for every other week...you simply don't pay anything the week they don't mow. Most homeowners are billed per mow while commercial customers pay a flat fee for the entire season (unless they choose to go with weekly billing). That flat fee is generally cheaper than if they got billed weekly and therefore the price does not change regardless of how many times they actually need to be mowed throughout the season...that's the trade-off and more often than not it works in the customers favor.

I have NEVER heard of an irrigation or landscaping company trying to sell 'raising heads' to clear the grass. One of the most ridiculous things I've heard of, quite frankly. And for the record, I feel like I can speak on this...I've been a landscaper for over 15 years. Yeah...us landscaper know all the angles all right...like the homeowners that brake stuff in the own yards and then try accusing the guy mowing the lawn...or trying to get my company to fix plow damage for free when we were not the guys that did the plowing....trying to tell my mowing crew that they need to weed wack all 50 apple trees on their property even though they clearly stated they did not want that included in the price when we did the estimate... Being a meathead works both ways. If you are dealing with dishonest landscapers...then you need a new company and have no one to blame but yourself. Personally, I have no trouble dropping dishonest or 'looking for something for nothing' customers. Go be a headache to my competitors.


[Last edited by robertduval14 - May 19, 2016 2:16 PM (+)]
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
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DaisyI
May 18, 2016 11:55 PM CST
Whoa! Not sure I deserved that!
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
May 19, 2016 4:15 AM CST
1) Well I've been charged by landscapers for things they didn't do, and they thought they could get away with it, thinking I wasn't home. After you have 3/4 landscape companies do things like that, yes they get a bad rap.

2) And ouch. Comments aiming at one person make it not worthwhile being a part of the forums. Who needs plant stress?
Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
May 19, 2016 5:20 AM CST

Plants Admin

DaisyI said:Whoa! Not sure I deserved that!



After re-reading my post I see how that seemed aimed just at you. It was not at all. Was meant much more generally to try and show that it's not the 'occupation' that can be the problem, but the people behind it. Same with the customers.

Name: Thomas
Deep East Texas (Zone 8a)
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Thomas75
May 19, 2016 5:42 AM CST
DaisyI said:Whoa! Not sure I deserved that!


Daisy you surely did not deserve that harsh statement. I did not join this forum to read stuff like that. Hope every one has a wonderful and happy day.

Thomas
Thomas75
Name: Rick Corey
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RickCorey
May 23, 2016 7:38 PM CST
Good apology, Rob. Re-reading your post, it does NOT sound aimed at anyone here. It sounded aimed at your past customers and SOME contractors.

If I were one of your past customers, my ears would be burning.

I hope you didn't take any of the posts personally, as a past or current commercial landscaper.
Name: Deb
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Bonehead
May 24, 2016 12:51 PM CST
There are always two sides to be heard, and misbehavior and/or misunderstandings can occur from either end. I also did not read any of the above as personal attacks, just the flip sides of owner/contractor expectations and experiences. As a senior beginning to be compromised physically, I find myself in the occasional spot of hiring out labor, and it is a hard pill to swallow. I resent paying for what I have always done myself, at the same time I recognize that the folks I am hiring are trying to make a living and deserve a decent wage, I appreciate when a good job is done and they clean up after themselves, yet shudder a bit when it is not done as I personally would have done it. Rather a quandary...
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.

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