Ask a Question forum: Grass mowing

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Boyle, MS (Zone 8a)
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Lizzyh23
Jul 2, 2017 5:59 PM CST
What is the proper setting for my mower- 1,2,3, or 4 ??? I mow weekly, usually if the weather cooperates😜!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 2, 2017 6:14 PM CST
Welcome!

It depends on the type of grass you have and how quickly it grows. Do you know what grass predominates? The rule of thumb is not to cut off more than a third of the blades at each mowing.
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jul 3, 2017 1:16 AM CST
Fescue and bluegrass should be kept at 3" to keep the roots deep and the weeds shaded out.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jul 3, 2017 4:36 AM CST
In MS, Lizzyh23 isn't going to be growing cool season grasses like bluegrass or fescue.

Each type of grass has a recommended mowing height.
First thing you need to do is find out what you have.

It will likely be a warm season type like centipede, st Γ ugustine, Bermuda, or Bahia.

Each has its own recommendations.

You can't eat it, and nothing else can either, I recommend getting rid of as much as you can and planting flowering plants and veggies.

Our local extension agent used to recommend not growing more than it took to wipe the mud off your shoes between the car and the house.
[Last edited by stone - Jul 3, 2017 4:39 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1491627 (4)
Name: Archivesgirl
Salisbury, MD (Zone 7b)
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Critters Allowed Region: Maryland Birds
Frogs and Toads
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Archivesgirl
Jul 3, 2017 5:41 AM CST
Welcome, Lizzy. I keep mine longer - about 3 inches and I mow depending on how fast it grows (irrigation) and if we have storms, etc. it might be a longer time in between. Of course, I love "aerobic mowing" with my music on and jogging the yard. I am the only one in the neighborhood who uses a stand behind mower. All the guys here use a riding yard mower for much smaller pieces of property. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Good luck with the mowing I wouldn't set it too low unless you are mulching leaves. Gayle

Welcome!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 3, 2017 7:27 AM CST
The Lawn Institute gives these recommended ranges for the various turf species. It's best to go for the higher end of the range for a healthy thick lawn.

Kentucky Bluegrass 1.5 - 3 inches (38.1 – 76.2 mm)
Tall Fescue 2 - 3 inches (50.8 – 76.2 mm)
Perennial Ryegrass 1.5 - 3 inches (38.1 – 76.2 mm)
Fine Fescues 2 - 3 inches (50.8 – 76.2 mm)
Creeping Bentgrass 0.25 - 0.75 inches (6.35 – 19.05 mm)
St. Augustine grass 1.5 - 3 inches (38.1 – 76.2 mm)
Bermudagrass (common) 0.75 - 2 inches (19.05 – 50.8 mm)
Bermudagrass (hybrid) 0.5 - 1.5 inches (12.7 – 38.1 mm)
Zoysiagrass 0.75 - 2 inches (19.05 – 50.8 mm)
Centipedegrass 1 - 2 inches (25.4 – 50.8 mm)
Buffalograss 1 - 3 inches (25.4 – 76.2 mm)
Bahiagrass 2 - 4 inches (50.8 – 101.6 mm)
Kikuyugrass 0.5 - 1 inches (12.7 – 25.4 mm)
Paspalum (Seashore) 0.5 - 1.5 inches (12.7 – 38.1 mm)

From: http://www.thelawninstitute.or...
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 3, 2017 8:14 AM CST
A handy list, Sue.
Porkpal
Boyle, MS (Zone 8a)
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Lizzyh23
Jul 3, 2017 8:23 AM CST
Thanks all!!! So looks like 3 inches it is! We have a huge yard in the country- so Stone, I got so tickled at your response!!
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
Daylilies Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Native Plants and Wildflowers Butterflies Annuals
Region: Canadian Keeps Horses Dog Lover Plant Identifier Garden Sages
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sooby
Jul 3, 2017 8:26 AM CST
porkpal said:A handy list, Sue.


I'm pretty sure I have a similar list in a printed publication but I'm not sure that it includes the warm-season grasses as well, as this one does. I'll try and check later to see if it agrees.

Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jul 3, 2017 9:42 AM CST
Lizzyh23 said:We have a huge yard in the country- so Stone, I got so tickled at your response!!

If you're out in the sticks, no neighbors to compell you to mow.... You can allow most of the yard to return to being a meadow.
A meadow is soooo much nicer than mowed turf!
I'm out in the boonies too.... My mowed turf is pretty much limited to.... Down the center of the driveway.... patch of Bahia, I didn't plant it.... It's an invasive out here.... And, the driveway is enough turf.
The rest is wildflowers and native grasses... Like bluestem and lovegrass..... And... Veggies.

Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Jul 3, 2017 9:46 AM CST
Stone, you must not be married to a city born spouse.
Porkpal
Name: Deb
Pacific NW (Zone 8b)
Region: Pacific Northwest Deer Organic Gardener Ferns Herbs Beavers
Dragonflies Spiders! Dog Lover Keeper of Poultry Birds Fruit Growers
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Bonehead
Jul 3, 2017 10:03 AM CST
I like lawn. It nicely offsets gardens, feels good on bare feet, and gives one a place to hang out. I also find it a quick pick-me-up to just mow for a clean look when, for whatever reason and more often than not, my garden beds are out of control. I have let our outlying pastures go natural, and I love how the tall grasses move in the wind. We do mow the fields a couple times per season to keep the invasives (blackberries, thistles) under control.

I'm in the Pacific NW, use a riding mower and typically mow on level 5 (out of 6), so pretty high (perhaps 3") and use the mulching feature. In midsummer when the grass slows down, we mow at a lower level as mostly we are then mowing aspen tree seedlings rather than grass.
I want to live in a world where the chicken can cross the road without its motives being questioned.
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Plant Identifier Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge
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stone
Jul 3, 2017 3:28 PM CST
porkpal said:Stone, you must not be married to a city born spouse.


I know people are capable of truly appalling things in the name of tidiness, because I've witnessed the results.
I remain baffled by the reasoning, though.
I've seen someone tear out a planting of passiflora, because of the fritillaries. I've seen baby birds scattered over the top of her bushes, because she doesn't want the desirable barn swallows nesting in her porch.

If you understand that reasoning, we will probably never have a meeting of the minds.

The problem with mowing is that its a huge tradeoff.
Mowing means less birds and less butterflies and other pollinators.

I'm always shocked by how few butterflies I see when I visit butterfly gardens.

Not their fault, at least they're trying.
And when you mow pastures, you lose wildflowers.
I actually do mow every other year or so, to prevent my meadows from turning back into a climax forest.
But timing.
I've actually observed species loss when I was too aggressively mowing!
Can't have that.
[Last edited by stone - Jul 3, 2017 3:29 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1492074 (13)
Boyle, MS (Zone 8a)
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Lizzyh23
Jul 4, 2017 7:29 AM CST
Oh wow Stone, your yard sounds like a paradise!
I have lots of bird, bee, and butterfly friendly flowers- trees- feeders- and lil houses but we cannot let ouR yard grow too high b/c we are in the middle of fields and a stream which leads to lots of cotton-mouths crossing our yard. Eek!! Have to keep mowed weekly or our lil boys may get bit😩
But I would love to have a meadow-y patch of wildflowers!!
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Jul 5, 2017 8:46 PM CST
I set my mower at the lowest height that the roughness of the ground allows.
Right now that is two inches.
Up here we have ticks and ticks love high grass, plus depending on the grass you have, I have a mongrel lawn, if you mow it regularly it will adapt well enough that in humid summers I have to mow twice a week or it gets high enough to plug the lawn mower.

I had Buffalo grass that took ten years to take hold and was spreading fairly rapidly the past three years but new curb and gutter work wiped that out.
The Minn. state bird, mosquitoes love long grass also.
The look of a newly mowed lawn and the smell of cut grass is a wonderful thing.
I do have clover in the lawn that I am leaving but again, other weeds that in the past five years came out of nowhere, mean unless I want them to take over sometimes I have to use something to kill the weeds that kills clover.

Odd thing is when I first moved into this house as a apartment house manager, the lawn was thin, it was very dry years yet outside of ditch type weeds and grasses that are easy to control, weeds were not a problem. During the very dry years I sometimes mowed only twice a month and the weeds at least made it look green.
At one point I put pasture seed on the hill to get more grasses of any type growing.
Now some mat type of weeds are popping up in the thickest part of the lawn.

Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Jul 6, 2017 12:40 AM CST
I have reduced my lawn about 10% each year for a few years. The meadow bed was a good start, the front island followed. All I have to do is keep enlarging them a bit each year until some authority orders me to stop. LOL!

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