Yet another 1/3rd rule bermuda question

bayloraugustinerMay 25, 2012

A few weeks ago I posted about the cutting height of my newly sodded celebration bermuda, and the responses (esp. txweed, as usual) were very helpful. I remain confused about one thing, however. One of the problems with the height was not just blade height, but stem height. I seem to have about a quarter inch of dead thatch and about a 1-1.5" stem with the blades (or vast majority of them) on top of that. So, I understand the 1/3 rule with respect to the blade, but once you work your blades down low (which I did), is there a way to safely shorten the stem? It would seem that if you start cutting stem you will have no blades at all. Is spring/emergence out of dormancy the only time to do this?

Thanks again for helping this rookie out,


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I usually cut mine 1 notch lower than where i want my grass height. Kind of a small scalping in late July early Aug.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 2:23PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

If you are at the bottom notch on your mower, then you could rent a mower that will mow lower and take off a little more stem. Or mow as low as yours will go once and raise it one notch to leave a little blade when you mow.

If you can mow low enough, that stem will grow out along the ground instead of up. That's when bermuda really look great.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 2:51PM
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The mower height isn't an issue. I've got quite a few more notches I can go down. The question is how to reduce the height of the stem, which is about an inch long with a single blade growing off of the side and three blades coming up out of the top. Even if I were to follow the 1/3 rule, I would eventually get to the point where I were cutting all of the top blades leaving only stem and the lower single blade.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 4:10PM
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david_tx(7a North Texas)

If you cut down to the stems, you'll have brown stubble which will grow new grass blades at the lower height. It will be unsightly for a while which is why most of us do this in early spring. I was a little late this year as I did it in late April. The lawn has already recovered.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2012 at 4:39PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Mower height isn't an issue? No, but it is the solution. Unless you want to chew it down by mouth. To reduce the height of grass in a controlled fashion, the lawn mower is the best tool around.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2012 at 11:08PM
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