is frequent mowing good?

PoorOwner(Northern CA)July 8, 2008

Hi, I installed Perennial Rye and blue grass mix sod a few weeks ago. I found it is growing fairly fast, if I follow the 1/3 height of mowing rule I have to mow every 4 days, also to keep it looking tidy.

I cut at about 1.75" right now for several reasons due to sprinkler height and mechanical limits of my reel mower. I know 3-4" is best for water conservation but I prefer the turf look around 1.75-2". It gets about 30% longer in 4 days.. we have full sun daily.

My question would be if mowing that frequently good for the (new) grass? Maybe it will use energy to grow roots or tiller instead?

What I know about other plants is that the more foilage is energy to build more roots. So far so good it seems.

So, if I keep cutting the grass short and not letting it to become a big plant will I get good root system?

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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

i have no experience with BG or perennial rye, but from my understanding they grow thickest(and therefore control weeds best) when let go long. maybe someone else will chip in and correct me, but i think you may need to let them go some.

BTW, you say you use a reel mower so did you have bermuda at one time? with full sun and alreeady having the reel mower bermuda would probably be my grass, or depending on how you look at it weed, of choice. it loves the sun, hates to be left long, and reel mowers are the prefered method of cutting it.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 5:29PM
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Lots of KBG & PR are cut short. Look at all the ball fields and golf course fairways that are cut much shorter. Every 4 days sounds about right for good maintenance. Just follow the 1/3d rule and keep a sharp blade & bed. KBG & PR are not known for real deep root systems, but your cut height shouldn't be a major factor. Keep to the basics.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 7:29PM
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Yes - Personally, I believe that frequent mowing is a good thing.

A little depends on if you mulch the clippings back into the lawn or if you bag them.

Especially if you are mulching the clippings, the more frequent, the better. This is because you are cutting off smaller clippings which decompose faster. Another benefit is that you don't get clippings matting on the lawn.

The only downside I see is that more frequent mowing, and thus more frequent foot (or tractor) traffic may cause more ground compaction. But, if you are aerating annually, then you shouldn't have a problem with too much compaction.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 8:42PM
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PoorOwner(Northern CA)

yes, I simply let the clippings fall back. If you don't look close you can't even see the clippings and they disappear quickly.

The only compaction would be caused by my own weight and the reel mower.. reel mower is light and at this rate I am going to get lighter soon with this "program"

    Bookmark   July 8, 2008 at 9:24PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I think you should allow your grass to grow longer and then mow it as often as needed to keep it at that height. The higher the blade, the deeper and more vigorous the root system...that's a fact.

Since the grass plants will be expending some of their energy on that developing root system, the vegetative growth is likely to slow down somewhat. You may be able to cut once every 5 or 6 days. Your goal is simply to remove the top 1/3 of the grass blade each time. Regular mowing results in thicker, denser stands of grass, and that won't change because you're cutting it at a greater height.

Ball fields and golf courses are cut short because of necessity (play). Maintenance costs are very high because of it.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 3:48PM
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With a reel mower, frequent mowing is fantastic because of the scissor cut.

Personally, I think that mowing frequently with a rotary mower is not so good. With a rotary mower, I think that mowing as infrequently as possible while following the 1/3 rule is best because a rotary mower doesn't cut like scissors. It cuts by creating a little lift to pull the grass blades up where a blade spinning at several thousand RPMs beheads them.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 6:28PM
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It should slow down once it gets established.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2008 at 10:09PM
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I have to cut my KBG every four days at 3" because it gets to 4.5". If I go 6-7, I get major clumping and I probably cut off 2-2.5".

Frequent mowing is better than having to cut off too much at once, regardless of compaction concerns. Keep the blades sharp, change your mowing patterns and everything should be fine.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 7:54AM
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rcnaylor(z7 Tex)

Its like porridge. Not too much, not too little.

Most folks err on the side of too little and let it get too long.

Compaction can cause added trouble, but, if you try to do it when the soil isn't too wet, that shouldn't be problem either.

Mine requires cutting every four days in the spring. Summer slows growth and then the need for more frequent mowings pick up again in the fall.

Just follow the 1/3 advice and it takes what it takes.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2008 at 10:38AM
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