New Bermuda Sod Mowing Height

stl_nwarkJuly 27, 2008

Have new bermuda sod that has been down about 5 weeks. Lawncare professional came by and suggested cutting at lower height to fill in gaps and thicken. Currently mowing at 2.75".

At what height is appropriate for this type of grass, and how would you recommend getting it to that height? Gradually mow down to new height week-by-week, or one height Saturday and then follow up Wed/Thurs with a further height reduction?

Would appreciate any help. Not familiar with this type of grass.



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inch or less

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 7:31PM
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I keep my lawn about 1 1/4" high..I am not sure what area you arw in but if in a hot area i would keep it mowed highed until good for the first season...Then next year mow low..

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 10:30PM
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We're in Bentonville, AR (NW Arkansas).

It has been very hot (mid 90s) these past couple of weeks and I've tried to keep it mowed at a higher height. I'm afraid going too low with new sod will burn the lawn.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2008 at 11:58PM
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Bermuda grass thrives when it's mowed low. Under low to moderate levels of management, Bermuda should be cut at a height of 3/4 to 1-1/2 inches, which may require mowing one to three times per week.

Your current mowing height is way too high and I suggest lowering the cutting height over the next few mowing's, until you get to about an inch. Also bermuda is a heavy feeder requiring fertilizing at least every other month during the growing season. Fertilize once a month for optimum results.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 8:13AM
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Bermuda is a very misunderstood grass. Mowing it at an inch or less this time of year as Texas Weed suggests is insanity. It will likely kill it. With temperatures in the 90s and above keep it at 2.5" for now. If you desire shorter grass mow it one notch lower each time you mow if the grass is tolerating it. Bermuda can look good anywhere from almost no height at all to about 3 or 3.5 inches but in the really hot part of the year the extra height will help. Frequent mowing is the key. Mow it too late and you will see the yellow part of the plant for a week or so. Water your sod like there's no tomorrow in this heat. I'm in Arkansas as well and have 3 acres of the stuff.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 4:11PM
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Texas Weed makes his living growing Bermuda sod. I don't think he'd mow it to a height that would kill it, since that would put him out of business.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 4:48PM
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I've been growing and maintaining Bermuda, St. Augustine, and other grass on my own since about 1961 so I'm not totally inexperienced. I know that tx weed has a sod farm. That also means he has good soil, equipment, irrigation, and time to handle anything nature can throw at him. The average homeowner usually has marginal soil, sometimes very little irrigating capability, little time, and can't always mow often enough. Mowing Bermuda at less than one inch in this 95 degree heat will leave your yard brown.....unless you have almost perfect soil, great irrigation, and can mow and fertilize it often enough. I was mowing my Bermuda yard with a 9 foot Jacobsen reel type fairway mower earlier this year at about 7/8" and needed to mow everyday. I was cutting off a half inch or more everyday. If I waited several days I'd have to use a rotary mower and then the fairway mower because the grass was growing so fast. The best way to help your grass survive this heat wave is to raise the mowing height some, water often, mow often so as to not chop too much off at once.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2008 at 5:55PM
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In Bentonville I am 99% sure you have Tifway Bermuda sod. The finer textured Bermudas like Tifway are best maintained at 1 inch or less. If you go over that it will take on a Puffy look, thin out, and will be easily scalped. Keeping it short will allow it to thicken up choking out all weeds, recovers quickly from wear, and an overall healthier grass.

Keep it short, watered, and fed. In the late fall a few weeks before your first frost you can raise the cutting height to 2 inches to add some winter freeze protection.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2008 at 11:09PM
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Well, this has been extraordinarily helpful. I've always mowed bermuda higher as it got hotter because I thought it made longer roots and held water better. I sodded the front yard about six weeks ago and it struggled at first (as expected), then looked great, and now as it's gotten hotter and I've raised the mower deck, it's looked less and less healthy.

So I'm going to steadily drop the deck down to 2" over the next week or so and water the heck out of it.

Glad my wife found this thread.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2010 at 3:41PM
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