Big mistake? Cut grass to short

penaddict(Z4 CO)October 18, 2010

My KBG on my front lawn has done great this year but I think I just made a big mistake. Tomorrow we get the sprinklers blown out. I've already aerated the lawn and yesterday I mowed it really short (for the first time). I thought I would keep it short before winter starts (temps and night cold now in CO). And because front lawn is northern exposure, we tend to get snow on our lawn for months on end as it doesn't melt. I didn't scalp it but I went from a "3" setting on the lawnmower to a "5." It's still green but a lot shorter. Did I kill it? I hope not as that would make me extremely sad. Anything to do now? This was going to be my last mow for the year.

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How short did you cut it? The settings you mentioned are meaningless. How high is the blade when measured on a hard level surface? Even if you went down to an inch I really wouldn't worry about it. It sounds like your lawn is almost in its winter dormancy, so a short cut shouldn't be a problem. In fact many people recommend the last cut to be fairly short anyway, especially if snow mold is a problem. Of course you will have to wait till next year to know for sure, but I'm willing to bet it will be fine.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:12AM
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penaddict(Z4 CO)

It went down to probably an inch. Should I seed it and put compost over it to be on the safe side?

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:36AM
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You should be fine. If it's still green, you didn't kill it, but you may have stressed it a bit. If you want to mow shorter going into winter, it's better to cut back gradually, but going from a 3 to a 5 may not be that big (although as tiemco pointed out, we really don't know what 3 and 5 mean, so you may have gone from the tallest setting to the shortest, which would be less than fully optimal).

But for future reference, snow mold is rarely a problem in the intermountan west. You'd think it would be with all the snow we get, but with our humidity levels, it's actually pretty rare. When we do get snow mold, it usually kills a small amount of grass, but the mold dies off in a hurry as it warms up and dries out.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 12:56AM
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penaddict(Z4 CO)

Since it's probably too late to seed, temps in the 60s this week, may reach 70, should I put compost down to add the nutrients I lost when I cut it too short.
I just want to ensure that my lawn will be great again in the spring. ;) Since our front lawn gets full northern exposure, when it snows, it pretty much stays on our front lawn forever (we are the last house on the block with snow still on our lawn till spring).
This is the first time I did this (stupid), I want to prevent it from dying or something.
I was so proud of the lawn this year.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 10:04AM
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penaddict(Z4 CO)

Here's a picture of it. Probably not the best quality.


    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 11:21AM
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penaddict(Z4 CO)

Trying to post again.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 11:25AM
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I really think you are worrying too much about this. An inch is fairly short, but it isn't really a scalping. Your crowns are probably fine, and since your temps are low there isn't going to be too much topgrowth anyway, so your grass doesn't need to use much if any of its carbohydrate reserves to repair its blades. I wouldn't seed, or put compost down if it was me, the seed wouldn't have time, and the compost won't provide much in the way of nutrients now due to the low temps.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:09PM
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