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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, i apologize for the lengthy thread, but I know this has been adressed many times and with all of the research I have done regarding HOC, bermuda needs to be short.

With my lawn being bumpy, I keep it at 2 inches every 4 days religiously and it looks good. Hopefully this fall I'll get 3-4 yards of sand and level it out and I can invest in a real mower and get it shorter.

About 3 months ago before I joined this forum, i sent an e-mail to my local extension office here in town (Texas A&M Agrilife) regarding crabgrass advice which he stated it begins with frequent mowing of the appropriate height. Here is his reply:

"Most of the newer selections of Bermuda grasses like to mowed every 5 days throughout the growing season at a height of 2" or less, but a reel type mower is needed.

Going into the heat of summer then you can raise the height some to about 2 ½" - 3" in which a conventional rotary mower works well"

My question is should I be mowing it (with a rotary mower) 2+ inches when it's 90+ degrees knowing that heat and bermuda go hand in hand? I can get my mower down to 1.75 Inches and the grass doesn't look horrible, but the bumps and lumps are more pronounced. My goal is to have a thick turf (eventually leveled) which I know that mowing short will Influence that greatly.

Just trying to get an understanding and determine if I should go with a lower mower setting in 95+ degree heat.

Thanks!
 

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Tex86 said:
My question is should I be mowing it (with a rotary mower) 2+ inches when it's 90+ degrees
No. Many guys here keep theirs at less than a 1/2 inch all year. You'd need a reel for that, but you don't need to mow higher just because it gets warmer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
So if I have thinning spots and I am watering, ferilizing properly, and have passed the screwdriver test. I should gradually bring my mowing height lower to help fill in those areas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
dfw_pilot said:
I guess it depends on what you want to do. Typically, you start the season as low as you can go, then slowly work your way up during the season, to prevent scalping. Going lower now may scalp pretty badly.
Got it, Thanks for that My approach from the spring was all wrong then. Live and learn I guess.
 

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I have about 4000sf of common bermuda on very uneven ground that has no irrigation that I mow twice a week with a John Deere rider at 1.75". That area looks like crap compared to the area cut twice a week with a reel at .75". I get significantly more scalping with the rotary and it doesn't get nearly as thick. Think grass vs turf.
 

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Tex86 said:
My question is should I be mowing it (with a rotary mower) 2+ inches when it's 90+ degrees knowing that heat and bermuda go hand in hand?
I've always been told to keep bermuda shorter in the warmer months and longer in the cooler months when it's dormant. I keep my bermuda at .5 in the summer when it's 95 - 100 degrees and it loves it.

Investing in a reel will do wonders for your lawn but a decent levelling would also be beneficial. I wouldn't do it in the fall as you mentioned, it might be too late to give it adequate time to recover fully. I prefer late spring, early summer for that.
 

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I'm in the same boat as you Tex86 and was cutting at 3+ inches and it looked good for the most part but thin in some areas, I've went down to between 1.5-2" (depending on where you measure my bumpy lawn) and it's looking great!!! I plan on getting a reel mower soon and leveling my yard next spring
 

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AdamC said:
I've always been told to keep bermuda shorter in the warmer months and longer in the cooler months when it's dormant.
Some of us have also broken free from the "longer in colder months" and have kept the grass at or below 0.50 until dormancy. There are a few benefits to keeping it short into the winter. Like, helping keep the grass greener for longer by creating a tight "blanket" of grass. This tighter "blanket" helps to regulate soil temperatures (I have no proof of this). The shorter Bermuda also reduces the amount of work needed in the spring scalp and helps with an earlier spring green up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Some of us have also broken free from the "longer in colder months" and have kept the grass at or below 0.50 until dormancy. There are a few benefits to keeping it short into the winter. Like, helping keep the grass greener for longer by creating a tight "blanket" of grass. This tighter "blanket" helps to regulate soil temperatures (I have no proof of this). The shorter Bermuda also reduces the amount of work needed in the spring scalp and helps with an earlier spring green up!
[/quote]

That picture is simply astounding and just amazes me what you everybody does with their lawns on here. Every time I post on TLF i know I'm in the right place. I'll plan on leveling out in spring of next year as it is recommended with sand.

I went to go check my mower height and it's sitting at 2.5 inches, rather than 2" (I was half asleep when I wrote that last night and knew something was off). I'm thinking about gradually stepping it down gradually to 1 3/4" and giving that a go. The backyard in one area on my slope has the potential for scalping. Normally I mow my yard North and South, but if I mow East to West then I'll miss the lumps and bumps. So I should be able to make it work with a shorter setting. Also, while I am decreasing the height over the next week or two, I'll be able to gauge and see if I can go lower and possibly get a few bags of sand to level out the one are in my back yard that has the potential for scalping my lawn to make do for now. Getting a reel mower this year is simply not in the budget and regardless of how I position it, the wife isn't budging.

Thoughts on my plan of attack?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Iriasj2009 said:
Red prob sprayed all his neighbors yard with roundup and then used lawn paint on his :D ... I kid I kid. Amazing!
That made me laugh out loud and my wife dropped her coffee! :lol:
 

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I was mowing mine at 3+" last year with a rotary. Late last fall I got a McLane reel mower. My yard is not level at all and I'm mowing at 5/8" now and it looks a lot better then it did last year. Does it look perfect? Far from it. But I've learned this is a marathon and not a sprint. I'm mowing every 2-3 days and I'm not using a PGR (plant growth regulator).

I would say if you can invest the time and money on a reel mower do it.

Red that pic is sick!
 

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Tex86,

I'm not a big fan of "stepping it down gradually". In your case the best approach will be to just lower the height as much as you can all at once. Spot level all the super low spots, raise your HOC to desired level and mow. You will need to water more and apply some fast release to help it heal. Remember, with Bermuda, the shorter it is, the denser. Only raise your HOC if you start scalping at the current HOC or if can't keep up with the mowing and NOT because it's getting too hot. I've seen a guy on here maintaining around 2" with a rotary and it looks great. Go as low as you can "afford to". I'm sorry, what I meant by "afford to" was to time and energy to get it there.
 

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Iriasj2009 said:
Tex86,

I'm not a big fan of "stepping it down gradually". In your case the best approach will be to just lower the height as much as you can all at once. Spot level all the super low spots, raise your HOC to desired level and mow. You will need to water more and apply some fast release to help it heal. Remember, with Bermuda, the shorter it is, the denser. Only raise your HOC if you start scalping at the current HOC or if can't keep up with the mowing and NOT because it's getting too hot. I've seen a guy on here maintaining around 2" with a rotary and it looks great. Go as low as you can "afford to". I'm sorry, what I meant by "afford to" was to time and energy to get it there.
I agree! I never really understood the point of "gradually" lowering the HOC. Either you go low enough to reset the height of the white or you don't. Until you "reset" it, all you're doing is something that could've been done in one shot.
 

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I've been mowing at 1" all season. Just from that it looks WAY better than it did last season. It helps also that I'm watering properly, fert, PGR (within last month), etc. I'm using manual fiskars reel mower and hopefully getting a greens mower soon so I have time to scalp a little at 0.5" and bring back up to 0.75"
 
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