After I sodded the Celebration last year, I started at somewhere around 1.25" (that's what the manual says, but not sure if my mower is calibrated to that). Was able to keep it there for about a month before I started traveling for work before I raised to 2" (the next notch up) and pretty much stayed there until the very end of the summer when I was out of town for work 3" in a row. Raised up one more notch for the last cut or two (2.5"). So, that's where I am right now.
I thought it looked pretty good at 1.25" last summer when I was keeping it there. Picture below is from about 3 weeks after I laid sod (so mid-June). This is at 1.25". No major scalping issues (ignore the strip right along the bricks on the left...some of the brown down there is from where sod got unloaded, the scalped part is from me trying to take it to .75"). So definitely feel like I could take it to 1". Am I looking at cutting 3x per wk during the middle of the summer if I don't put down PGR?
Another reel question. My front yard is Emerald Zoysia. Was looking to mow that w/the reel, too. Does anyone keep their emerald zoysia at 1"? I have two large oak trees in the front yard that I'll have to leave space around b/c of roots. How do people deal with obstacles like that with the reel? Use a weedeater to get the same HOC closer to the tree? Or go back with a rotary?
Going to try to level with sand again this summer. Leveled once in late summer 15 months or so ago (in prep for the sod laying). It's pretty smooth, but definitely can go smoother