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Lazy But Talented
Member since Aug 2011
13116 posts

Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
Moved into a new construction and we have burmuda. I went the lazy route (insert joke about my TD handle) and hired someone to do the weed control/fertilizing/etc. I hope to eventually do it myself.

They're coming tomorrow and I'm planning on cutting the yard today. Is cutting it to 1.5" too short? What length should I cut to?

Here's the description of the service they are providing: A slow release, high nitrogen fertilizer application to promote stem and leaf growth, and spot treatment of a post-emergent to eliminate broad leaf and grassy weeds. A post-emergent for weeds in the shrub and flower beds.


LetTheTigerOut
USA Fan
Member since Dec 2019
477 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
quote:

How short to cut?


When mowing, conventional wisdom has always been the “one-third rule" -- never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf tissue at once.

For Bermuda, the recommended height is 1 to 2 inches.

Did you give the company a call just to check and see what they recommend?



Lazy But Talented
Member since Aug 2011
13116 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
I gave them a call just now and they said exactly what you did.

quote:

For Bermuda, the recommended height is 1 to 2 inches.
This post was edited on 6/10 at 2:43 pm


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BallsEleven
USA Fan
Member since Mar 2019
3659 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
Cut as low as you can without hitting dirt. The lower your cut, the thicker bermuda will be and it will look great. The absolute max I would do is 1.5 inches. I do an 1 1/4 inch right now because I have a couple of uneven spots.

Do you have a relatively flat yard?

What kind of mower do you have?


LetTheTigerOut
USA Fan
Member since Dec 2019
477 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
Mowing frequency is what leads to lush density, not low cutting. It forces the grass to grow laterally.

Mowing too low removes too much leaf tissue and will decrease photosynthesis and will adversely affect lawn density, root development and makes the grass less stress tolerant.

Bermuda needs to be mowed weekly during growing season. Other factors are temperature, rainfall/ irrigation, and fertilizer.

One way to know if you're cutting too low is if your lawn turns from green to brown after mowing.



Lazy But Talented
Member since Aug 2011
13116 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
I have the 40v Ryobi 20" brushless.

Yard is relatively flat yes.

I've been mowing it once per week at 1.5" which is the lowest setting the mower has. And plan to mow it weekly.
This post was edited on 6/10 at 3:18 pm


ronk
Member since Jan 2015
2933 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
Both points are correct. Cutting bermuda at 4 inches weekly will not improve lawn density. Cutting the lawn at 1 inch but cutting every other week will no increase density. Cutting it twice a week at 2 inches will increase it.

Depending on the variety of bermuda you can cut lower than one inch. Tifsport should be mowed between .5 and 1 inch. Tif 419 is .5 to 2 inches. Commom bermuda is 1 to 2 inches.

Low cutting doesn't turn it brown. Adjusting the height too drastically is where the brown comes from. Only the tops of bermuda is green. Whether it be at .5 or 2 inches.

My tif is 1 inch currently and I mow it every other day.


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BallsEleven
USA Fan
Member since Mar 2019
3659 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
Like others have said, mow frequently (which is something I should have added in my other post).

I cut twice a week right now. If I went any lower I would need to do it more. It is possible you may find that you need to also so you aren't breaking the 1/3rd rule.

Another tip is to bag on your first real cut in the spring. Helps sun hit the soil and warm it up in the cooler weather to give it a jump start. I've noticed a big difference in the spring since I started doing that.


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ronk
Member since Jan 2015
2933 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
And get a reel mower. Makes a big difference.


BallsEleven
USA Fan
Member since Mar 2019
3659 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
You keep saying this and it makes me want to get one, but my wife would flip shite if I had 3 mowers


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ronk
Member since Jan 2015
2933 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
I’m in the garage right now. I’ve got an cold beer. Cul de sac is dead quiet. I’m sharpening the blades. Hard to beat that.

This is how confident I am in a reel mower. It’s about as important as fert is.


BallsEleven
USA Fan
Member since Mar 2019
3659 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
What do you use to sharpen the blades with?


spacewrangler
Alabama Fan
In my easy chair with my boots on
Member since Sep 2009
9282 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
What brand and model reel mower? I've been looking at them and haven't made a decision yet. Also, it would be nice if there was an battery operated reel mower. The gas powered are pretty steep. My current rotary is not self propelled and I have no issues.

I let my Bermuda get a little to tall due to staying an extra few days on a vacation and then rain kept me from being able to cut.. Went like 10 days.


STLhog
Arkansas Fan
Nashville, TN
Member since Jan 2015
13231 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
I had been levelling my lawn and took down my setting to the lowest setting and it was a mistake. caught some dirt and my really, really green lawn is a little brown right now in some areas. It also just dumped like 2 inches of rain, I'm praying the overcut doesn't get my fungus or disease.

Luckily its going to get pretty hot this weekend, which is much needed.

Lesson learned for sure, going to stick with my second lowest setting and make sure to keep the frequency up as Ronk has advised.
This post was edited on 6/11 at 9:03 am


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ronk
Member since Jan 2015
2933 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
I use a sharpening paste. You take the drive wheel off, paint the paste on the blades, attach the handle that comes with it and turn it in reverse for about 5 minutes.


ronk
Member since Jan 2015
2933 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
I use an earthwise. I bought a cheap one just to see if I'd like it. It is only a 5 blade. I think in the near future I'm going to go with a fiskars 7 blade. I'd love to get a swardman but the one I would get is $2,990. There is no way in hell I could get that passed the wife.


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BallsEleven
USA Fan
Member since Mar 2019
3659 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
Seems easier than sharpening the blades on my ztr.

I figured it would be a pain in the ass.


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Gene Frenkle
LSU Fan
Member since Feb 2016
298 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
quote:

Also, it would be nice if there was an battery operated reel mowe


Haven't used it so I can't comment on its quality/longevity, but Sun Joe makes a battery-powered reel mower for $225 or so.


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b-rab2
LSU Fan
N. Louisiana
Member since Dec 2005
12193 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
quote:

Is cutting it to 1.5" too short? What length should I cut to?


I mow mine with a zero turn at 1.5" and it looks fantastic. I also mow at least twice a week.


Puffoluffagus
LSU Fan
Savannah, GA
Member since Feb 2009
5000 posts

re: Lawn Question - Bermuda: How short to cut?
Yeah sun Joe has a new electric reel mower, its been out of stock though. Definitely an entry related price.

Both swardman and allet have or coming out with more high end battery reel mowers. Truthfully though, Ive been thing about dropping money on one of the Husqvarna robot mowers. Some of them can cut down to 0.8 inches or so. May not cut as nice as a reel mower, but the trade off is a short lawn without me having to cut 2-3x week or consider PGR.

The main appeal of the manual reel mower is that I can mow early in the morning and not disturb anyone. I'm cutting at about 1.25 inch right now. The battery ones would have to be relatively quiet for me to do the same. I probably wouldn't drop money on a gas reel mower.


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