What Height Should My Grass be cut at? What height does Brummel Lawn cut at?

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This is the million dollar question.  Brummel Lawn does our spring cut (first cut of the year) at 3” and rest of the season we mow at 3.5”.  We don’t change up our heights very often due to the fact that it is very difficult to change on the large commercial mowers.  We run mowers that have fixed decks vs the floating decks.  With the fixed deck it takes the variables out of setting the mowing height by having to adjust anything onsite.  The front wheels are set and we just have to put 2 spacers on each blade.  Our current mowers run with three 18” blades but only cut a 52” path. During seeding season, early fall we will drop the height down to 3”.

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On freshly seeded lawns (complete renovations) the first mow should be done at 2.5” and will help simulate the grass to grow.  This is only if it is a complete lawn, if it’s just an over seeding the normal mowing level will be fine.

 

 

On newly sodded yards we recommend waiting as long as possible, the longer the grass is on the top normally the longer the roots are in the soil.  If it has gotten too long bagging might need to be done.

 

Brummel Lawn doesn’t recommend bagging as the cuttings offer free nitrogen to the turf.  Without bagging your lawn, your lawn can get up to 1 additional pound of nitrogen.  The general rule of thumb is not to cut more that 1/3 of the grass off, but with the springs and only cutting one time per week this doesn’t always happen.  Double cutting helps prevent cuttings from sitting on the top of the lawn is done. Besides the additional nitrogen you receive by leaving the cuttings you also will get a thicker lawn, by getting some thatch.  I know in the fall everyone talks about de-thatching, and so on, but some thatch is good to ensure a healthy lawn. As long as you don’t have more than ¼” of thatch you are in great shape!

 

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In early spring leaf cleanup we lower our deck to 2-2.5” to help get the ground up leaves up and also to cut the tops of the grass off to speed up greening up the lawn.

So to recap the right height at the right time:

Early Spring (even as early as Feb)                2-2.5”

Spring (April)                                                    3”

Late Spring and Summer                                 3.5”       (if it gets really dry every other week)

Early Fall (During Seeding Season)                3”

Fall                                                                    3.5”

 

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What Does My Pre-emergent Do?

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The number one complaint we receive in the spring is that the pre-emergent didn’t work and they have dandelions in bloom or they have seen a few weeds in the yard.  Well the good news is that the pre-emergent didn’t fail as it only prevents crabgrass and goose grass and other “grassy weeds”.   Brummel Lawn applies your pre-emergent in two applications or at a spilt rate.  We have found that by putting down the pre-emergent at a spilt rate you get better results and the pre-emergent last all summer long, until seeding season.  Each round of pre-emergent, we apply the correct rate of fertilizer.  In the early spring apply enough to wake the grass up and the 2nd application to keep the grass going all summer long.

As far as dandelions and other weeds, we have exciting news!  Normally we have to wait for the soil temperatures to come up before we can spray to kill weeds when they are actively growing.  After extensive research by a Turf Horticulturist, this year we are trying a new product that we are able to spray starting the first time we come to your home.  Along with that product we are doing a liquid pre-emergent and fertilizer.  Once the weeds start to actively grow we will also add our normal weed killer to the mix.  So don’t worry on this first round if you don’t see the fertilizer beads like normal! 

Another question or concern is that “I wanted to seed some areas but you put down my pre-emergent!” Don’t worry if you are going to seed areas or have us seed them, we or you are able to apply fescue seed with the pre-emergent that we apply. The key is that you must rake or drill seed to ensure that you have great soil to seed contact.  You won’t have to worry about crabgrass as well, because with the spilt application we will be putting it down again to cover those areas that have been seeded.

With us applying the first round before irrigation systems are on, don’t worry about it getting watered in.  With the spring rains or even the snow it will work the pre-emergent into the ground, now that we are doing a liquid fertilizer the grass will take it up right away though the blades of the grass vs needing the water to take it up though the roots.    

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Plant Care Instructions

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We have prepared the following information to enable you to get the most enjoyment from your new landscaping and lawn. The Initial installation will be enhanced over time by proper care and maintenance, adding to the overall value of you home.

The following are simple maintenance guidelines for you to use:

Plant Material:

Watering is the primary concern for newly installed plant material. The amount of water is critical. It is possible to over water plants and in fact can be detrimental to their condition. The Key to watering trees and shrubs is to keep the root ball and surrounding soil moist but not soggy or saturated. The way to accomplish this is to apply water slowly so the moisture soaks in rather than running off the surface.

The following is a guide for the first six to eight (6-8) weeks after installation:

SPRING and FALL:
Trees – 1 or 2 times weekly
Shrubs-2 or 3 times weekly

SUMMER (June-September)
Trees- Once every 2 or 3 days
Shrubs-Every other day (daily in very hot and/or dry conditions)

If watering is being accomplished by use of an automatic irrigation system, be extremely careful not to over water. Run times on the shrub zones should be 5-10 minutes per occurrence for spray heads or 30-49 minutes for drip systems. Frequency should be approximately the same as hand watering.

Each natural rainfall will replace at least one occurrence of watering sometimes more depending upon the length and volume of the rainstorm. Keep in mind the only sure way to know when and how much water to apply is to regularly check the soil around the plant material.

Once the material has become established for a few months, the frequency of watering can be gradually reduced until it is only necessary during very hot and/or dry conditions. This is typically the case during the second year after installation.

Weeding of the bed areas is important not only from an aesthetic standpoint but also to avoid inundation and damage to the plant material. Weeds take valuable nutrients and moisture from the soil, which is needed by the shrubs. Weeds and grass in mulched areas can be controlled by hand pulling or by careful use of a “weed killer” type of chemical spray such as Round-up. This must be done per the manufacturer’s label directions.

Pruning During the first year after installation most plant material will only need to be pruned as necessary to remove damaged limbs or dead wood. Pruning for the purpose of shaping and size control normally starts during the second year of growth.

Fertilization New plant material is fertilized at the time of installation. Fertilizer should be applied again approximately three (3) months later or the next spring as the case may be. Thereafter, plant material should be fed once or twice annually depending on the type of fertilizer used. Follow all manufacturers’ recommendations.

Insect and Disease Control this is an important and often overlooked aspect of plant maintenance. In most cases the Homeowner should refer the diagnosis and treatment of these problems to a licensed professional.

Perennial flowers late in the fall the dead foliage of the perennials should be cut off just above ground level in order to promote new growth in the spring. This is the natural cycle of these plants. It does not mean that they have died. A general rule to follow is whatever dies back- cut back. And whatever stays green leave.

Sod

WATER! WATER! WATER! In warm or dry weather conditions sod must be soaked daily for at least the first two (2) weeks after installation. It is difficult to over water sod initially, although excessive moisture can cause problems with other plant material if it is allowed to persist. If you see water from the lawn running down your driveway or the street, it normally means it is time to move your sprinkler.

As a general rule: One Hour of Watering Twice a Day (Total of 2 hours) for Each Sprinkler Location is a good target. It is best not to water during the heat of the day, but often this is unavoidable with new sod. The key is to keep sod damp at all times. Signs indicating trouble are a “blue haze” color to the grass or dry “crunchy” footprints that do not spring back up after the sod has been stepped on.

 

PLEASE CALL US WITH ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE, WE ARE HERE TO ASSIST YOU WITH ANY CONCERN YOU MAY HAVE

816-695-6803 or 816-525-8333

 

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