Chris LI's Lawn Journal

Cool season member lawn journals
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social port
Posts: 2407
Joined: Mon Jun 19, 2017 5:00 pm
Location: Middle Tennessee
Grass Type: TTTF
Lawn Size: 20K
Mower: Gravely ZT 42

Re: Chris LI's Lawn Journal

Post by social port » Fri May 17, 2019 10:04 pm

Chris LI wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 9:10 am

I'm still hanging in there with 2" HOC, as I love the density! I'm rethinking my goal of 3" for the summer with 3.5" for the 3 hottest weeks in August. This is lower than last year (3.5" and 4", respectively). I may go even lower and try 2.5" for the summer with 3" if, necessary.
I keep my fescue at 4.5 throughout the summer. However, I thought I would mix things up this year. After a few bad starts, I've landed on the plan of cutting just a few strips of fescue at 2.5. I'm going to try to keep that going all summer just to see what happens.

Green
Posts: 2788
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 am
Location: CT (Zone 6B)
Grass Type: KBG, TTTF, TTPR, and FF
Lawn Size: 15K
Mower: Toro 22", MTD 21", Fiskars 18"

Re: Chris LI's Lawn Journal

Post by Green » Fri May 17, 2019 11:15 pm

Chris, not sure how much TTTF you have, but I feel we can typically get by with 3.5 inches in Summer in our area for irrigated Tall Fescue turf that is managed with fungicides (I use biofungicide for almost everything because I feel the synthetics have too many downsides). Maybe 3.25 or even 3 inches will work, too, and have less disease pressure as well...? I typically cut everything at 3.75 inches in July, August, and September. But with my new mower, I'll be a touch lower...3.625 in, which will help the water streams clear the irrigation heads better where I have in-ground irrigation.

If I were further South, with more days in a row over 85 or 90 degrees at any given time, like SP, I would be mowing even higher.

I rarely see lawns mowed above 3 inches. And during the heat, mine often looks a lot better due to the extra cutting height versus lawns cut at 2 or 2.5 inches.

I'm already at 3.25 inches to maximize root growth.

Good luck with it. I think the amount of heat this year will influence how it goes and what height you end up at.

You do stuff with sports fields at work, right? What height are those mowed at?
Last edited by Green on Fri May 17, 2019 11:25 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

Chris LI
Posts: 434
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG,TTTF, FF-different mixes
Lawn Size: 5K
Mower: Snapper Hi Vac 21"

Re: Chris LI's Lawn Journal

Post by Chris LI » Sat May 18, 2019 12:03 am

@social port
@Green
In the past (for many years), I have followed a similar HOC as you, to encourage deeper rooting and drought tolerance. As I mentioned, I would be way up there for most of the summer at 3.5+ and 4+. I say "+" because I used a mulching blade with no lift (Ninja), which would slightly lay over the grass to give a smidge more height. However, last year I started at 2.5 as usual and went up to those heights, keeping the Gator blade on for the summer, due to moisture and maple seed pods (poly noses), with the bag on most of the time. The very last cut at 2.5 in the spring had incredible density and color, but I raised the height as usual, and wondered if I could have pulled it off, when I thought about it throughout the winter.

Over the winter, I was reading about all the "reel low" folks here, and decided to try for the best of both worlds at 2.5", so I started at 2". The TTTF didn't like it at first, so I thought I would crutch it through April. Now, it seems to have adjusted to the lower HOC, so I'm holding firm on the 2", so far in May. I have a very busy week coming up at work, and might miss a mow, so 2.5" may be in the near future for me.

@Green
Yes, I have two ballfields at work, which receive only basic fertilization, solid tine aereation, and overseeding. We cut them at 2".

Chris LI
Posts: 434
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2018 10:04 am
Location: Long Island, NY
Grass Type: KBG,TTTF, FF-different mixes
Lawn Size: 5K
Mower: Snapper Hi Vac 21"

Re: Chris LI's Lawn Journal

Post by Chris LI » Sat May 18, 2019 12:28 am

Chris LI wrote:
Sat May 18, 2019 12:03 am
@social port
@Green
In the past (for many years), I have followed a similar HOC as you, to encourage deeper rooting and drought tolerance. As I mentioned, I would be way up there for most of the summer at 3.5+ and 4+. I say "+" because I used a mulching blade with no lift (Ninja), which would slightly lay over the grass to give a smidge more height. However, last year I started at 2.5 as usual and went up to those heights, keeping the Gator blade on for the summer, due to moisture and maple seed pods (poly noses), with the bag on most of the time. The very last cut at 2.5 in the spring had incredible density and color, but I raised the height as usual, and wondered if I could have pulled it off, when I thought about it throughout the winter.

Over the winter, I was reading about all the "reel low" folks here, and decided to try for the best of both worlds at 2.5", so I started at 2". The TTTF didn't like it at first, so I thought I would crutch it through April. Now, it seems to have adjusted to the lower HOC, so I'm holding firm on the 2", so far in May. I have a very busy week coming up at work, and might miss a mow, so 2.5" may be in the near future for me.

@Green
Yes, I have two ballfields at work, which receive only basic fertilization, solid tine aereation, and overseeding. We cut them at 2".
I forgot to mention, one other very important change I made last year was to up my mowing frequency to 2x per week, when it needed it (mostly spring). I believe that made a significant difference in turf quality (color and density). I'm trying to stay on that schedule this year too. I think it goes a long way, as golf courses do it and their lesser fertilized/pest apps on fairways, and they are able to maintain healthy turf with less inputs. I have my guys on a Tuesday & Friday mowing schedule for the ballfields.

Green
Posts: 2788
Joined: Sun Dec 24, 2017 12:27 am
Location: CT (Zone 6B)
Grass Type: KBG, TTTF, TTPR, and FF
Lawn Size: 15K
Mower: Toro 22", MTD 21", Fiskars 18"

Re: Chris LI's Lawn Journal

Post by Green » Sat May 18, 2019 12:46 am

@Chris LI, cool ideas.

I also believe in not mowing during heat/drought, and I try to time a mow right before a rain when that happens and it becomes time to mow. I'd rather break the 1/3 rule eventually, than keep mowing it through the hot and dry period, and make it stressed and brown before it needs to go that direction.
Front: Northern mix - mostly TTTF, KBG, TTPR. Back: Firecracker and Bullseye TTTF with America, Rugby 2, Bewitched KBG. Upper Side: Mostly TTPR, KBG. Lower Side: similar to front. Low-input: TF/FF, KBG, PR. Always seeding somewhere or fighting Triv.

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