NATIONAL FEATURES


How to Cut Bermuda



Houston, Texas: “I never have to cut bermuda when I’m in Houston. However, I can’t go back to my home in Galveston, so I’m stuck in Dallas.

“I’ve already picked up four customers up here and hit two of them yesterday.

“The first customer’s grass was about 8 inches tall. I had to mow this stuff twice for the simple fact that when I run over this grass it just seems to lay down. It’s so stringy, it doesn’t seem to want to cut.

“I’m hoping it’s because of the length of the grass. St. Augustine is much easier to cut in my opinion, but maybe it’s because I haven’t had the chance to cut a maintained yard yet.

“I know it’s supposed to be cut much shorter than St. Augustine, but I haven’t had that opportunity yet. Any tips would be appreciated, though.

The second customer had 3 to 4-foot-tall grass in his back yard. About 4,000 square feet. Took me a little under two hours to cut.

“I would normally not pick up jobs like that, but then again, I only have two changes of clothes and my lawn equipment. I gotta make money somehow ...”

Muskogee, Okla.: “I’m approximately 250 miles north of Dallas and we have bermudagrass here, too. I cut mine at 3.25 inches, but I do it at least once a week, and twice when it is really growing fast.

“With that grass 8 inches tall, and especially 3 to 4 feet tall if you do get it cut down, what remains is going to be brown. I wouldn’t be surprised if that 3 to 4-foot-tall stuff is stringy and patchy with bare spots, too.

“Cut slowly and have sharp blades in those conditions with that high grass. Oh, and be careful of what may have been left in that grass, like bricks, steel rods or ?”

Oklahoma: “Eight-inch-tall bermuda shouldn’t just lay over. You sure it wasn’t fescue? I can mulch bermuda that high with one pass usually.”

Destin, Fla.: “Hate the stuff. Like cutting Jell-O at that height. Should be cut at 2 or a little lower. Take it down slowly to that as you will have nothing but brown grass. This time of year try a low N and some iron to green it up.”

Mississippi: “That’s some high bermuda you’re talking about. You sure it’s not something else.

“Anyway, you’ll need to bag it up. With that much material, even if you mulch, it’s gonna cover the grass and bad things will happen. Cut it down gradually, don’t shock it down from 8 inches to 2 inches in one sweep.

“It does like to be cut low, and now, towards the end of the season, 2 inches should do. I don’t know how hot it gets in Texas, but have no fear, this grass is really resistant to drought. By the way, how were you doing with that storm running about?”

Mississippi: “Oh, and it’s not that stringy unless when sort of ‘half dry.’ Keep the blades sharp and it’s no big deal.

“For trimming, tilt the head just a bit so the tip of the string does the work. Twisted line works really well, and drop the revs to a 1/2 to prevent down blow. Can be cut just as nicely as any grass.”

Houston, Texas: “Yeah, it’s definitely bermuda. I had another lawn today that had about 6 to 8 inches of growth, however, it cut great.

“The difference I have noticed is that the one I mowed today was much more dense and greener than the one yesterday. I think it is just more difficult when the lawn is dried out more and the grass is less dense, although tall.

“I cut both of these at 3.5 inches with browning in mind and will drop the height on the next cuts.”

Spring Hill: “Sorry to hear you have been displaced, but it’s good to know you are safe and making a few bucks. Bermuda can be scalped down to the brown, and it should green up within a week or two with water. Bermudagrass has a long stalk and a short leaf blade. Common and seashore bermudagrasses are grown here for hay stock, and will grow to an excess of 3 to 4 feet. Scalp them down if your customers don’t mind the brown for a week or two.”

Hampton, Ga.: “I agree. Three to 4 inches is too high for bermuda. I like to keep is at 1.5 to 1.75 inches for common bermudagrass, and 1.25 to 1.5 inches for hybrid varieties. Cut it every week if you can, but don’t go any longer than 10 days by any means, otherwise, you’ll cut off most of the green shoot and be left with just the brown crowns.”

Atlanta, Ga.: “Everyone always says that you are supposed to cut your bermuda very low for it to look good. This is the furthest thing from the truth. It may be healthier for the lawn, but most homeowners are not willing to pay for that type of service. The recommended height is about 1 to 1.5 inches, but its really hard, almost impossible, to keep this grass at this height, especially when fertilized and watered regularly. The only way that is possible is if you mow the lawn like every three to four days.”

“In Your Own Words” is contributed from the lawn and landscape forum at www.lawnsite.com. Visit them, and join in the discussions.