Early on the season I mowed at level 4 in the back and level 5 in the front. Now my grass is getting thicker and I've had to raise the lawn mower height. I'm told that you should mow bermuda lower so it gets denser, but when I do that I get burn marks on the grass. what do I do? In some areas in my back yard the grass looks like it's thinning. Can someone help me with what to do and what's going on?
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:45 pm Posts: 2884 Location: San Antonio,TEXAS
Here's what's happening. When bermuda is allowed to get tall, there is a stem that forms from the stolons. The grass blade (leaf?) grows out of that stem. When you mow it at 2 inches, you probably allow it to grow to 3 inches and then mow it back. You could have a 2-inch stem with 1 inch of blade. When you mow you are mowing the entire blade off the stem. That would leave you with a field of stems when you're finished mowing. Those stems are brown and look like your grass is thinning.
However if you mow the grass low, less than 3/4 inch, the stem will not grow out of the stolon. The grass blade grows out of the stolon. If you mow at 1/2 inch or lower, the grass blades grow mostly horizontal. Then when you mow you only cut the vertical part of the blades.
If you want to lower your mowing height, you can mow it at one notch lower than the current height every 3 days for a week or so. Then drop the mower deck another notch and mow it 2 days later. Then get on the 3-day plan again for a week or so. Continue lowering the deck one notch every couple of weeks until you get to the lowest height. Golf course greens (Tiff type bermuda) are mowed at 1/16 to 3/32 inch every day so you can't go too low for bermuda.
Did anyone tell you that keeping bermuda looking nice was a real chore? If you really want it to look its best, fertilize every 45 days or even 30 days.
_________________ David Hall Moderator Dirt Doctor Lawns Forum
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