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joeyboy 08-09-2007 12:09 PM

To mow, or not to mow (pics)
I'm in central FL, and this is bermudagrass. I did a top dressing of peatmoss/compost/starter fertilizer before putting the seeds down.

Problem is, the day after I seeded, it rained very heavily, and it washed away some spots of my peat/compost/fertilizer/seed, leaving sand. I put more amendments down there, with more seed. So, now I have some spots on the lawn that need cutting (bermuda should be cut at 2"), but other spots are small little baby grass, and I don't want to crush them with the mower. But I also don't want to hurt the taller grass by letting it get to like 5" before mowing, because that'd hurt the grass (cutting off too much at once).

Any advice, should I mow now or not?

(edit - sorry no pics, my photo resizer is being a major pita, basically there's big patches where the grass is ~4", and spots where the grass is just comign through the ground, like 0.5"-1".)

RippySkippy 08-09-2007 02:07 PM

I would mow. Small plants while they seem delicate, they are quite tough...some may take a slight hit...but they will recover.

joeyboy 08-09-2007 02:33 PM

cool thanks!

DIY4EVER 08-09-2007 02:39 PM

jb--- I disagree somewhat with Rippy on this one. Is there anyway to mow around the spots of shorter/newer grass? You could even use a weed wacker on the areas that need cut and avoid the other spots that are still short, if that is possible in your situation. The problem, in my opinion, is that if you mow the shorter/newer stuff and your moser blade is not super sharp you risk doing major damage to the grass, a dull blade could rip the crap out of the ground by roots. Not that I have ever done it myself....:whistling2:. I would try to figure out the best way to try and cut the long stuff now and let the shorter stuff catch up before mowing everything.

joeyboy 08-09-2007 02:44 PM

damn... unfortunately, no weed whacker (actually I built the landscape edgers to accomodate a mower so I wouldn't need a weed whacker). Also, can't spot-mow, the patches are waaaay too combined. The lawn is only maybe ~10-20% covered solid with the grass from those pics (prolly closer to 10. Wait! there weren't any pics, but the spots that are coming in look great). The rest of the lawn is either weeds, younger/shorter grass, or bare (hopefully seeds still working their way out...)

slakker 08-09-2007 02:49 PM

I would also try to mow around or even just leave it long for an extra week or two for the younger grass to catch up... an extra 1/2 inch or so shouldn't harm the longer grass, but can ensure the younger grass is stable...

DIY4EVER 08-09-2007 02:51 PM

hhhhmmmm....I would still try to wait a bit. new grass, especially when fertilized grows fast. Another couple of days with nice temps and some water may be all you need for the shorter stuff to grow more. its ultimately your choice and even if you do some damage, the grass is young and vigorous enough to fill back in....hopefully.

joeyboy 08-09-2007 04:15 PM

Cool I think I'll hold off for a little bit, maybe a week (kind of a relief, as I need to buy a mower, and am in the middle of several paint projects. Does this happen to you other diy'ers, you find yourself in the middle of 100 things at once?).

On that note of a new mower, they have this $100 one at home depot, it's got no catch bag (which I believe is how I wanted it), and no wheel-drive (push mower - which I can deal with). Is there anything I should be wary of? All I know at this point is that I need to keep the blades sharp, fluids clean, and that not having a catch bag is good because it will help my grass (almost like a small mulch layer every time I mow).

slakker 08-09-2007 06:23 PM

I know the feeling, owning a home is always 100 things to do at once...

For the mower, I like to have the option of a rear catch-bag. The one I have has a insert that is used for mulching when the catch bag is not in place. But if the grass gets too long before I get a chance to mow it, I use the catch bag as the mulch is not fine enough and causes a thatch build up.

joeyboy 08-09-2007 06:47 PM

ahhh, maybe I should get a bag then... what's your location? Maybe location matters, my impression was the cut grass would contain moisture and nutrients, and basically just go back into my soil. Also, it would act almost as a mulch, helping normalize temp / sun fluctuations.

Hmmm, now I don't know whether to get one with a bag or without (I know the response will be 'get one with, you don't need to use it', but I don't want to spend money on one with a bag if I'll never use the bag.... AHHH choices!!! I can't wait til I finish this place! We moved in here months ago, I've been working every. single. day. At least I've learned a ton, and imo the place is coming out awesome)

slakker 08-09-2007 08:18 PM

I'm in zone 8, Vancouver British Columbia... I mulch most of the time if I'm just taking 1" off the top or so. I have 6 1/4 HP mower with mulching blade and it does help put nutrient back into the ground, etc.... it's just if I try to take much more off at once, the mulcing blade has a hard time keeping the cut grass in the mower long enough to finely mulch it up. You can tell after mowing if the debris/mulch that results is not finely chopped.

I think if you're diligent in not letting the grass get too long before mowing, you won't need the bag... I got it cause I usually have so many other things to do, that I leave the mowing too long.

When I do use the bag, I use the cut grass to build compost which is very usefull for my other gardening projects.

clasact 08-11-2007 08:33 AM

I would get the bag much clippings will clog up your lawn then you will need to get a thatcher to remove that dead layer so you lawn can breath and get the proper nutrients to the roots and as far as anything else to know about a mower get one that parts are readily available.I bought a second hand Wheel Horse 2 years ago (for my wife to use she tends to tear things up) the company was bought out years ago and not many parts around unless you order them and they are high $ blades alone are 118.00 sure wish she would watch where she is going on the thing 3 set in 2 years.

joeyboy 08-11-2007 09:17 AM

good to know! Thanks!

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