Warm-Season Turf and Height of Cut

on by Waldo Terrell

If you’ve followed this blog or the monthly newsletter we put out for very long, you would know that my birthday is this week.  You’d also know that I use my birthday as a reminder to raise the mowing height on warm-season turf.

It seems that this time of year, regardless of height of cut, warm-season turf begins showing signs of scalping.  I always solved this by raising the height of cut, but didn’t really give it much thought.  However, after an extensive Google search, I can confirm that we have at least an hour less daylight than on the first day of summer.

The main thing I remember from studying plant physiology in college is that light is the first limiting factor in plant growth, and that when subjected to shade, warm-season turf will naturally attempt to grow taller in search of the diminishing light.

So that explains, I think, why warm-season turf usually scalps this time of year.  So as usual, rather than getting me a gift for my birthday, raise your height of cut ever so slightly and you’ll see a better quality of cut.