The recommended mowing height for improved, turf-type tall fescue turfs is generally from 5 to 7.5 cm (2-3 in) (Reicher and Throssell, 1991). However, Grossi et al. (2004) demonstrated that some cultivars may be adapted to lower mowing heights. Mowing the cultivars Armanda and Safari at 10, 15, 20, or 25 mm (0.4, 0.6, 0.8, and 1.0 in) resulted in dense, fine-textured turf suitable for soccer fields. Short mowing heights generally are more likely to allow weed infestations than tall mowing heights. Common bermudagrass [C. dactylon (L.) Pers.] invasion in tall fescue turf can be reduced by owing at a height of 5.6 cm (2.2 in) rather than 2 cm (0.75 in) (Brede, 1992). Similarly, green kyllinga (Kyllinga brevifolia Rottb.) growth in tall fescue turf is favored by a mowing height of 2.5 cm (1 in) over mowing at 5 cm (2 in) (Lowe et al., 2000). Turfgrass professionals are encouraged to mow often, such that no more than one-third of the leaf area is removed as turfs are mowed (Patton and Boyd, 2007) (Fig. 26-12).


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Fig. 26-12. Injury to leaves after mowing with a rotary mower with a sharp blade. (Photo by T. Samples.)



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