Several types of mowers are available. Reel mowers are preferred for turf with low HOC (<1.5 inches) because they produce the best quality cut when compared with other types of mowers. Rotary mowers, when the blades are sharp and properly adjusted, deliver acceptable cutting quality for turf that will be cut above 1 inch in height. Flail mowers are most often used to maintain utility turf areas that are mowed infrequently and do not have a high aesthetic requirement. Mowing equipment should be checked daily after use to ensure the best possible quality of cut. Blades should be sharpened or adjusted as often as necessary to achieve this quality of cut as dull blades can have several undesirable physiological effects, resulting in shredding of leaf tissue, increasing water loss, and boosting the potential for disease development.
Best Management Practices
- Utilize equipment maintenance regimes that allow for best possible quality of cut.
- Use reel mowers whenever possible for maintaining turfgrass that requires HOC below 1.5 inches.
- Keep blades of rotary mowers sharp and properly adjusted.
Reel mowers should be used whenever possible for maintaining low HOC. Photo credit: Joseph Roberts.
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