Mascot Silent Cut Reel Mowers for Bent Grasses or for Upright Grasses.

Q: What is the difference between a Mascot Silent Cut Reel Mower for Upright Grasses and a Mascot Silent Cut Reel Mower for Bent Grasses?
A: The upright and bent grass mowers are identical except for the wheel size. The Silent Cut 18 Deluxe Reel Mower for Bent Grasses has nine inch wheels. This mower has a minimum mowing height of approximately ½ inch and a maximum mowing height of 2 ¼ inches. The same mower fitted with 10 inch wheels becomes the Silent Cut 18 for Upright Grasses, with a mowing height range of about 3/4 inch to 2 5/ 8inches. Likewise, fitting the Silent Cut 21 with nine inch wheels reduces the mowing height range of that mower by approximately one half inch.
We call the original Silent Cut 18 – the one with the nine inch wheels – a “bent grass” mower because the “bent grasses” are usually cut to a lower mowing height than the upright grasses. Bent grasses include Bermuda, zoysia, centipede, seashore paspalum and St. Augustine. St. Augustine is a bent grass but should be cut at heights similar to the heights of the upright grasses.
Upright grasses have blades that grow straight up from the root. The most common upright grasses are tall fescue, Kentucky bluegrass and perennial rye. These grasses cut to a greater height, usually from two to three inches or more.
Sometimes we hear from homeowners with two different grass types. Perhaps they have tall fescue in the front yard and Bermuda in the backyard. Which push reel mower will work best in this situation? The answer is to look at the recommended mowing heights and find one that will work for both lawns. Check with your state’s agricultural university for recommendations specific to your local region. Call or email me if you need help figuring out the best mower for your particular situation: Margie at 888 384-1033 or marjorieking@reelmowersetc.com.
Do you have two different types of grass in your lawn? Did you find one lawn mower that will work on both types of grass?

What are upright grasses and bent grasses?

Q: What is the difference between “upright grass” and “bent grass” and how do I know which one I have?

A.: Turf grasses are divided into two main types: upright and bent.  Upright grasses include fescue, bluegrass, annual rye grass and perennial rye grass. These grasses have blades that come straight up out of the soil. Upright grasses thrive in more humid regions with moderate temperatures and are often called “cool season” grasses. They are prevalent in Northern lawns but can be found in Southern United States too, especially in irrigated lawns.

The bent grasses include Bermuda, zoysia, centipede, seashore paspalum and St. Augustine. These grasses spread by rhizomes and stolons which creep along the ground. Rhizomes are roots that usually grow just beneath the surface while stolons are stems, which usually sprawl at or just below the surface.  Fine blades grow upward from the stolons, or stems, which are sometimes called “runners”, thus the name “bent grass”. The bent grasses tolerate higher temperatures and drought conditions better than the upright grasses and so are common on the Southern United States and other warmer regions throughout the world.

Mowing height recommendations for all turf grasses vary from one region to another, but generally the upright grasses are cut higher than the bent grasses. One exception is St. Augustine. Although it is a bent grass common in the southern states, universities throughout the south recommend cutting it to heights similar to those of the upright grasses.

If you are unsure which grass type you have, or if you have a mixture of upright and bent  grasses in your lawn, then the best approach for you is choosing a mower with a mowing height range that works well in your lawn. You can also find out what kind of grass you have by contacting your local Master Gardener program.

Do you have an unusual situation in your lawn that makes choosing a mower particularly challenging?