Small prairie that I can't burn.

Peter_in_Az(Sunset zone 10)February 7, 2004


I have a small (1000 square feet) "prairie" that I can't burn, we're in the middle of an extream drought and the local FD won't alow it. I have no problem with that.

My questions are: Should I mow it? If so, when? Should I bag the clipping or "mulch mow"?

As you probably can tell from the above, I'm extreamly new to this adventure and any help would be greatly appreciated.

Right now it's just Blue Grama grass and about 3 years old. This spring I'm going to stick some native wild flowers in, but, it's just grass for now.

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coronado(z9 Phoenix, AZ)

Hey Peter in Az- before you do anything wait for other posts as I'm probably newer to this than you and am also working to figure it all out-lol. That said I'm pretty sure you can mow your grass, just not at the height of a regular lawn. Most mower blades have 4 inches as their highest blade setting. Native grasses are best cut between 4-8 inches so you may want to get a string-line trimmer with a hard blade option. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 8, 2004 at 2:05PM
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Peter_in_Az(Sunset zone 10)

I have mown it in the past (4 times in the past 2 years) and I set it on the highest setting but that's only about 3". I do have a string trimmer, I'll use it from now on. One question though... Why the hard blade?

oops... another question. This one for anyone. When should I cut?

    Bookmark   February 8, 2004 at 10:02PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

If you are cutting to simulate a fire it might be best to cut in fall or early spring and cut it as close as you can. This will expose the ground to sunlight and plants will come up earlier in the spring. One other thing that fire does is it creates a layer of ash that has some nutrients (aka potash) which you loose when you mow.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2004 at 10:15PM
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coronado(z9 Phoenix, AZ)

Peter- well I warned you, lol. I'm new to this myself so I don't know why the hard blade option is recommended/suggested. I referred to 'Natural by Design' by Judith Phillips and in her book that's the advice she gave. It's a good question for another post! - Lou

    Bookmark   February 9, 2004 at 11:20AM
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The hard blade (metal disc with teeth, like a circular saw, replacement for the string spool) is much better for cutting stringy old dry stems, which a string trimmer will really struggle with.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2004 at 10:28AM
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