A 5-YEAR EVALUATION OF HIGHWAY MOWING PRACTICES: SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS

A 5-year evaluation of roadside mowing practices in the State of Indiana is presented. Findings show that the first mowing cycle is the most critical. This mowing if done too early is wasted because the most rapid grass growth occurs in early spring. If carried out too late or when the grass is wet, it becomes injurious to the turf due to piling up of grass and smothering. The optimum height for the first mowing cycle is between 18 and 24 inches. To prevent scalping and to avoid piling up and smothering of grass, the minimum height should be increased to 5 or 6 inches depending on the number of cycles. The second cycle of 3-cycle mowing is less critical and could be eliminated most seasons if the first cycle were delayed. The last cycle should be delayed so that no more than about 12 inches of growth occurs before winter. This leaves the roads with a well maintained appearance during the winter months and with enough growth to protect the grass from winter killing but not so much growth that the fall-spring spraying for control of broad-leaf weeds is interfered with. Unmowed roadsides remained in good condition over the 5-year observation period. A major problem is that brush begins to take over in many areas. Addition of a brush control agent to the fall-spring spraying rotation for these areas is indicated or 1-cycle mowing (mid July to mid August) at least every other year. /FHWA/

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Sponsored by the Indiana State Highway Commission. Conducted in cooperation with DOT, Federal Highway Administration.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Purdue University/Indiana Department of Transportation JHRP

    Purdue University, School of Civil Engineering
    West Lafayette, IN  USA  47907-1284
  • Authors:
    • Morre, D J
    • Eberle, J
  • Publication Date: 1976-12-1

Media Info

  • Pagination: 23 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00165732
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Federal Highway Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA-In-76-31 Intrm Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: 1(14) Part II
  • Files: TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 7 1978 12:00AM