Specific Ways to Cut One's Grass

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Postby technova » Sun Jul 08, 2007 2:50 pm

I mow about 5 acres every week, the worst 2 1/2 hours of the week. I use whatever method keeps the blades in the long grass and out of the short grass. It's usually circular.
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Postby FarmLadyWannaB » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:20 am

WOW :!: :!: You folks on this list continue to impress me. I had no idea there was a science to lawnmowing, but I DO know all too well about thatch, the issue having occasioned a running argument bet. me & my husband, who has a 'mulching mower' 'cause he didn't want the trouble of bagging. I can attest that the 'mulching mower' is a good thing IF AND ONLY IF you mow often enough, before the grass (or do I mean weeds) gets up to your knees. If you don't remove the clippings in the latter case, the thatch builds up so the grass dies and then you get MOSS. (I'm referring to our former home in eastern CT, where the soil is hard-packed clay & glacial rocks & there's lots of shade & hardwood leaves.)

And SATELLITE PHOTOS :!: I am in awe, truly. :shock: 8) Did you get those off the web somewhere?

But now I have A CUB QUESTION: I love mowing 'cause I can practically do wheelies with the Cub by now, but I wonder what's better/worse for the engine, tranny, etc., especially since I've had a problem w/the engine running hot--I will often go into a tight spot to mow, then reverse out, so I do quite a bit of reversing. We have a slope on the property and I don't mow often enough (i.e., the grass is always too long) so I am in first gear most of the time while going fwd. I keep going w/out stopping until Lil runs out of gas. What do y'all think about the way you mow having more/less wear & tear on the engine?
Inquiring minds want to know.

Thanks, Jocelyn
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Postby Lurker Carl » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:03 am

Hey Jocelyn,

You get moss when there isn't enough available nutrients or organic matter in the soil to support grass. Similarly, thatch buildup doesn't come from mulching mowers or grass clippings, it's a result of poor soil conditions with too much fertilizer and water. Basically the grass is growing faster that the soil can support the root system.

Mowing often is better for the grass plants.

I try to not back up as much as possible. Wastes time!

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Postby Phillip W. Lenke » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:28 am

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I think Rudi means an acre wide as in 208.7 feet wide approx.
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Postby Eugene » Wed Aug 08, 2007 8:37 am

FarmLadyWannaB wrote: I have A CUB QUESTION: I wonder what's better/worse for the engine, tranny, etc., especially since I've had a problem w/the engine running hot--I will often go into a tight spot to mow, then reverse out, so I do quite a bit of reversing. We have a slope on the property and I don't mow often enough (i.e., the grass is always too long) so I am in first gear most of the time while going fwd. I keep going w/out stopping until Lil runs out of gas. What do y'all think about the way you mow having more/less wear & tear on the engine?


You are not going to hurt the Cub with frequent reversals and running the engine for hours at a time. It's actually better for engine (less wear) to operate continuously rather than having frequent start ups and shut downs - warming up the engine then cooling the engine down. Most wear takes place during the engine's startup.

Mowing in 1st gear or 2nd gear. Most tractor PTO driven equipment is designed to operate at or near the engines maximum RPM - actually at the PTO's maximum RPM. So, keep the engine RPMs up and adjust the ground speed (1st or 2nd gear) and mower height to accomodate mowing and ground conditions.

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Postby gitractorman » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:38 am

I am going to agree with everyone here. Reason is, it is your place so do with it what you want, and everyone likes something different.

However, I ran a landscaping company for the better part of 10-years, during high school and college, which basically paid for my education.

I was mowing mostly residential property, 1/2 acre to about 2-acres, and had a couple of parks and road easements that I mowed in a private community. During my peak years, I had approximately 35 customers, and was able to mow all of them during 5 days of the week, between 07:30 and 3:00 in the afternoon, and figured that I mowed about 30-acres per week. I used evenings and weekends to make up for rain. I did all of the work myself, and only hired help during the spring and fall if I got behind, or needed help with leaf collection.

Here is what I learned early on in my career.

1. If you mow regularly (weekly, bi-weekly, etc., based on grass growth rate), and keep the grass long but mow off no more than about 1 to 2" at a time, the grass will stay green longer, and will choke out most weeds.

2. If you mow in alternating patterns each week, the lawn will not track, and the grass will not begin to lay in one direction, and will provide a better cut. I typicaly cut north/south one week, east/west another week, then alternated diagonal directions for the next two weeks. So, I rarely ran the same direction in one month.

3. High vacuum mowers such as those made by Simplicity and the newer commercial mowers, actually pick up the grass before cutting, and will give the light/dark look like baseball diamonds. They do provide a much better cut than anything else, and the light/dark looks great, which makes really happy customers! Also, because they provide a better cut, you can mow faster, with a better finish look.

4. There is no need to bag grass if you keep on a steady schedule as mentioned above. Also, if you alternate directions, cut throw one way, return cut, cut clippings, and throw the opposite direction, you can mow some really heavy grass without leaving visible clippings on the lawn. The only time that I ever bagged grass was in the fall when leaves fall. Even then I mow the lawn first, on a high setting, mulch up the leaves, then attach my collection system and re-mow the lawn picking up the cuttings. This does a couple of things, provides a nice mulch for the lawn, and picks up the largest debris, both feeding the lawn and providing a nicely picked up look.

5. SHARP BLADES!!!!! I used to have 3 or 4 sets of blades, and I changed them out weekly. I always kept a couple of sets sharp, so I was never in a pinch, and could change blades in 10-minutes if I damaged one, or started seeing a poor cut.

6. Believe it or not, there is (my preferred) a best way to mow a lawn. String trim everything first. Push mow cutting in around trees, beds, and narrow areas where you cannot get the tractor. Then trim with the tractor around the outsides, then mow the middle. This does a couple of things. String trimming and cutting in with a push mower cause a lot of garbage. Tall weeds, mulch from flower beds, etc., get thrown into the lawn. If you do this first, these things disappear during the actual mowing.

That is basically it. "Bill's Guide to Lawn Mowing" It is a very proven method, and makes for a beautiful lawn. I still to this day tend to mow in this manner, even though my work, kids, hobbies tend to take up 99% of my time. Now, I try not to rush it. I will string trim one night, push mow another night, and break it up into smaller parts so I can do the lawn and relax. I still have the nicest lawn on the street!

Bill
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Postby Bill E Bob » Wed Aug 08, 2007 9:55 pm

Here's another Bill who follows the same drill (with exception of
several sets of blades-ever buy blades for a Kubota :shock: :shock: )

Yes, it does leave a nice looking lawn and the trim, push mower, tractor
helps to break up the job and it's not so daunting a project with a
large yard.

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Postby cowboy » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:07 am

Other than one horse pasture and the front yard everything I have is pie shapes and odd angles due the the creek that cutts kitty corner through my property. But boy does it look good when its all mowed :D

As to starting and stoping you are better off finding a way to mow that allows you not to. You are putting more wear on the through out bearing and clutch every time you start off.

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Postby TractorChick » Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:05 pm

wow john, that picture looks so much different than what your place really looks like, at least to me it does.

As far as mowing goes, being in the lawn care business we vary what our patterns are for the most part. This is quite simple because we are using zero turn tractors instead of cubs or other tractors. It all depends on the yard really, size, shape and type of grass. Also depends on how many obstacles that there are in the yard. With a lot of things in the yard, it's extremely hard to try and have a certain pattern in the first place. Most of our yards can handle doing a criss cross pattern. I make it look awesome when I go over it both ways and make it look like a checkerboard. One way to make a yard look great easily is just striping it. With my zero turn mower i don't have a stripping kit on it yet but it does quite nice on it's own for now. We cut a yard for a lady last week and I went over it twice just going back and forth. Made it look awesome!! When you're cutting and you see different colors in the yard, then you know which way that you went. If it's dark color, then you just came from that way, light means that's the way that you're heading. Kinda confusing how i just said that but maybe you guys know what i'm talking about. Guess it just comes with practice. It annoys me when i see people mowing in a circle, my dad does it here at home, bugs the heck outta me. :) Anyhow, switching the pattern does make a yard look nicer and gives it a more clean look, at least in my opinion. :)
Happy cuttin'!
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Postby beaconlight » Sat Oct 27, 2007 1:03 pm

Hey Amanda give your dad a break. He was smart enough to have you for a daughter.
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Postby TractorChick » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:13 am

lol yeah i know
i just like bursting his bubble alot of the time :)
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Postby John *.?-!.* cub owner » Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:28 am

beaconlight wrote:Hey Amanda give your dad a break. He was smart enough to have you for a daughter.
Even good people have bad accidents. :lol:
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