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Acute Cut
08-07-2001, 02:30 AM
Ok, search performed, answer not found. That said......

I have a lawn that the grass is basically growing sideways. It appears mostly in the ruts that my 52" wb has driven over. Ideas how to get it back. The customer brought it to my attention today and she pulled my freshly mowed grass up and it was about 6 inches tall. Much to my chagrin i assure you.

I was thinking of power raking and then mowing, but i am not sure that the stems wont continue to grow sideways. Thanks for the help guys and gals.:confused:

KirbysLawn
08-07-2001, 02:44 AM
Get your blower and blow the grass up then mow again in a different direction. Consider changing mowers and directions and try high-lift blades.

jpzink
08-07-2001, 02:45 AM
Does it do it on other properties and you have just not noticed it? The deck is designed to cut the grass before you drive over it, sounds like it is stripping. Check the forward rake on the deck. It should be about a 1/4 of an inch lower than the rear. You only cut with the front of the blade. In the lush wet conditions of the Northwest you may need additional help with lift on the blades ask your dealer. Check the belts for wear and replace. New belts have a 1/4" standoff over the pully and should be flat. Align your front caster wheel with the line created with the last cut to get additional air flow under the deck. If you need a good dealer to call let me know.:D

Acute Cut
08-07-2001, 03:29 AM
my guess is that the front castor wheels drive over it, mash it , then the blades dont life enough cause i mulch, and the back wheels drive over it and mash it again. Just my guess again. I do adjust the rake as you suggested, but did not noitice a difference. The belts are new, this looks to me like a long ongoing issue that ijust never noticed. The grass at this particular place is cut higher which may be an issue too. It is cut at lever 4 and/or 5 all year around. They like it that high because they are worried about lawn burn. With good reason too. I am wondering if the mulching is just pushing the wheel stripes down too much to cut. If we cant fix it here then i will approach Exmark with my issue. Thanks for the help.

Richard Martin
08-07-2001, 06:30 AM
It's not a problem with the mower. It's a problem with how you cut the grass. From what you've stated above it sounds like you travel in the same exact lines in the same direction across the lawn week after week. You need to switch directions and line up differently ocassionally.

It may only <i><b>seem</i></b> that you're only having trouble in this one particular yard but if you're cutting in the same <i>ruts</i> in other yards they are having trouble too. Try lineing up in a different spot in one of your other rutted yards and cut the grass. You will notice that the grass comes out greener looking because you are cutting grass higher.

Mowers can cause a deep rut in soil if they are run across the soil in the same spot week after week especially when the soil is wet.

David Haggerty
08-07-2001, 06:53 AM
I've seen a lot of that sideways grass too. It's worse around objects I have to trim around following the same wheel tracks.
I figured it was because I mowed at 3" making the deck too high off of the ground. With the deck so high the air doesn't rush underneath with enough force to lift the mashed grass to be cut properly.
What I did was set up my 36" WB with double blades like Eric shows. It really pulls the grass up and chops the clippings up good too. The airflow must be double what it was. I'm going to use it to touch up those flattened areas. I havn't had the doubles long enough to see if the fix is permanent, but I'll just keep at it 'till the grass straightens up.
Dave

Eric ELM
08-07-2001, 08:36 AM
I think your problem is a combination of cutting high and mulching has less of a lift than when you are side discharging.

It's like when you close off the exhaust of a vacuum cleaner, if the air can't get out, you don't pull any in either. This is why I feel side discharge with double blades will chop up grass better than using strickly a mulching system, but that's just my opinion. :)

I have tried cutting my little lawn high with our JD 21" and it turns out BAD. Cut it lower and it does a decent job. If I put on the discharge chute and then I can cut it high and look good.

If you do go in the same tracks each time, try going backwards in your tracks one time. That should stand it up the layed down grass and cut it off.

kutnkru
08-07-2001, 09:33 AM
The MAY TURF ISSUE diagnosed this problem as Washboard Effect.

Heres the description for non-subscribers:
Turfgrass areas regularly cut with power mowers sometimes develop wave-like ridges running at right angles to the direction of mowing.

This washboard effect may be prevented by regularly changing the direction of mowing.

Alternating directions of cut will partially control runners of creeping grasses and help prevent grain and thatch.

Obviously because this information coincides with what others have told you they werent Joshing ya. :D

Im a believer now!:cool:
Kris

awm
08-07-2001, 10:32 AM
# 1 unlike eric mine seems to suck the grass up better w mulcher.
now the high lift is suppose to be better at this ,but you need your best suction combination (ASSUMING DOUBLES).
#2 if you have bermuda or wire grass this can develope evasive methods of growing , this is just nature helping it survive.
#3 what the fellas said about changing mow paterns is correct,
this appies to stripping for me as a stripe on burnt or faded grass just doesnt look the same. i personally would rather have the carpet look if it is stressed out.and that is just mine so no need to jump boys. hope this helps . it works better with a grain of sand.

mdb landscaping
08-07-2001, 03:20 PM
i dont think its your way of mowing. its the type of grass. my neighbor has the same thing. he has like three patches of grass that no matter what you do, it lies down on top of itself. we tried raking and then mowing. just went back to growing sideways. the best thing you can do is replace it.

Richard Martin
08-07-2001, 05:01 PM
mdb,
Kentucky 31 grows from a single rinzone (sp) and often looks like it is growing sideways if it is cut too short. The cure for this is to cut the grass higher. The good news about K-31 is it will grow in about the worst soil.

mdb landscaping
08-07-2001, 05:42 PM
im cutting at 3 inches. and its not the whole lawn. its just patches of let say 3 ft by 3 ft

crazygator
08-08-2001, 11:56 PM
Does this customer irrigate? I wonder is watering would also help. Almost sound like the yard is lacking water and therefore appearing to lay down, but actually wilting to some degree.

Twotoros
08-09-2001, 05:49 PM
Sounds like fescue. I hate it . I have never figured how to make it look decent without mowing it short. Definetly try high lifts and a little shorter.

Runner
08-09-2001, 07:35 PM
Stress. That's the most likely culprit. With not only the dry conditions we've had lately, but the heat as well, the turf tends to do this. The first signs of stress is when grass lays over, like when it is walked on, and doesn't bounce right back up as when it is hardy. This grass just needs some good moisture put to it, and it will bounce right back. Let your customer know. And incidentally, you WILL have better vacuum with side discharge, as it creates a one way air flow. With mulching, there is lift, but there is also downward flow compensating against it. This is, subsequently, what feeds the grass clipping back down to the soil faster instead of just laying on top, before falling in.

powerreel
08-11-2001, 12:59 PM
You are mowing too tall. You can't mow our grasses @ 6in. no matter what anyone on the east coast tells you. You better be mowing short after Labor Day or your tall western wa. lawns will rot out and get slimey! Ditch the rotary mower.