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View Full Version : Solo Operators - Mow or Trim First?


thegreensideup
03-29-2008, 11:00 PM
Just wondering what the solo operators do first, Mow or Trim. I have always trimmed first, just to be able to mulch the trimmings up when I mow. Now I am wondering if it would actually be faster to mow first, so I am not wasting time trimming what I can get with the mower.

CFB
03-29-2008, 11:05 PM
Always mow first. In fact, I wouldn't have even considered doing it the other way. Like you said you probably trim some you don't have too. And, I would imagine there would be times that you would have to come back with your trimmer cause you thought you could get it all with the mower.

kubotab7200
03-29-2008, 11:05 PM
i usually mow first but it depends on the yard i guess, theres been a few times i trimed first becuz it was a big open lot with afew trees and street signs on it. trimin it first was easier. it is faster to mow first, you get all u can with the mower and get the rest with the trimmer.

02DURAMAX
03-29-2008, 11:08 PM
Always mow first. In fact, I wouldn't have even considered doing it the other way. Like you said you probably trim some you don't have too. And, I would imagine there would be times that you would have to come back with your trimmer cause you thought you could get it all with the mower.

Same reason I mow first..

deere615
03-29-2008, 11:16 PM
I usually trim first, because I bag and then I can pick up the trimmings. After a few times I know where I can and can't get

J&R Landscaping
03-29-2008, 11:19 PM
When I'm by myself, I mow first then trim.

Chilehead
03-29-2008, 11:19 PM
Just wondering what the solo operators do first, Mow or Trim. I have always trimmed first, just to be able to mulch the trimmings up when I mow. Now I am wondering if it would actually be faster to mow first, so I am not wasting time trimming what I can get with the mower.

What you are "wondering" is a reality. Like others have said, mow first.:)

Whitey4
03-29-2008, 11:37 PM
I use my trimmer "weed whacker" for edging as well. I like to trim and edge first and let the mower pick that debris up. I know where I need to trim, where my 32" mower won't get to. Trim, edge, mow, blow.

Fahzu
03-29-2008, 11:40 PM
I used to trim first, but after making nice clean edges I would go and run my mower (21 inch) over them leaving tracks along sidewalks and walkways. These are for smaller yards than most of you guys do, but I also found that there were spots I was trimming that wouldn't have needed it. Now I always mow first.

Howard Roark
03-29-2008, 11:42 PM
Don't forget a lot of this depends on the type of grass. Most of you probably do not mow St. Augustine, which could have 3 inch or more blades laying on top of the grass if you trim last, as well as massive runners if the edging was rough.

If it were say, Bermuda, you wouldn't have such a problem.

Just something to keep in mind.

bigclawn
03-29-2008, 11:43 PM
it's called MOWING & trimming for a reason....

shane mapes
03-30-2008, 12:15 AM
when i'm solo i trim then mow . it is easy er for me to do it this way. it also looks cleaner when your done..

accuratelawn
03-30-2008, 12:18 AM
Spring - Mow then trim

Summer/Fall trim first then mow. When it's dry I can blow most areas with the mower.

Cathman
03-30-2008, 12:39 AM
Summer time, mow, then trim. Unless it is an overgrown yard that has not been edged/trimmed for some time...then i can chop all the crap up after with the mower and it does indeed look nicer...otherwise i am raking stuff up or hitting it after the fact again with the mower to chop it up.

Leaf time, i trim then mow. Trim so it pulls all the leaves out from the edges. Then i bag/mulch everything, depending on how many leaves.

I found this system to be the fastest for me during both seasons....here in texas its hot or cold, no in between lol. :drinkup:

Dugann
03-30-2008, 01:06 AM
depends imo on the season, look if you doing a spring cleanup/mowing and there is a few leaves about weed eat first get them out so u can much. if it is the next or 2nd etc etc mowing then heck yea mow first and weed eat last. situation dictates need.

elite lawns
03-30-2008, 01:20 AM
trim first so i can pick up all the clipping

Mowbizz
03-30-2008, 01:45 AM
Just wondering what the solo operators do first, Mow or Trim. I have always trimmed first, just to be able to mulch the trimmings up when I mow. Now I am wondering if it would actually be faster to mow first, so I am not wasting time trimming what I can get with the mower.

MOW, TRIM, BLOW...:drinkup:

Ed Ryder
03-30-2008, 02:27 AM
Ordinarily I mow first.

But if the lawns are dewy wet in the morning, then I'll trim while letting the grass dry out - to get a better cutting result.

mngrassguy
03-30-2008, 03:01 AM
Always trim first. I know where my mower can/can't go. Looks better too. I never trim in the fall after grass slows down growing

KGR landscapeing
03-30-2008, 07:18 AM
it wouldnt matter to me. trimming weekly the stuff i cant get with the mower is about the same rate in growth as the yard so just let the trimmer spread it out. on a yard i bag i would trim first. most of time time i mow first because i have to pull the mower out to get the trimmer anyway.

LwnmwrMan22
03-30-2008, 08:18 AM
For me it comes down to the simple pleasures in life.

I'll trim first for a week or two, and then mow.

Then after a couple of weeks, I'll mow first and then trim.

The reason????

After you get through the schedule 2-3-4 weeks, you're in a rut.

If you swap the two, then you get done with trimming a yard, and you've already mowed it, you get a little joy out of realizing that the yard is already mowed, whereas usually you still have that dreaded feeling "man, this lawn is just dragging today".

Just something to reduce the rut of mowing the same yard the same way the same day the same mower thing.

bigclawn
03-30-2008, 09:00 AM
We have been mowing for 35 yeard now and straight up there's no real way that trimming first is faster--we have done extensive time studies on this, and there are only rare circumstances that warrant a fast trim before mow! We use primarily walk behinds and Walker Mowers on all residentials, which leaves very little trimming.

Jason Rose
03-30-2008, 09:15 AM
I voted for trimming first, but that's not always the case for me. Depends on the lawn and how much growth it has. If I look and can see that everything needs trimmed, especially if it's pretty tall, I like to do it first, then when I mow it cleans up all the trimmings. Now if the lawn hasn't grown much, or the trimming looks obvioulsy pretty short still, I'll do it last, and then just hit the spots that are high, or that are highly visable.

I agree on the time study too. I have found that trimming last is usually faster, because the trimmer line is only cutting what is left, not a whole swath that's often unnecessary to be cutting that wide. Less to cut = faster walking speed, less stopping to clean out corners, etc.

As for edging, I like to do it first too, but ONLY if the soil is dry. If the ground is wet to muddy then if you do it first the wet dirt always gets stuck to the hard surfaces from walking on or driving on it. Then it's a lot more difficult to blow off, if you can at all.

In a perfect world I'd just have a helper do all the trimming and edging for me!

Lawn-Sharks
03-30-2008, 10:32 AM
I edge first then mow then weed whack everything then blow & go.
I have noticed that when i edge first then mow i have less clean up with the blower when im finished...and i always weed whack after i mow to see the spots the mower didnt get......Everything looks great when im done!

DavisLawn
03-30-2008, 11:52 AM
For me it comes down to the simple pleasures in life.

I'll trim first for a week or two, and then mow.

Then after a couple of weeks, I'll mow first and then trim.

The reason????

After you get through the schedule 2-3-4 weeks, you're in a rut.

If you swap the two, then you get done with trimming a yard, and you've already mowed it, you get a little joy out of realizing that the yard is already mowed, whereas usually you still have that dreaded feeling "man, this lawn is just dragging today".

Just something to reduce the rut of mowing the same yard the same way the same day the same mower thing.



I agree with this guy.... it just changes things up so everything is not the same.... plus i always dread the trimming so doing it first kinda gets it out of the way .... u never dread the mowing part, or i dont, so i feel like when i get on the mower that the worst of it is over.

mjlcare
03-30-2008, 12:02 PM
I edge first then mow then weed whack everything then blow & go.
I have noticed that when i edge first then mow i have less clean up with the blower when im finished...and i always weed whack after i mow to see the spots the mower didnt get......Everything looks great when im done!

i have never had good luck with edging first cause when i edge st aug grass i always kick up some dirt from the walkways and such and then pack it into the driveway with the mower making the final look crappy

ALC-GregH
03-30-2008, 12:08 PM
For me, I edge, trim, mow and blow. After a few times mowing, you'll know exactly how far you need to trim in order for the mower to clean the rest. My 1/3 acre lot takes me 2-3 minutes to trim and 20 minutes to mow and blow. This being with a cheap ass Yardman riding mower. If I used a ztr, I'd probably cut that time in half!

mowerbrad
03-30-2008, 12:25 PM
I always mow first. I don't want to be trimming spots that I can get while mowing, it is just a waste of time, especially when I have several jobs to do that day.

Frontier-Lawn
03-30-2008, 12:25 PM
i edge first them mow over the edging clippings & then trim.

Atlantic Lawn
03-30-2008, 12:38 PM
On properties that we do on a regular basis we trim first.

Lawn-Sharks
03-30-2008, 01:29 PM
i have never had good luck with edging first cause when i edge st aug grass i always kick up some dirt from the walkways and such and then pack it into the driveway with the mower making the final look crappy

I should of mention that the Exmark mower i was using has high lift gator mulching blades on it and it looks good when i edge first then mow. But....The other mower(Snapper) has reg blades on it and when i edge first then mow it dont benifit from doing it that way...Also 95% of my accounts are St.Augustine.:waving:

theguynextdoor
03-30-2008, 01:36 PM
I always TRIM FIRST so that I can look around for stuff on the lawn that I might run over with the mower if I don't see it (drain pipes, toys etc). It's easier to move them while trimming than to get off the mower. Also, It brings leaves away from the edges to get picked up by the mower.

Smith Lawn & Landscaping
03-30-2008, 01:42 PM
trim, edge.mow,bag and blow

freshprince94
03-30-2008, 01:45 PM
I always mow first. I mow everything I can get to, than I edge all the walks and beds. Finally, anything that is left is trimmed.

If you trim first you could end up missing some areas that you have to go back and do again. Also, trimming first makes it harder to get everything at a uniform height.

Bustus
03-30-2008, 01:46 PM
I always trim first so that my mower can mulch the clippings I created from trimming. I find it makes the lawn look amateur when there long clipping on the perimeter of the property.

Sweet Tater
03-30-2008, 01:52 PM
I usually trim first, because I bag and then I can pick up the trimmings. After a few times I know where I can and can't get

ditto Deere's reason, except for the bagging.

SpruceLandscape
03-30-2008, 02:55 PM
I always TRIM FIRST so that I can look around for stuff on the lawn that I might run over with the mower if I don't see it (drain pipes, toys etc). It's easier to move them while trimming than to get off the mower. Also, It brings leaves away from the edges to get picked up by the mower.

I use Walker equipment, so edge, trim, mow blow is the order in which I follow, but the above is also a VERY nice benefit from walking the property first. Its less time consuming to walk a few feet out of the way to kick or move something off the grass than it is to disengage blades, throttle down, set a parking brake, get off mower to move item, and then throttle back up, engage blades, etc. Also less wear on mower parts. And, as stated earlier, with the Walker, it sucks up a lot of the debris so that there is a lot less time involved in blowing down.

J&J Customs
03-30-2008, 03:11 PM
mow first then you can clean up what you missed with your trimmer

DJ Contracting
03-30-2008, 03:25 PM
trim first so i can pick up all the clipping

I agree it looks cleaner. When you mow then trim then blow all the trimming from the sidewalk, driveway or leave the trimmings laying around the trees bushes or fence lines onto you freshly cut lawn it looks unfinished jmo.

KGR landscapeing
03-30-2008, 04:20 PM
I always TRIM FIRST so that I can look around for stuff on the lawn that I might run over with the mower if I don't see it (drain pipes, toys etc). It's easier to move them while trimming than to get off the mower. Also, It brings leaves away from the edges to get picked up by the mower.

we walk the property befor we even unload. its in my contracts and at this point i can also find out how wet the yard is or if theres an unseen dangers or sink holes. u only bury a ZTR a couple times befor you avoid any soft spots

deere615
03-30-2008, 07:02 PM
If you swap the two, then you get done with trimming a yard, and you've already mowed it, you get a little joy out of realizing that the yard is already mowed, whereas usually you still have that dreaded feeling "man, this lawn is just dragging today".
I get that feeling sometimes!
ditto Deere's reason, except for the bagging.

Like most that trim first said, it usually leaves a cleaner look, and since I bag thats why I do it