View Full Version : Striping a small lawn

08-02-2002, 07:24 PM
I've got eight accounts in a duplex subdivision. Only get 25.00 for each lawn but then it only takes me 15 minutes to mow each of them and that's with a 22". My problem is I can't seem to get a stripe to stay for very long. The lawns are all rich and lush, watered frequently and even today with 102 temps for that past 21 days all you can see is a lush thick green carpet. You would think that these would be the perfect lawns for striping. Four days max. Only thing I can think of is the high clay content of the soil here. The buildings are so close together and the lawns so small, all the lawns are mostly clay. If that isn't it and you telll me it's the mower, I'll buy whatever you say to get those stripes. I'm currently using a Toro recycler 22". One last thought, because of the way the lawns were graded nothing larger than a 22" will make the cut look good. The lawns come together between each unit in a near v-like trench for drainage. I'm in Northeast Kansas and the grass is a tall fescue.

08-02-2002, 07:27 PM
Where are you located, and what type of grass?

08-02-2002, 11:24 PM
Hoss, he edited his post to include location and grass type, didn't know if you noticed.
Are you currently using a striping kit such as chain heavy flap or roller?
When I say flap I mean a rigid one not a hinged type that comes on the mower (for safety not striping). Chain kits on 21/22" mowers sometimes make it hard to maneuver (can't back up at all due to chains being too close to deck) but www.inventtek.com is supposed to be a pretty good roller for small mowers. There's another page that has them but can't recall the name. Search " 21" stripes" on Lawnsite here and it will come up probably. These three different kinds of kits usually work differently in different types of grass, that is a chain kit may work great for you but not work for me on my grass. IMHO, flaps aren't as good as chains and chains aren't as good as rollers. Rollers have alot of weight on them usually due to them being mounted on the deck chains have a nice amount of weight if they're thick and long, but flaps don't have near as much impression on the grass. They work great for some grasses though. If I had to have the best setup it would be a mower with a roller and chain kit. That's alittle extreme though. Just get you one of these roller kits and put it on and stripe away (hopefully anyway). These are filled with weight instead of the decks' weight being on them, but are pretty heavy. Several guys on here have them and like them.
Good luck,

08-03-2002, 01:15 AM
MJS--sir--you ought to check out some larger equipment.

I appreciate the fact that you say NO WAY but I say WAY!

I use a 48 lesco exclusicely on properties that are very small. I am talking about hotels.

forget this stripe bilk. you don't have the equipment so far.


08-03-2002, 10:16 AM
What do you mean by "forget this stripe bilk"?
He stated that the lawns were unsuitable for using a larger mower on and the fact that it can be done in fifteen minutes with a 22" mower makes me think it would be rather tight to get a 48" walk behind on, although you would be in and out rather quick that's for sure! Agreed, a larger mower is better for striping but I told him what could be done with a 22" and that others had chosen that and liked it. If he gets a larger mower, good! I was assuming that he was right in saying a larger mower probably wouldn't fit the bill....

MJStrain, have you considered a 24", 26" or so walk behind like Yazoo/Kees, Snapper, and other brands make? That might be a possibility for you. I doubt it will stripe any better but might make your work alittle faster w/o sacrificing maneuverability and still follow terrain reasonably well.
Good luck,

08-03-2002, 10:43 AM
21" mowers and stripes... well here's my thoughts on it, and i've tried everything that has been suggested, and 21"ers are the only thing people use here in ca. that being said, heres my rating on each of the mentioned striping kits.

chain - on a 21" mower, the chain will get stuck behind the rear tires on turns and backing up is eliminated. my opinion, don't bother with chains on small mowers.

flap - made one out of a tire. backing up is easy, but if the grasses you have are stoloniferous the flap will pull stolons up after you cut, and it makes it look terrible. the stripe effect was also lost for the most part on this type of lawn. my opinion, worth a shot could be useful in other situations then my own.

roller - bought mine from www.inventtek.com ... this is by far the best i've used. backing up was impossible for me at first, but after posting so much on here, the buys at inventtek sent me new brackets which i guess are what is standard now, so backing is easier. the key to a roller is to make it as heavy as possible.

and finally here's what the finished product looks like.

08-03-2002, 10:49 AM
BHB--I use the 48 for mowing exclusively. I don't even own a 22 inch.

in my market which is largely rural, people just don't have gates that the 48 won't pass through. the commercials are all small and wide open.

and my bilk comment is about the wasted energy in trying to stripe little 22 inch stripes and have them look good. I really don't see the point.

and also I meant that anyone that cuts grass for money with a 22 really needs to get larger equipment. as for mowing for 15 minutes with a 22 inch mower, I think I'd rather mow for eight minutes or less with a 36 or 48 and move on.

time is money and when you aren't using the largest piece of equipment that you market can handle, you are wasting time.


08-03-2002, 05:10 PM
I'm with ya Geo, I don't use my 21" either, thinking bout selling it soon as I could use the money but don't want to get rid of it then find out I needed it!! :dizzy:
But MJStrain may not be able to get a bigger mower into his yards and still have maneuverability, but if they're wide open, go for it! Or like I mentioned a 24/26" mower might be a good option.

AielLandscaping pretty much reinforced what I said, and gave proof and witness that the roller is your best option.
His stripes fooled me at first when I saw them when he posted them on LS along time ago because he doubles up on them so they're double wide, then I figured out what he was doing and it made sense lol. Yes heavier is better for rollers. Mowing at the proper height has alot to do with it too.

Good luck,

08-03-2002, 08:39 PM
Originally posted by AielLandscaping
...and 21"ers are the only thing people use here in ca


I can't imagine that!

I suppose a 14 hp motor is a gas guzzler?:eek:


08-03-2002, 11:14 PM
yea they probably can only have 6.5hp maximum :p
anything else just isn't economical hehe.... 6.5hp would easily turn 26" single blade, or probably even 28" or 30" twin blades if you discharged and didn't go real fast.

08-05-2002, 12:29 AM
well, just a few thoughts.......... yes a larger mower is quicker but, i think a 36"wb would be better than a large mower........afterall, his space may be limited.....i have some yards like he has that are small and have the swell in the middle where two yards meet......i know how he feels and i used a 52 on it........going to a 36 when i find one..........reason is, with the size of the yard, i think a smaller stripe would be more proportional and look better............ my buddy uses a 36 on his lil yard at home and the stripe is perfect sizing