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View Full Version : What brand reel for Bermuda/paspalum/zoysia


Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 04:42 PM
For the vets what do you recommend and why?
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 05:55 PM
TruCut P series. These mowers have variable travel speed and on the fly HOC adjustment. I know some people do not like these mowers. They want either a rotary mower or a $15,000 greensmower. I have not seen problems with the quality of cut provided whoever services the mower does not spin grind without reestablishing the relief angles. Same is true if the mower is ever backlapped. The relief angles need to be maintained.

The reputable businesses in my area that mow those grasses all use TruCut reels. I do the spraying on those lawns. I can tell if the mower has been spin ground only by how the leaf tips are ripped. Unfortunately, most operations do not use my preferred set up: a front roller and a rear roller drive instead of the usual drive wheel on the side.

Ric
02-21-2011, 06:38 PM
For the vets what do you recommend and why?
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Diamond

Our Local Golf Course are using a 7 gang mower made up of Articulating 21 inch rotary mowers to cut Fairways. it pretty much rolls with the turf. From what little Experience I have on Athletic turf, I have seen a good Rotary mower out perform a not so good reel mower and do just as good as a Triplex Reel mower. My own Yard is Bermuda and my 1997 42" Walker mower does a fine job on my yard. Sharp blades and level deck is all it takes.

PS IMHO mowing Greens at 0.10 of an inch and lower takes a Reel mower. But mowing homeowner lawns at 2 inches and higher doesn't

BTW Reel Mower are a PITA to maintain. Even back lapping the reel takes some skill. Don't even ask what a good reel grinder costs or the skill needed to operate it.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 06:39 PM
Green a lot if companies around here use 21" rotaries on empire zoysia and I have even seen companies use them on bermuda. You CAN cut empire with a 21" rotary, but the reel leaves the professional cut. Thanks for the input.
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Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 06:42 PM
Ric I wouldn't do the maintenance myself on a reel, I would take it to a pro. Yea, I can sharpen the blades on my rotary but I wouldn't attempt it on a reel.
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 06:46 PM
it is true that a rotary can be used on bermuda, seashore paspalum and zoysia. Do I or my clients like how their lawn looks when that is done. No! What is expected is a short, <1" clean cut with no circular marks left in the lawn. The frayed tips left by a rotary are also a no. The way to get this without going through a lot of gymnastics is with a reel mower. It is true that I used to use a rotary mower to cut at 1" on my own bermuda lawn at home. However, the blade was sharpened on an oilstone after every other cut and the wheels were removed, replaced by weighted rollers on front and back. The cut was almost as good as a reel, but I could still see circles.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 06:52 PM
Green I didnt say I agree with it, just that a lot of companies around here do it. To me it is the same principle between using felcos to prune ornamentals vs using a trimmer.
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 06:58 PM
Thanks for clearing that up. Around here, the homeowner should be glad if a mower of any kind is actually used. The usual is to do the entire lawn with a weedeater. Now, that is a practice I cannot stand. I do full maintenance on a few accounts that are too small for me to sub out the mowing. I will not use string to cut the grass. I use a trimmer with counter rotating blades. That is another point, I cannot see the sense of going through the ceremony of a reel mower and the edges get trimmed with string when there is a better tool for the job. I also hate seeing the edges of driveways and sidewalks not being trimmed with a bladed edger.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 07:04 PM
Wow, that is pathetic. A lot of guys will do that here too on areas with little turf. Me, I'll take the 21" and make it look good.
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 07:09 PM
I will use the machine with counter rotating blades. No fraying or circular marks. The cut is just as good as a properly adjusted reel. The killer is the price. Most mowing guys cannot imagine spending $750 on a trimming machine.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 07:20 PM
Not really if you think about it. A commercial trimmer is $350+. When you consider that the average account that has a specialty grass here goes for 1000+/mo, it is a great investment. Most yard boys are too dumb to look at the big picture. Hell, most of em only want to cut Bahia and St. Aug. BTW, I was referring to St. Aug in my last post.

greendoctor
02-21-2011, 07:30 PM
I had a feeling you were. The proper tool for st augustine is a rotary mower set fairly high. I regularly chew yard people out for scalping st augustine with a weedeater and letting zoysia and bermuda get higher and higher because the string cannot cut it low enough. On small areas, that bladed trimmer produces a premium cut. But, as you said most yard boys do not look at the big picture. I have to turn away lots of mowing work because I am a one man operation. I tell clients how the grass should be groomed and they would rather have me do it.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 07:51 PM
Yea, St Aug cut too short is the norm here. I cut mine at 4" in the winter and 4.25-4.5 in the summer.
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 08:01 PM
No lower than 4" is about right if we are talking about the regular fast growing cultivars. I have confirmed with sod growers in my state that the st augustine here is usually Texas common or Floralawn. Not the new ultra dwarf varieties. So a 1" or 2" cut is not the wisest thing to do.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 08:10 PM
Yea, floratam is the most common here. I don't see many people using dwarf cultivars. It is mind boggling to me why people think a white or yellow lawn looks good after a nice scalp???
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 08:27 PM
They stop liking that look when they are educated about the consequences of scalping st augustine. Usually in Hawaii, st augustine is a specialty grass used on sites that are too shady for bermuda or zoysia. Scalping under those conditions will mean a mud lawn within a year. In Florida, in the sun, I would imagine converting the lawn to crabgrass or bermuda as a consequence for abusing the lawn.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 09:02 PM
Bermuda will invade a healthy yard. A scalped yard means you now have a 50-50 mix. CG will also invade any chance it gets.
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 09:07 PM
I suppose that is related to using st augustine in the sun. I do not see crabgrass or bermuda invading st augustine here, provided it is never scalped and grown in partial shade. My definition of crazy is putting st augustine out in 90+ degree weather and in full sun with watering restrictions and fertilizer restrictions. Under those conditions, bermuda has the definite advantage.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 09:33 PM
Yea, I will not take on an account if there is no irrigation and they won't fert. They can call Juan or Billy bob for that.
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 09:42 PM
On my end, I do not take accounts that are not properly mowed. As for the irrigation. I set the controllers. When that is tampered with, they can find someone else to manage their lawn.

Florida Gardener
02-21-2011, 09:47 PM
Yea, i don't blame you. No point in applying chems if the turf is improperly managed. I handle irrigation controls too. Most weeds and fungus are in response to improper irrigation and mowing.
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greendoctor
02-21-2011, 10:28 PM
If the grass is not green and weed free, guess who's is held responsible? Being that I will be held responsible, I will become the "lawn nazi" much like the "soup nazi".

Plantculture
02-22-2011, 10:32 AM
Greendoc

What is your counter rotating blade machine? I have a patch of diamond zoysia in the shade(~300 sqft) and 500 sq ft of celebration bermuda I am trying to find a better way to mow.
I mow the bermuda with a rotary but have yet to mow the zoysia since it was gifted to me. I figure I would butcher it with a string trimmer.

tallrick
02-22-2011, 12:49 PM
I always mowed my zoysia with a Jacobsen lawn queen. A friend in the lawn business uses a Mc lane for the bermuda and zoysia he mows on upscale miami beach yards.

greendoctor
02-22-2011, 04:32 PM
Greendoc

What is your counter rotating blade machine? I have a patch of diamond zoysia in the shade(~300 sqft) and 500 sq ft of celebration bermuda I am trying to find a better way to mow.
I mow the bermuda with a rotary but have yet to mow the zoysia since it was gifted to me. I figure I would butcher it with a string trimmer.

Maruyama Landscape Blade or Kawasaki Turbo Blade. Both units are made by the same ironworks in Japan and branded by Maruyama and Kawasaki. It is my observation that both string and rotary mowers butcher warm season grasses.

Florida Gardener
02-22-2011, 04:37 PM
Green a rotary with sharp blades does fine on St Aug, but as you said the rest need a reel. I personally wouldn't purchase that blade until I have accounts with fine turf.
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greendoctor
02-22-2011, 04:47 PM
This machine is also my preferred tool for trimming where one would otherwise use a string. I have the Maruyama version of this machine. It is set up as a multi-tool. I have both the Landscape blade and the stick edger attachment. Surprisingly, I am one of the few people around that use this tool. Same is true of engine drive backpack sprayers.