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View Full Version : Spinoff on leaving ruts, circling trees....


vencops
06-12-2011, 01:03 PM
I have a very nice residential property I maintain, weekly ($2M+ property). I'm not having issues leaving ruts around the trees on the property. They're aren't really any trees (shrubs - yes) that require me to be extremely precise in how I mow around them.

My problem....

ALL of the landscaped beds have rounded edges (I'll attempt to post a photo at the bottom). What this does is leave me making either my first or last "run" on the edges of said beds. Now, one thing I've done lately is switch up my "edging" (edging with the mower) between the WB and the ZTR in an ATTEMPT to not leave visible ruts.

Are there any tips or tricks to not leaving these? Mowing every week, there's only so many variations I can use (based on me having a 36" WB and a 52" ZTR.

I hope the photo shows what I'm worrying about (the beds....not the "ruts"). But, you can all surely imagine my dilemma.

Thanks.

(Look to the edge of the bed to the right. That curve is typical...and what I'm referring to)

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m314/SBGobblers/TAGS/DSC03024.jpg

Get Some...
06-12-2011, 01:09 PM
21".
Everyone should have one........I take one every day......

Nice lookin place.

vencops
06-12-2011, 01:13 PM
I have a 21". I just haven't thought to use it in these areas.

I guess it IS another wheel-base, though, that the (this part of the) lawn hasn't "seen". I imagine I'd just have to play with getting the two mowers cutting the exact (or, nearly) same height.

I do mow a few areas of this property with the 21". And, I do have it with me, always.

Big Wes
06-12-2011, 01:18 PM
Leave an area around the tree where you won't ring it, then use your string trimmer to finish up around the tree. Saves you from breaking out another mower.

Get Some...
06-12-2011, 03:06 PM
I have a 21". I just haven't thought to use it in these areas.

I guess it IS another wheel-base, though, that the (this part of the) lawn hasn't "seen". I imagine I'd just have to play with getting the two mowers cutting the exact (or, nearly) same height.

I do mow a few areas of this property with the 21". And, I do have it with me, always.

I use the 21" alot on edge's, concrete/bed's.
Usually set it to cut a little shorter....

jvanvliet
06-12-2011, 03:25 PM
What's wrong with using a line trimmer?

vencops
06-12-2011, 04:14 PM
What's wrong with using a line trimmer?

Nothing. Where (and how much) do you suggest I use it?

When I run N/S to these bed edges, I can get "pretty close" to the edges. But, I can't mow all the way up to them, without shooting pine needles out the side discharge (and into the lawn). It would take me HOURS to cut with a trimmer what's left behind. Best job is when I use the ZTR to mow along the edge of the beds (following the contours). That looks best and leaves the least to trim (which I do with the string trimmer). This is more just re-defining the edges, though (grass growing sideways into the beds).

Whichever mower I use, though, the tires will leave evidence I made that pass. I'm trying to NOT use the same mower time and time again. I can see the previous tire marks from week to week. And, using the same mower would only make this worse.

watatrp
06-12-2011, 08:40 PM
My standard mode of operation is to hit everything with a trimmer, sending clippings out into the lawn. In a space like that, I would then go over it with a 21" push. It's never a good idea to mow small spaces with a ztr unless you have something as small as a 36".

gebby
06-12-2011, 08:47 PM
How about using one of the 3 different mowers every week ? I have one of those as well that also has a hill and a slope to it. It is a tough area. The lady is 94 years old with very keen eye sight yet. She looks out her front door and if the grass is off 1/4 inch she'll say something. So to me that area has to be perfect to keep her happy. Nobody is allowed to be in that area but me. I always do it different so like you not to have ruts.

Tofutti
06-12-2011, 08:52 PM
Nothing. Where (and how much) do you suggest I use it?

It would take me HOURS to cut with a trimmer what's left behind.

... This is more just re-defining the edges, though (grass growing sideways into the beds).



This is what we call "trimmer-mowing". It really doesn't take hours. If you were to mow that entire front section of grass between the sidewalk and the mulch bed in front of the house in your pic with a trimmer, it would take about 5 minutes. As far as redefining edges, assuming you have a straight-shaft trimmer, hold it close to where you normally do and turn it (the shaft and engine) 180 degrees. This turns the trimmer head to an angle almost 90degrees to the ground. (almost straight up and down). Then you can go around the beds and fix the "grass growing sideways into the beds". This is also how you edge with a trimmer.

From my couple years' experience, trouble spots like this can be done almost as quickly with a trimmer than with a mower by the time you jockey it all around to get the cuts and tire ruts right.

vencops
06-12-2011, 09:05 PM
I think a few of you are misunderstanding my dilemma.

The property is about 3 acres. I alternate mowing that little strip between the sidewalk and the bed closest to the house with the WB and the 21". Either way, it takes about a minute.

It's the areas to the right of the walk that are "typical" (i.e. curved-edge beds) of the rest of the property.

Here's a photo I took of the front of the property, when I was doing the spring cleanup. You can't see the beds that well. But, you get the idea I'm not dealing with 150sf of "issue". ALL the beds on the property have radiused edges.

http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m314/SBGobblers/williams.jpg

weeze
06-12-2011, 09:28 PM
radius edges are no different than straight edges...you will see a tire mark either way...you are saying how can you not make ruts?...i dunno..i always cut the edges of every property the same with the tire going on the edge of the grass....i never see an issue with it....the tire marks go away after a few days here....i've read about rutting and such on here but i've never seen it...even when mowing exactly the same way every time all season long...as long as you don't mow when the ground is mushy ruts shouldn't form...maybe it's just here but the ground is hard as a rock here unless you mow right after it rains.

vencops
06-12-2011, 09:36 PM
radius edges are no different than straight edges...you will see a tire mark either way...you are saying how can you not make ruts?...i dunno..i always cut the edges of every property the same with the tire going on the edge of the grass....i never see an issue with it....the tire marks go away after a few days here....i've read about rutting and such on here but i've never seen it...even when mowing exactly the same way every time all season long...as long as you don't mow when the ground is mushy ruts shouldn't form...maybe it's just here but the ground is hard as a rock here unless you mow right after it rains.


It's been dry here for a while. After it's dry for a while....and we get a rain....I can take you to a few properties that are mowed the same way every week. You can see the grass get greener (at least this is what I think is happening) in the tire "ruts".

I'm just trying to prevent this. I mow it in each direction, and split it up every week. But, mowing along the edge of the beds is pretty tuff to switch up. Hence my question(s).

lukemelo216
06-12-2011, 09:50 PM
I mean just get it so then the edge of the deck is fairly close to the mulch beds and walk around with the trimmer after you cut and get anything that you dont get. I think everyone understands your dilema, but its kind of something that you really cant avoid. I guess to make sure your tires are inflated to the appropiate weights. But I mean just make your passes. Dont put the deck into the mulch bed but just get it close to it. If you have to walk around with a trimmer line trimming around all of those beds oh well. Just by looking at it, running around all of those beds with a trimmer may take as much as 10 minutes in the front yard. not long at all. I am not saying leave a big 2' wide section not cut, but an inch or two. I would imagine you should be trimming around the beds all the time there becasue of those curves you can get right up next to the bed.

Trim first and just keep a long line going, so then it cuts further out into the lawn and then you dont get really close to the edge

TNGrassCutter
06-12-2011, 09:50 PM
Around here weeds grow in the ruts in nice yards and then you can really see them.
Posted via Mobile Device

weeze
06-12-2011, 10:52 PM
we have weeds everywhere this year....someone said it's because we got more snow than usual which puts more nitrogen in the soil or something like that...but the weeds are really bad this year for sure.

Sammy
06-12-2011, 11:41 PM
After it's dry for a while....and we get a rain....I can take you to a few properties that are mowed the same way every week. You can see the grass get greener (at least this is what I think is happening) in the tire "ruts".


Maybe roll the lawn now and then.
Vary the distance you mow from the beds each week.

vencops
06-12-2011, 11:44 PM
I agree, Sammy. I think I'll switch up maybe one pass with the WB....one pass with the 21" and then the WB......etc....

Just had to think out loud....AND see if there was some shortcut I didn't think about.

I appreciate everyone's input.