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williams lcm
08-16-2011, 09:25 PM
With Zoyia grass becoming popular what height are you lco's cutting it at? I have been cutting it at the range 3 3/4 to 4 inches. They say you can cut it at less than 2 1/2 inches. I find it hard to cut it any lower than 3 1/2 . With my 60 inch it will scalp it and lower. Thanks

Patriot Services
08-16-2011, 09:28 PM
You answered your own question. Zoysia is tolerant down to 1.5 with a reel and flat ground. 3.5 keeps a decent canopy to crowd out the weeds in the heat.
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Florida Gardener
08-16-2011, 09:30 PM
Your first problem is your cutting it with a huge ztr. Get a reel and do it the right way.

I cut empire anywhere from 1-2" with my Tru-cut. You can cut it down to greens height as well. IF you go that low you def. need a reel. I think rotaries will give a decent cut at the higher settings, that's all. And I mean a 21", not a huge ztr.

IRRITECH
08-16-2011, 09:46 PM
Your first problem is your cutting it with a huge ztr. Get a reel and do it the right way.

I cut empire anywhere from 1-2" with my Tru-cut. You can cut it down to greens height as well. IF you go that low you def. need a reel. I think rotaries will give a decent cut at the higher settings, that's all. And I mean a 21", not a huge ztr.

Does that mean I can't use my 70" triplex?? Zoysia has got to ne the most scalp prone grass out there. Currently I cut the little bit that i have at 2.5 with a 52" W/B. If the prep work was not done at least half right you just can't cut it low without scalping, do the best you can.

Florida Gardener
08-16-2011, 09:53 PM
Does that mean I can't use my 70" triplex?? Zoysia has got to ne the most scalp prone grass out there. Currently I cut the little bit that i have at 2.5 with a 52" W/B. If the prep work was not done at least half right you just can't cut it low without scalping, do the best you can.

Do what you want. The cut of a reel can't be matched. Yea, it's scalp prone but putting a huge ztr on a lawn will increase scalping.
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IRRITECH
08-16-2011, 10:07 PM
Do what you want. The cut of a reel can't be matched. Yea, it's scalp prone but putting a huge ztr on a lawn will increase scalping.
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HINT: (a triplex is a reel mower)

Florida Gardener
08-16-2011, 10:10 PM
HINT: (a triplex is a reel mower)

Whoops didn't know that. My bad. Sure cut with it. I still wouldn't put a 60" ztr on a zoysia lawn.
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Keith
08-16-2011, 10:17 PM
I'm cutting them at 4.25" right now, according to the height selection on the Super Z. I cut them at no less than 3.5" in the spring and work up from there.

greendoctor
08-17-2011, 03:37 AM
Zoysia will scalp if it is being mowed properly for the first time. In your area, it is best to cut it down to less than an inch with a reel at the first mowing. Then maintain at 3/4-1" for the rest of the year. Not enough nitrogen and potassium means that there will be no green after every mowing. In my area, the good lawn crews use an reel on zoysia and normal height of cut is 3/4" or less. Only time this looks bad is if the lawn is not getting enough water and fertilizer. Want it to look like a golf green?, there is much more to it than just cutting it short.

CkLandscapingOrlando
08-17-2011, 07:06 AM
Most my zoy is replacment for aug. So tends to be aug in front and zoy in back or some mix of that nature. I cut it at the same height. 4.5in and it's constantly deep green and easy to mow

carriedrewdog
08-17-2011, 02:34 PM
The more I read about this the more confused I get.
Educate me please.
I mow my Empire at 2.5" and it looks scalped for 3 to 4 days. I mow weekly with a 21" rotary, irrigation is 2x week, fertilizer is 4x year with .5 lb N per app, full sun, clippings are now bagged, Jacksonville. Is the equation more water + fertilizer = lower cut? Is the inverse true? How do weeds and thatch figure in? It really throws me a curve when I here cut heights ranging from an inch to over 4", it seems like we're not discussing the same kind of turf. Thanks.

Plantculture
08-17-2011, 02:54 PM
The more I read about this the more confused I get.
Educate me please.
I mow my Empire at 2.5" and it looks scalped for 3 to 4 days. I mow weekly with a 21" rotary, irrigation is 2x week, fertilizer is 4x year with .5 lb N per app, full sun, clippings are now bagged, Jacksonville. Is the equation more water + fertilizer = lower cut? Is the inverse true? How do weeds and thatch figure in? It really throws me a curve when I here cut heights ranging from an inch to over 4", it seems like we're not discussing the same kind of turf. Thanks.

Zoysia will get tight enough to outcompete most weeds at just about any height. Problem is, with your rotary, you cant cut much lower than you are doing it now. (unless you rig up some sort of floating deck, or put rollers on it how greendoc has done in the past.) The key is to topdress and get your lawn as flat as a pool table, and you may have to mow 2x per week in the summer to resolve your scalping if you don't apply a pgr.

unkownfl
08-17-2011, 08:42 PM
The more I read about this the more confused I get.
Educate me please.
I mow my Empire at 2.5" and it looks scalped for 3 to 4 days. I mow weekly with a 21" rotary, irrigation is 2x week, fertilizer is 4x year with .5 lb N per app, full sun, clippings are now bagged, Jacksonville. Is the equation more water + fertilizer = lower cut? Is the inverse true? How do weeds and thatch figure in? It really throws me a curve when I here cut heights ranging from an inch to over 4", it seems like we're not discussing the same kind of turf. Thanks.

If you're consistently cutting at a certain height and every time you mow your scalping, then you need to increase your frequency between mowing.

greendoctor
08-18-2011, 03:53 AM
The reason why it looks scalped is because the rotary blade is grabbing chunks of grass and pulling it. I should tell everyone that the norm for zoysia maintenance here is a 14-21 day cut or twice a month. The lawns do not look bad at all when maintained this way. However, they are fertilized, irrigated and mowed at less than 3/4" with a reel.

At 0.5 lb N, 4x per year, the lawn will look starved and when you mow it, you will not see green. I feed zoysia at 0.5-0.75 lb N per month of growing season. The higher rates are for the summer months. I back down if the winter months are cloudy and cold.

A zoysia or bermuda lawn adequately fertilized and mowed low tends not to build up thatch. For one thing, the increased nitrogen content of the grass will cause it to break down quickly when it hits the soil. The worst thatching I have seen in warm season grasses was always in a lawn mowed with a rotary mower and not fertilized enough. If the lawn dies out due to stress and the lawn has to regenerate itself, that is yet more thatch being created from the mass of dead stolons.

Ric
08-18-2011, 11:27 AM
The reason why it looks scalped is because the rotary blade is grabbing chunks of grass and pulling it. I should tell everyone that the norm for zoysia maintenance here is a 14-21 day cut or twice a month. The lawns do not look bad at all when maintained this way. However, they are fertilized, irrigated and mowed at less than 3/4" with a reel.

At 0.5 lb N, 4x per year, the lawn will look starved and when you mow it, you will not see green. I feed zoysia at 0.5-0.75 lb N per month of growing season. The higher rates are for the summer months. I back down if the winter months are cloudy and cold.

A zoysia or bermuda lawn adequately fertilized and mowed low tends not to build up thatch. For one thing, the increased nitrogen content of the grass will cause it to break down quickly when it hits the soil. The worst thatching I have seen in warm season grasses was always in a lawn mowed with a rotary mower and not fertilized enough. If the lawn dies out due to stress and the lawn has to regenerate itself, that is yet more thatch being created from the mass of dead stolons.


Green

A little insight to the cost of REEL MOWING Please??? We really don't have any Reel Mowers doing any cutting outside of Golf Courses. In fact even the Fairways are now cut with 7 gang 21" articulating rotary mowers. Lesser Courses are even using a Triplex on Tees & Greens.

So are you talking Zoysia and Bermuda home lawns being cut by a reel? a Single Plex or a Tri Plex and what type of cost compared to a Rotary ride on????????? Percentage of increase might be better because I am sure Cost of Living in you state is very High.

Florida Gardener
08-18-2011, 12:43 PM
Green

A little insight to the cost of REEL MOWING Please??? We really don't have any Reel Mowers doing any cutting outside of Golf Courses. In fact even the Fairways are now cut with 7 gang 21" articulating rotary mowers. Lesser Courses are even using a Triplex on Tees & Greens.

So are you talking Zoysia and Bermuda home lawns being cut by a reel? a Single Plex or a Tri Plex and what type of cost compared to a Rotary ride on????????? Percentage of increase might be better because I am sure Cost of Living in you state is very High.

Ric all the estates here are cut by reels. The cheap homeowner who sees zoysia on the estates and decides to put it at their home but won't pay to have it cut properly will have their lco use a rotary.
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carriedrewdog
08-18-2011, 01:06 PM
GreenDoctor what variety of zoysia are you growing? I'm dealing with Empire here and just can't imagine a 2 week cut cycle at a 3/4" height. My stolons are out of the ground at least an inch befor they leaf out. I could crawl around on the ground with sissors but at 1" I'd just have a carpet of stolons.

When a lawn is maintained at 3/4", how often does it need water?

Ric
08-18-2011, 01:10 PM
Ric all the estates here are cut by reels. The cheap homeowner who sees zoysia on the estates and decides to put it at their home but won't pay to have it cut properly will have their lco use a rotary.
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Chris


But you are missing my Main Question about the COST OF MOWING WITH A REEL MOWER??? Do use have and use a Reel Mower and if so how much more is the Cost of Operation for the Reel Mower. Then add in the hassles of Back Lapping it and tearing it down for a reel grinding etc etc. A lot more parts to go bad and maintain.

The Trivia is the Rotary Mower was invented in my small town. I forget the guys name. Before that slickel Bars and reel mower were the only mowers

greendoctor
08-18-2011, 02:41 PM
Ric, I know of several properties that are mowed with walk behind Tru-Cut 20" mowers. They are close to 1/2 acre. I do see many properties that size cut with rotary riding mowers, but there is no fine turf there, all coarse vegetation that is not worth caring for. Because of the prevalence of reel mowers in my area, there are a number of outfits that will backlap a mower on site and every business that calls itself a small engine shop or mower shop grinds reels. A backlap is about $50. Grinding on a machine is about $125. All of the shops that grind reels have the machinery that will do the grinding without disassembling the mower. The whole thing is lifted onto the table and locked into place. In fact, I once asked one of my shops if he would grind a reel if it were not in the mower. No, not set up to do that. If a reel needs to be touched all the time, chances are, the relief angle was completely cut off, it was spin ground only and the bedknife/reel was set for zero contact. There are many people that follow that school. However, reality is that if the reel has a relief grind, is backlapped and set for some contact, it goes a long time between sharpenings. Backlapping will sharpen a reel with relief angle ground into it. If you are talking about a reel with all of the relief cut off, no. Then it has to be taken into the shop to get ground. Now the difference between a relief grind and a spin grind is about $5000 more for the machine that will do it and another 10 minutes to actually cut the relief on the reel. If you have the machine that will cut the relief angle, it is just 10 more minutes on the table. It becomes a matter of doing it right or doing things fast and cheap. Sadly, most mower shops are into fast and cheap, with the benefit of being able to sell more replacement reels because spin grinding all the time means that a reel only lasts one or two years if sharpened that way versus relief grind/backlap, which means a reel will last at least 4-5 years under normal circumstances. I am set up to backlap reels. All it takes is an adapter shaft that goes from a 1/2 industrial reversible drill to the shaft of the reel and some water based lapping compound. 30 minutes later, the reel is sharp. If there is no relief angle because a fast and cheap shop touched the reel before I did, then it becomes much more involved. Then I need to remove the reel from the mower and cut the relief with a hand held angle grinder. It takes a while, however, there are only two shops on the island that will cut a relief angle. The rest baffle their customers with BS and sell a spin grind. A spin grind with no contact only works on bent grass putting greens. It does not work for bermuda or zoysia.

Because even a modest 5,000 sq ft house and lot starts at $500,000 there is a different level of expectation. People want quality. They are not interested in a fast job. Mowing a lawn on that size lot is around $100 per month if it is done on that twice a month schedule. I know a lot of guys that fit the profile of your signature who have moved here so they can go surfing 12 months out of the year. I am more likely to see surfboards on their trucks than a reel mower. I also see them mostly cutting ugly lawns that should be nuked and re sodded.

carriedrewdog, I have either Emerald or El Toro zoysia. If these grasses were mowed with a rotary, allowed to develop thatch, then cut down low, I would see stolons as well. Low mowing trains the grass to keep its stolons in the soil.

Ric
08-18-2011, 05:34 PM
Green

I have several Hydraulic Reel mower that have Back Lap ability build in. It is just a matter of reversing the Reels. Your Reverse Drill is the same theory.

But No one has answered my question about COST COMPARISON to the CUSTOMER. Just the fact a 20" Walk behind is used drives up the labor cost of cutting a 1/2 acre. Now add in a Reel Mower that requires more maintenance and the price goes even higher. So what is the Percent of increased cost to a customer for a 20" reel mower over a 48" ride on Z turn???????

ArenaLandscaping
08-18-2011, 05:47 PM
Chris


But you are missing my Main Question about the COST OF MOWING WITH A REEL MOWER??? Do use have and use a Reel Mower and if so how much more is the Cost of Operation for the Reel Mower. Then add in the hassles of Back Lapping it and tearing it down for a reel grinding etc etc. A lot more parts to go bad and maintain.

The Trivia is the Rotary Mower was invented in my small town. I forget the guys name. Before that slickel Bars and reel mower were the only mowers

The story of one experiment in the design of rotary mowing equipment is that of C C Stacy, a farmer in the Midwest region of the United States. His concept was the use of a toothed circular saw blade mounted horizontally on a vertical shaft, which would be suspended at a height of approximately 2 inches (50 mm) and moved across a lawn to cut grass and other lawn vegetation at a uniform height powered by an electric motor.

Florida Gardener
08-18-2011, 06:03 PM
Green

I have several Hydraulic Reel mower that have Back Lap ability build in. It is just a matter of reversing the Reels. Your Reverse Drill is the same theory.

But No one has answered my question about COST COMPARISON to the CUSTOMER. Just the fact a 20" Walk behind is used drives up the labor cost of cutting a 1/2 acre. Now add in a Reel Mower that requires more maintenance and the price goes even higher. So what is the Percent of increased cost to a customer for a 20" reel mower over a 48" ride on Z turn???????
Ric the one zoysia yard I do which is .25 acre and prob 50% of that is turf, I charge them double what I did when it was St Augustine.
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Florida Gardener
08-18-2011, 06:05 PM
Ric the one zoysia yard I do which is .25 acre and prob 50% of that is turf, I charge them double what I did when it was St Augustine.
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You also have to keep in mind if you are using a reel around here it is more likely than not it is a very profitable account. We have many accounts in the 1-K+/mo range. I myself want to pick up more of these. Factor in the aerating, topsressing, and dethatching add ons, and you are talking good money. That is my view.
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Ric
08-18-2011, 06:39 PM
The story of one experiment in the design of rotary mowing equipment is that of C C Stacy, a farmer in the Midwest region of the United States. His concept was the use of a toothed circular saw blade mounted horizontally on a vertical shaft, which would be suspended at a height of approximately 2 inches (50 mm) and moved across a lawn to cut grass and other lawn vegetation at a uniform height powered by an electric motor.

Arena

My bad, I googled rotary mower History and couldn't find a thing about my town. What I am going on is a historic display about my area. The display had a rotary mower and claimed it was invented by a guy who lived in my county.

Landscape Poet
08-18-2011, 07:59 PM
Ric all the estates here are cut by reels. The cheap homeowner who sees zoysia on the estates and decides to put it at their home but won't pay to have it cut properly will have their lco use a rotary.
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Your location - well on the island any how is a different situation to in terms of income. What you are targeting with a reel cut is not the same as 99.9% of the average homeowners who have Zoysia.

If your statement is correct that you cut one Zoysia property with your reel mower Diamond ....what is your ROI on that? And since you have given that you double your price of what it was when it was SA ...I find Ric's question very interesting. Without out a doubt your inputs are substantially higher than if you hit wit a Z.....and that is just labor. Now throw in maint of the machine and the actual cost. IF it helps you gain access into the market you are looking for then it will be well worth the investment I would guess but the fact is that I have a hard time believing that most homeowners with their limited knowledge would be willing to pay for the premium. A example is that most homeowners understand that a 21 inch push mower would have many advantages to cut their lawn...but are not willing to pay the price needed to justify the difference.

Florida Gardener
08-18-2011, 08:11 PM
Your location - well on the island any how is a different situation to in terms of income. What you are targeting with a reel cut is not the same as 99.9% of the average homeowners who have Zoysia.

If your statement is correct that you cut one Zoysia property with your reel mower Diamond ....what is your ROI on that? And since you have given that you double your price of what it was when it was SA ...I find Ric's question very interesting. Without out a doubt your inputs are substantially higher than if you hit wit a Z.....and that is just labor. Now throw in maint of the machine and the actual cost. IF it helps you gain access into the market you are looking for then it will be well worth the investment I would guess but the fact is that I have a hard time believing that most homeowners with their limited knowledge would be willing to pay for the premium. A example is that most homeowners understand that a 21 inch push mower would have many advantages to cut their lawn...but are not willing to pay the price needed to justify the difference.
Mike using a z on zoysia doesn't look good IMO. Yes, I bougt the machine bc one day I will be doing the big estates with Bermuda kept at greens height. IMO, the average homeowner shouldn't use zoysia unless they plan on investing money with all the other maintenance it needs to look best. There's this homeowner in one area I do that put down empire. He has his son cut it as low as his rotary will go and it looks like crap EVERY week. I relate using a reel to using hand pruners on some ornamentals. Sure, I can cut ixoras with my hedge trimmer and have them look like crap, or I can take out my felcos and give a finished product that people are impressed with. Since I would never put a big z on a zoysia yard, I'll compare it to a 21" rotary vs. My Tru-cut 27". I can do that zoysia yard in half the time and give a better product. That is what I'm after, giving a product that people will desire to have. All the big boys that I see around here that are on the nice estates are using reels, not 60" z's or 21" rotaries.
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Florida Gardener
08-18-2011, 08:14 PM
Your location - well on the island any how is a different situation to in terms of income. What you are targeting with a reel cut is not the same as 99.9% of the average homeowners who have Zoysia.

If your statement is correct that you cut one Zoysia property with your reel mower Diamond ....what is your ROI on that? And since you have given that you double your price of what it was when it was SA ...I find Ric's question very interesting. Without out a doubt your inputs are substantially higher than if you hit wit a Z.....and that is just labor. Now throw in maint of the machine and the actual cost. IF it helps you gain access into the market you are looking for then it will be well worth the investment I would guess but the fact is that I have a hard time believing that most homeowners with their limited knowledge would be willing to pay for the premium. A example is that most homeowners understand that a 21 inch push mower would have many advantages to cut their lawn...but are not willing to pay the price needed to justify the difference.

Mike I also am not targeting the average HO who wants to pay peanuts for service. I am targeting people who have no shortage of money and will pay what it takes to do the job right.
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Landscape Poet
08-18-2011, 08:50 PM
Mike I also am not targeting the average HO who wants to pay peanuts for service. I am targeting people who have no shortage of money and will pay what it takes to do the job right.
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Exactly one of the points I was trying to make. You situation is one which allows you the liberty to make that purchase of a reel. For most of us there is simply not a market that would be willing to pay for the additional cost.

Florida Gardener
08-18-2011, 08:55 PM
Exactly one of the points I was trying to make. You situation is one which allows you the liberty to make that purchase of a reel. For most of us there is simply not a market that would be willing to pay for the additional cost.

Gotchya. My point is is that the reel is going to give the best finished product, hands down. If you educate people on it, you may be surprised that some may be receptive towards it. Most homeowners are ignorant about landscaping and they need to be educated.
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CkLandscapingOrlando
08-18-2011, 10:26 PM
I just had this conversation with one client. He did about 200,000 in a pool an landscape and all out back. Using zoy. This is a guy who races a porshe. Plenty of bread. His words. Looks good thick like that. Fu%$ that

Keith
08-19-2011, 12:49 AM
Around here 95% of people use Empire for only one reason. The lower perceived cost of maintaining it. Lower costs to them does not include paying more to cut it.

greendoctor
08-19-2011, 02:00 AM
At least in my area, customers usually expect a fine finish on a zoysia lawn. No circular marks, chunks torn out or frayed leaf tips. Now there are some jackwagons in the lawn install business that try to sell people on how El Toro can be cut with a rotary. The operant word is can. Does not mean it looks very good if you do it that way. At least the University of Hawaii tells people that they should use something other than zoysia or bermuda if they are not planning on mowing with a reel.

IRRITECH
08-19-2011, 08:33 AM
Green

A little insight to the cost of REEL MOWING Please??? We really don't have any Reel Mowers doing any cutting outside of Golf Courses. In fact even the Fairways are now cut with 7 gang 21" articulating rotary mowers. Lesser Courses are even using a Triplex on Tees & Greens.

So are you talking Zoysia and Bermuda home lawns being cut by a reel? a Single Plex or a Tri Plex and what type of cost compared to a Rotary ride on????????? Percentage of increase might be better because I am sure Cost of Living in you state is very High.

Cost will depend on how much grass you are cutting. Reels cost about $95/reel to relief grind. How often depends on the volume. I cut about 2 acres total with a reel mower and have my reels ground every 2 years. A used backlapp machine will run arounbd $200 and I backlapp once a month. Lapping compund can get a bit expensive 25lb for about $80 but will last for years. The process can take an hour or so. The real expense is the added time to cut. I have a 70" triplex and a 30" walkbehind. The 70 goes anywhere I can get it to fit but I always double cut.

All in all, the actual maintenance cost is not that much more expensive. Nothing breaks on reel mowers any more often than it does on regular mowers. That is my experience.

Ric
08-19-2011, 11:46 AM
Cost will depend on how much grass you are cutting. Reels cost about $95/reel to relief grind. How often depends on the volume. I cut about 2 acres total with a reel mower and have my reels ground every 2 years. A used backlapp machine will run arounbd $200 and I backlapp once a month. Lapping compund can get a bit expensive 25lb for about $80 but will last for years. The process can take an hour or so. The real expense is the added time to cut. I have a 70" triplex and a 30" walkbehind. The 70 goes anywhere I can get it to fit but I always double cut.

All in all, the actual maintenance cost is not that much more expensive. Nothing breaks on reel mowers any more often than it does on regular mowers. That is my experience.

Tech

Florida is loaded with Golf Courses so used Reel mowers are common. Problem is they are slap worn out by the time they are sold. I have a buddy who will buy several to make one good one. Then don't expect brand new performance. Zoysia is just catching on in my area and there is not enough demand at this point for a reel mower service. People seem to be happy with a little higher rotary cut here. To convert these lawns to short reel cut lawn, a lot of leveling is needed.

Landscaping By Gregory
08-19-2011, 12:10 PM
Tell me does any body remember Monkey Wards ???? Well back in the 70's or so. They had a lwan department like Sears. They had one of the coolest reel mowers . It had a 4.0 or 3.5 Briggs on it, self propelled and it came with a steel bag that hooked on the back. The cut was just a little over 21 inches. It did one heck of a job on that type of grass.My buddy down the street had one. I had a toro and we would go out and get yards. It was a fun time He would take the front and I would take the back............... They we would drag my dad out there too trim bushes on his Saturday off........ It was some site............. Back then we got 4 bucks for a corner lot and 2.50 for regular....... and those prices were high in the 70's.

That mower would lay down some cut and on St. Augustine it mad the grass feel just like plastic.

Bad thing was getting the reel sharpened wowowo a lot of work.....

Ric
08-19-2011, 01:17 PM
Tell me does any body remember Monkey Wards ???? Well back in the 70's or so. They had a lwan department like Sears. They had one of the coolest reel mowers . It had a 4.0 or 3.5 Briggs on it, self propelled and it came with a steel bag that hooked on the back. The cut was just a little over 21 inches. It did one heck of a job on that type of grass.My buddy down the street had one. I had a toro and we would go out and get yards. It was a fun time He would take the front and I would take the back............... They we would drag my dad out there too trim bushes on his Saturday off........ It was some site............. Back then we got 4 bucks for a corner lot and 2.50 for regular....... and those prices were high in the 70's.

That mower would lay down some cut and on St. Augustine it mad the grass feel just like plastic.

Bad thing was getting the reel sharpened wowowo a lot of work.....


Greg

Back in the 1950's early power mowers were Push Reel Mower factory converted to an Engine. I had a neighbor with a Ride On Reel mower with the sit down Sulky OUT IN FRONT. He could take the sulky off and walk behind also.

My father had a 16 inch rotary mower that had a ""Impact Clutch"" that would stop the blade rather than break a crank shaft if it hit something. I haven't seen that safety feature on any other mower I can think of.

IRRITECH
08-19-2011, 09:15 PM
Tech

Florida is loaded with Golf Courses so used Reel mowers are common. Problem is they are slap worn out by the time they are sold. I have a buddy who will buy several to make one good one. Then don't expect brand new performance. Zoysia is just catching on in my area and there is not enough demand at this point for a reel mower service. People seem to be happy with a little higher rotary cut here. To convert these lawns to short reel cut lawn, a lot of leveling is needed.

Most of the guys around here, and I mean almost all, run Trucut mowers. they are never sharpened and still do a half decent job ( better than a rotary anyway). We are all cutting once a week around 3/4" and none of these yards look like a golf course and are not meant to. The guys running the big tri-plexes are usually running John Deere 2653A that probably have 2000+ hours and came used from a golf course. For a homeowner lawn, even the worn out mowers work just fine, remember, we are not cutting all that much grass.

AAELI
08-24-2011, 06:06 PM
The type of Zoysia makes a lot of difference when selecting your mowing height. Seeded Zoysias have a wider, taller leaf than the varieties that are vegetatively propagated. I install both in our area.

I use a Walker Mower with a 42" mulching deck. I maintain most seeded lawns at heights of 2"-2 1/2" to keep them looking great. The vegetatively propogated lawns are cut during the wet season, June- Dec, at 1"-1 3/4" then during the dry season allowed to grow out to just about 2".

Zoysia does become a very dense and tight lawn when mowed at lower heights of 1" or less. The green 'carpet' look is the desired Island look for both Hawaii and here. The best cut is with a reel mower, however I have had many years of fine cuts with scalping only on uneven turf when heights are changed during the seasonal changes.

The yards that are maintained with a good mulching mower AND cut frequently enough to avoid scalping use a lot less fertilizer than those lawns cut and bagged. Most reel mowers cutting at lower heights pretty much require the cuttings be removed and not left to decompose.

Love the carpet look, either shag or outdoor shorty, is nice.

Less1sM0re
08-24-2011, 06:48 PM
2" is the perfect height during the spring 2.5" during the summer w/ a rotary mower just make sure to have sharp blades so that grass blade is cut and not torn. That will probably solve the scapling look. Also never cut off more that 1/3 of the grasses height.
Back to basic?