View Full Version : Stragglers...
06-24-2004, 08:45 PM
I have a Great Dane 52" w/b and it gives a great cut except for weeds of the "reed" type. By this I mean weeds that are like little stems. It doesn't miss all of 'em but a lot of 'em it does. If I slow down or stop over them, it will cut them. Sometimes, if they're real tall, I'll stop, back up and go forward over them and that takes care of 'em. I keep my blades sharpened regularly and the underside of the deck is clean. It has GD factory blades on it. I'm getting a little frustrated since it cuts the grass so good.
06-24-2004, 08:56 PM
06-24-2004, 09:06 PM
Thanks for the help, ab-Norm-Al. LOL
06-24-2004, 09:07 PM
you didnt ask for anything! you told a story about your mower!
cool story thx!
06-24-2004, 09:10 PM
OK. If ya' wanna' get technical. What would be causing the mower to leave the aforementioned stragglers?
06-24-2004, 09:14 PM
You can either get used to this happening or you could try to have the weeds eliminated. Stop wasting your time with trying to make a weedy lawn look smooth. If the customer complains.. tell 'em what the solution is.
06-24-2004, 09:31 PM
Lawn-sc...are you saying that this is common for all mowers? I realize eradicating the weeds would be the answer, but these are rental properties and the owner won't spring for that. I see MTD riders out mowing and I don't notice the stragglers like with mine. I just thought there maybe an easy solution.
06-24-2004, 09:48 PM
Yes.. it's pretty common for commercial mowers. As you mentioned the speed is one reason and another is probably your cutting height.
You could experiment with different blades like high lift and see if that helps. Or you could try cutting a notch or two lower on the weedy lawns.
I know you mentioned you keep your blades sharp but what does that mean? Razor sharp... daily? Try some razor sharp blades on a weedy lawn.....
I've also read that lowering the rpms on the mower will help cut weeds better.. I've never tried it. Haven't had to :D
06-24-2004, 10:04 PM
I do sharpen the blades to razor sharp. I'm mowing these lawns at 3". I will try slowing down the rpm's.
06-24-2004, 10:07 PM
The deck on a 'Dane is too shallow to cut stuff like Bahia grass or other varities that have a tall seed head. Only real solution is to get a mower with a deeper deck. Sure this is not what you wanna hear but such is life.
06-24-2004, 11:16 PM
blade tip speed may be to slow on a dane to effectively cut the heavy weed!
dixie choppers seem to have the market cornered on high speed blades and cutting,,,,,,that was just my "opinion".......are opinions ok?:)
06-25-2004, 01:56 PM
Well, bts on the GD is about 19,000. Also, the deck is about 6" deep. I would think this would be deep enough . Who knows?
06-25-2004, 10:02 PM
sometimes playing with different blades helps, e.g a high sail blade for me on very flimsey weeds here doesn't do as neat of a cut as my new Raptor blades, it's to do with the turbulance under the deck, and different blades do this different, what I'm saying is mabe the air flow is laying the grass stalks over and under the blades partially, if so a less sail blade could work.
06-26-2004, 01:02 AM
my new gravely will cut a nice thick healthy lawn to perfection, but if you run it over a thin-stringy lawn it will leave the occasional straggler. i think it has something to do with lift. i've got stock blades on my machine, sharpened to a razor on a daily basis,
06-26-2004, 08:35 AM
I'm pretty convinced that when cutting lawns that contain bahia grass.dandelions and other 'flimsy','stringy' growths you just have to go back and cut whatever remains.No matter how good your mower is and no matter how sharp the blades are you ain't gonna cut every single strand with one pass.
06-26-2004, 08:55 AM
My Wright Stander does the same thing. When I see a big ole tall one, I just make sure I pass over it really slow.
DFW Area Landscaper
06-26-2004, 09:04 AM
My Ferris does this too. The "reedy" weed that is plagueing you is probably Dallisgrass. It's seed head sticks out on a long, reedy type of stem, about a foot long or so. It's usually about 30 degrees from the ground and it has seed head at the very end. When you run the mower over it, it somehow bends down and avoids the blades.
I HATE Dallisgrass. I've got two lawns that are chock full of the stuff and this time of year, both of these lawns take twice as long to mow as normal.
The bad thing is, if they pay you for weed control on these properties, Dallisgrass is, without a doubt in my mind, the most difficult weed to control on the planet. As far as I know, the only post emergent control for it is MSMA and if you're like me, spraying weeds after you mow, there isn't enough leaf blade to absorb the material. It can take six, seven weekly applications and even then, killing the stuff is "iffy". Of course if you've got it in St Augustine, I don't think you can treat it at all.
It's a perennial, so if you don't kill it now, it'll be back next year too. The pre-emergence won't help with an existing Dallisgrass problem.
I'm tempted to start leaving notes with customers about the stuff and explain that the options are to either leave it there and pay more to mow because it takes longer or spray it with roundup and deal with the dead spots for a month. Honestly, the customers with extreme Dallisgrass infestations are not good customers, through no fault of their own. It's just impossible for you to get really good margins in a lawn with lots of Dallisgrass.
DFW Area Landscaper
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