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Border Ruts

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lahanko, Jun 19, 2004.

  1. lahanko

    lahanko LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 173

    I seem to be getting wheel ruts around my borders from the constant travel of the mower along the same path at each mowing. More like soil compaction than ruts but still very noticeable.
    Any comments or resolution would be appreciated.
  2. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Increase nitrogen levels. Last summer, I was having problems with my Ferris 32 "rutting" lawns. I have since figured out that they aren't ruts, but rather, the grass didn't have enough nitrogen to stand back up right away. It was getting combed over each week by the tires and never stood up, giving it a rutted appearance.

    The lawn pictured in this thread is still being mowed with the Ferris 32, but I've increased the nitrogen levels dramatically this summer: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=52810&highlight=Ruts+Ferris This year, there is nothing in terms of ruts.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  3. BCSteel

    BCSteel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 876

    I make sure to move the mower over a little bit every week so that I'm not running in the same tracks all the time. The first pass, is always the same but if you make two passes around and over lap them 1/2 -3/4 at least every other week, it should take care of the problem.
  4. launboy

    launboy LawnSite Senior Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 273

    this may or may not work but take your blower and go against the grass that is laid down and blow it back up. it works well for me when the lawn is realy wet and leaving compacted wheel ruts.
    also if you can go the opposite if the grass isn't really compacted then it will bend the other way. this may not work with the catcher on.
  5. Thanks DFW for your info and the link to the post by Meier.
    I've wondered why my Toro 580-D didn't rut lawns. After all it weighs 6,600 lbs. It was designed to mow golf courses. Wouldn't be too practical if it left golf courses like wash boards.

    I had noticed some lawns where the grass in the wheel tracks is all laid over and growing in the same direction leaving wheel patterns in the lawn from week to week.
    Come to think of it, it only hapens in the poorer lawns!

    This is good information!

    Now I'll have an answer when asked about the wheel paterns.

    "The lawn needs to be at a minimum of health to recover from the stress of being mowed."


    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    If you run a different path each week with one wheel on the concrete be sure to run that pass first before cutting the rest. I ran along the edge with the wheel on pavement after cutting and put a nice green track down. Pain to clean up.
  7. lahanko

    lahanko LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 173

    The problem is most of my borders are 3 board fence.
  8. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702


    Serious question...

    would incresed P help more by building a stronger root?

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