Crop-circles 101 w/ pics (carpet lawns)

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by topsites, May 29, 2005.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Once again, perhaps the following tidbit of experience helps. It is always nice to leave carpet lawns. Other folk call it golf-course lawns, or whatever, but I call it carpet lawn. A carpet lawn is when not a single blade of grass is left standing, and not a single clipping can be seen - without bagging, please.

    Mulching is more than having a machine with a mulching deck and mulching blades. Mulching is a technique that, once learned, can even be done with a regular lawn-mower with standard blades and standard deck.

    To be sure, the dummies way of mulching is to just go over the entire yard twice, regardless of pattern, just do it. That is what I did a LOT my first year because:
    - I did not have a LOT of customers and I wanted to impress people with the quality of my work.
    - Due to the previous reason, I had a LOT of spare time which I used by giving each customer an extra 10, 15, or 20 minutes or whatever it took to make their yard look nice. To be sure, you can always go slower but me, I like going fast, heh, even if I have to do things over.

    Then over time I got bored and tired of going over everything twice in such an old-fashioned way, it just wasn't much fun anymore. I started to look at other lawns and noticed stripes... Hmmm, it looked cool but I just couldn't see the percentage in it, the mere thought of doing stripes simply did NOT turn me on.

    Well there are a LOT of folk who like striping. Striping involves horizontal/vertical/diagonal lines, usually criss-crossing each other. Not only does it look cool, but it serves the actual purpose of going over the entire yard twice (at least twice). Still, I think stripes might be better for pistol-grip mowers or ZTR's... Mine is a T-bar machine, and me and my machine, we always liked circles. So I thought about this and worked with my desire, and eventually I got really good at doing crop-circles (out of all things). Mind you, unlike the REAL crop-circles, I'm not leaving grass standing to make the designs (except while in the process), but even after all the grass is cut, you can still see the circles. Neat!

    The following pictures illustrate how to perform a flawless job with an original, unique method you are welcome to use for yourself.
    The mower is a 2005 proline T-bar model 30197 (48" fixdeck, like an exmark).
    The engine is a 15hp Kohler running Castrol Syntec Blend and Amoco Premium.
    The blades are sharpened every day, the pre-cleaner is sprayed with wd-40.
    In these illustrations, I am running in 5th gear: 6+ mph.

    Without further ado, instrucs and pics:
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    The lawn BEFORE I got started:

    [​IMG]

    and (notice the pattern from my previous cut):

    [​IMG]
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Here is how it looks in progress (notice the big circles):

    [​IMG]
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    And, the Final product:

    (yes I'll get to the instructions soon, but check it out, see if you like this before we get all carried away)

    Notice the circle right in front, the little circle around the center tree, and the LARGE circle around the tree to the far right...

    [​IMG]
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I mean, flawless! Not ONE blade of grass is left standing:

    (OK OK, next post has instrucs, i promise :)

    [​IMG]
     
  6. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok, lets get started. Oh dang, I finished!

    Hehehe, lets move to the backyard :)
    Here's the back in the rough (before)...
    Notice: there is debris in the form of leaves and flowers everywhere. You can't see it yet, but wait...

    Anyway:

    [​IMG]
     
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ok, now in order to do the crop-circle technique:

    - Start by drawing a LARGE circle with the chute facing IN:
    - This collects and concentrates the clippings and debris towards the center (You can see it collecting, it really is pretty bad)

    Erm, the mower is going FORWARD in a clockwise direction ...

    [​IMG]
     
  8. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Continue mowing towards the center, drawing ever-smaller circles:
    - You are now running over the clippings and debris time and time again, cutting them into tiny little pieces: Recycling is happening!

    [​IMG]
     
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    When you get to the center, your mower will start doing 360's - STOP!
    Do NOT get caught up drawing 360's because you will leave a bare spot with the tire. Instead, turn around so that your chute is facing OUT and immediately start moving outwards again - The clippings and debris are now halfway recycled AND are starting to spread out towards the edges.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Basically, you're just doing outwards circles now - The reverse of before. This stuff is GREAT fun at 6+ mph it makes me dizzy as hell, LOL, it's better than being drunk which you are not allowed to do.

    [​IMG]
     

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