New to acreage (need mower and advice)

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by SS_Fan, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. SS_Fan

    SS_Fan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Hello I have been browsing the forum for the last few days. I just purchased a home and need to mow about 2 acres. It's mostly flat and has just a few trees. I was all set to buy an Ariens HVZ from a local dealer when I decided to stop in at a closer hardware store. The carry Dixon products. To me the Dixon 50 looks a lot stouter then the Ariens model. The Dixon is more expensive but it looks like it was built to last. The Dixon has the 25 hp B&S and the Ariens has the 23 hp Kohler. Even the Ariens 2548 didn't look as nice as the Dixon unit. I have a Toro push mower with a B&S and that has never given me any problems and starts on the first try. I've read people say don't buy Dixon but no one has any good reason why not to (other then the buy out) . I had a guy cut the grass and he wants to sell me some 72" commerical unit. I don't know how much or what it is but he says he has to fix a few things so I think I may stay clear of that. Plus it would mean losing a parking space in the garage probably. Also the hardware person with the Dixon products was much friendlier and more customer service oriented then the other one.

    The other thing is I don't know anything about taking care of grass. I lived in Arizona for a long time and never has much grass to take care of. How high should the mower deck be when I cut? Do I need to worry about fertilizing or reseeding? Anything else I need to research or know about? Whatever the guy cut my grass with left nice stripes. This is all new to me so I'll soak up any advice.
  2. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    With 2 acres, I would look at something with 27 hp or bigger (60" deck). Set the deck at 3-3 1/2 inches in spring and fall and 3" in the summer. 4-5 fertilizer treatments will lush up your lawn and keep the weeds at bay.

    You sound like the perfect candidate to have someone do it for you for a little while. A good lawn isn't as easy to get as you may think. That's why we charge what we do.
  3. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Posts: 180

    Since your not a commercial cutter the Ariens would give you good service. Also consider how many obstacles you have to deal with in the yard, if there are a lot of them them a smaller more manuverable mower may be best But if you have a wide open yard the larger decks will get you done a bit faster. Be careful not to overspend since you will be putting only about 50 hours a year useage on it.

    Cutting height depends on the grass type but most of the northern grasses are reccomended to be cut at 2.5".

    If your not bagging cut your fertiliser in half. Also consider overseeding lightly every year depending on the type of grass you have. I usually weed and feed in the spring and seed in the fall since they cant be done together.
  4. SS_Fan

    SS_Fan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Thanks for the replies so far. I would like to do the lawn myself and since it was $60 to cut one time by the time the month is over that would be more then a single payment on a ztr mower. Most of my lawn is wide open but I can't go too wide on a mower deck because I have some trees near my gravel drive and there is about 5 foot of grass between the trees and the gravel driveway. One thing I noticed about the Ariens HVZ is that the web site did not list any accessories. Like a cart or a seeder. They do list accessories on the Ariens 2352 and 2348. Of course the Dixon 50 (residential series) has accessories listed. When is the best time to seed. Does it depend on the temperature or anything else? I'm pretty sure I have Kentucky blue grass.
  5. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 641

    Let me give you an "outside the box" idea. I know that ZTR's are all the rage, but with a property your size, mowing is not all you're going to need a machine for. If I were you I would look at a John Deere or Kubota Subcompact Utility Tractor. In green, I would look at the Model 2305. The mid mount mower on the 2305 delivers an outstanding cut. Plus you will have a machine capable of doing the aerating, overseeding, and fertilizing you need in the yard. It can carry the mulch to your beds, or the topsoil if you don't have the beds yet. And maybe most important where you are, it can plow or blow the snow this winter. It is a lot more money than the mowers you were looking at, but it is a very versatile machine.
  6. lawnmaniac883

    lawnmaniac883 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,613

    If I were you I would look into the used 72'' Commercial ZTR. What brand/engine/deck is it? How many hours? Right now you are probably looking at what a 4500-6000 dollar investment? Why buy a new piece when you could get bigger and better used? The larger deck size will allow you to be done in minimal time which results in less hours/fuel/overall wear on the machine. Choice is yours but the 72 gets my vote unless it has 2500 hours and is rusting.
  7. lawn

    lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 344

    This will sound selfish but why do you guys give "free" advice to this homeowners?????????????? I do not understand.
    If this guy has such a big property, then he has the money to afford a landscaper don't you think?
    If he wants to do his own lawn care then have him to his own homework, it is very easy to come here and ask for help.
    Cheap people....:nono:
  8. stryper

    stryper LawnSite Member
    from IL
    Posts: 132

    Uh...because this is the "Homeowner Assistance Forum". No one here is trying to take money out of your pocket.:)
  9. SS_Fan

    SS_Fan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    jeffingsgf, thanks for the advice. Actually this area does not receive much snow. Maybe only two times will it stick and it usuall only lasts for a day or two.

    lawnmaniac883, I don't know the specs on the commercial mower yet. The guy that has it hasn't returned my calls. I'll post once I have them so I don't look at it blindly.

    I appreciate the posts guys. I am a do-it-yourselfer. I get more satisfaction after things get done then handing over a check.

    Lawn, sorry you feel that way. Just because you have a lot that is larger then a "city" lot doesn't mean you have a big bank account. I live in a rural setting. Everyone has a large lot.
  10. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Posts: 344

    I agree totally with the first responce on hight of cut. If you want stripes and a thick lawn you will need regular fert apps. Use a quality fertalizer like Lesco (look on their web page for a local outlet). They also can provide good advice on taking care of your turf as far as weed control, fertilization and any other problems that you might encounter. Being local they will have expertice on your particular style of turf.

    As for the mowers, I personally would optto spend a little more for a hustler, Exmark or Scag. Reason being is that you are making an investment. Full blown comercial equipment will last a home owner a life time. All the brands mentioned will always have parts available. With the comercial stuff if you ever want to get rid of it and get something else the resale is higher and start-up comercial guys will snag up homeowner used equipment. Try trading/selling a lawn tractor or the lesser brand Z's. They don't sell for much and try trading one in.

    Just my 2 cents.


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