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Strange spring mowing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Roger, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,920

    This is the strangest mowing start since I started eight years ago. The last precip we've had was two weeks ago today, 4" of heavy wet snow -- since then, nothing. Skies are clear blue every day, temps in 60s or 70s. My first mowings were two weeks ago tomorrow -- last week was a full week. By now, the ground is really dry, and the grass isn't growing very much. [I'm in SW Pa]

    Usually at this time of the season, I'm fighting the weather, huge grass growth, wet and heavy clippings that pack up under the mower decks.

    I'm not complaining, but the mowing decks have a buildup, unlike I've ever seen. The grass clippings are sappy, but the ground is dry, sometimes dusty from thin spots in the turf, or piles of dirt from moles, gophers, or whatever critter ranges underground. The buildup is sticky, tight and solid. The green sappy grass produces some moisture during cutting, then the dust sticks, then more moisture, then more dirt, and .... I scraped off the deck last night, but some of it I couldn't penetrate. I didn't even pull out the pressure washer because I knew it wasn't going to take it off. I used an old screwdriver -- a scraping knife was too wide (not enough bite). Sometimes I see this kind of buildup in mid-summer when the ground is dry, but not this bad because the grass isn't so sappy at that time of the season.

    Strange ... I hate to even suggest getting rain! Someday soon, I'm afraid the rain days will come, and continue for days on end, just like the bright sunshine. Anybody else with this "problem?" If so, anything to minimize this buildup? At this point, there is no chance of getting a clean surface.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,981

    Same deal here in NOVA...I'm gonna enjoy it while it lasts. I still have nightmares from the rainy spring of '03. I guess this is payback. I would have to say, the lawns look as they do around here in early June, still green but drying out. We had 2 tremendous rainstorms about 2 weeks ago, but most of that water ran off.
  3. Jeff@SGLC.ca

    Jeff@SGLC.ca LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    We've been having a pretty dry, warm spring here as well.
  4. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    I just looked at the 15 day forecast, and we'll be lucky if we get rain 3 of the next 15 days. You are right, the grass just isn't growing like it should be.
    Hard to predict what kind of weather we will have for the season, but we are already lining up other types of jobs now cause something tells me it's going to be a dry one.
    Matt too has mentioned about the decks being hard to scrape and taking longer than normal. He uses a paint scraper I believe.
  5. grassmanvt

    grassmanvt LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 906

    Same here in Vt, only differance is that we are still about two weeks from mowing. We didn't really get a mud season.The road I live on didn't even get muddy, lots of frost heaves but never had to grab the 4wd lever. After the last two rainy and wet seasons, watching the ten-day weather channel forcast which called for rain 8 out of 10 days this is a welcome change, for the short term anyway.
  6. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    I'll take as many dry days as I can get.. I just looked at the forecast and it is showing precip every day.. Tuesday thru Monday.
  7. jpp

    jpp LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,128

    As I was getting ready to type this response I looked out and we had a rain shower moving in. Had to run out and roll up the windows. Just enough to wet the pavement.

    Been very dry here so far this early spring. I have the same problems with my decks too. I just changed blades today and the decks were a pain the butt to get clean. I was wondering about buying some Pam and spray on them. I am ears here for suggestions too. I am hearing chances for rain later this week here. I hope so, the last couple of seasons have been good and I would like another one here.
  8. jt5019

    jt5019 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,432

    Getting dry here too... this will be my first week mowing this season another week before the full route will need it.Still doing cleanups
  9. Drew Gemma

    Drew Gemma LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,511

    Same deck problem and yes it is dry I hate to say this but it is looking like the 88 drought we had in Ohio. I hope not it didn't rain until August.
  10. northwest lawn

    northwest lawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 196

    nw ohio here i want the rain way to dry

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